Building Teacher Capacity to Improve Post-school Outcomes for Youth with Additional Needs
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The transition for young adults with additional needs from school into the "real world" is an ongoing challenge for youth, their families, for schools, and the community in Australia. Teachers of these youth are under particular pressure because this student population is experiencing poor work and living outcomes on exiting school (Davies & Beamish, 2009; OECD, 2007). The Taxonomy for Transition Programming developed in North America by Kohler (1996) is accepted as the "gold standard" for transition best practice (DCDT, 2000). Data from a large Queensland study (Beamish, Davies, & Meadows, 2012) benchmark the validity and use of 46 teacher practices drawn from the Taxonomy. From these results, along with data from a more recent study, seven core practices across the five components of the Taxonomy were selected as "key" on the basis that each practice was meaningful, measureable, manageable, and that each practice mattered. This chapter provides an outline of the importance of each practice, and some indicators as to how secondary teachers might embrace these practices to build their capacity to advance the quality of their transition-focused education programs. Moreover, the chapter outlines current opportunities for teacher capacity building, and then recommends the type of teacher education and professional development programs that need to be offered. Finally, the chapter calls for further research to evaluate these training modes and programs in order to build sustainable teacher capacity and improve the post-school outcomes for youth with additional needs.
Teaching innovations supporting student outcomes in the 21st Century
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Special Education and Disability