The inherent requirements presented here apply to all Teacher Education Courses offered by the Faculty of Education.
What are Inherent Requirements?
The Western Sydney University has defined inherent requirements as: "the fundamental components of a course or unit, that are essential to demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit, while preserving the academic integrity of the university's learning, assessment and accreditation processes. Note: making a requirement compulsory does not necessarily make it an inherent requirement." (UWS Inherent Requirements Working Party, 2010).
The Western Sydney University further identifies the need to be able to defend the inherency against a claim of discrimination in court if necessary. That is the need to establish that the requirement is absolutely essential to complete the course. This may prove difficult, given the nature of many graduate attributes often identified in broad, nebulous statements like "teamwork or communication skills". It is of utmost importance that clear distinctions are made between requirements being desirable, compulsory and inherent. Inherency indicates an absolute necessity to complete the course (with adjustments if necessary given they do not compromise the integrity of the course).
Why is the University of Tasmania publishing course specific Inherent Requirements?
The University acknowledges the need to clearly identify course requirements for all students, but specifically for students who experience difficulties and barriers due to a permanent or temporary disability or health condition that might impact on their course of study. Prospective or enrolled students who have a disability and or health condition are advised to closely examine the requirements of their course of study to identify the specific Inherent Requirements that are linked to the following University of Tasmania documents:
It is important that prospective and enrolled students are fully aware of the requirement to undertake practical field study. This component of the course is a compulsory requirement and is of equal importance to the academic study requirements. The professional experience in practical field study requires a full time commitment and is an Inherent Requirement linked to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). Graduates of accredited courses must meet the APST Graduate Teacher Standards. Should a disability or health condition pose a risk to the successful undertaking of practical placement, this should be addressed at the outset of the program.
It is strongly recommended that students who have a disability and/or health condition carefully study the APST in conjunction with the Faculty of Education Inherent Requirements document.
Specific accommodations may be implemented for students who experience difficulties or barriers due to a specific disability or health condition. Such accommodations however, must not in any form diminish the requirements to meet the APST, including the mandated literacy and numeracy standards. Students should carefully study the course specific inherent requirements to ascertain possible obstacles they may identify for their individual learning situation. Disability-specific accommodations must be discussed with a University Accessibility Adviser or Faculty Staff such as an academic Student Advisor.
Considerations prior to enrolment
Persons who are intending to enrol in a teacher education course, should carefully read the Inherent Requirements statements listed below and consider whether they may experience challenges in meeting these requirements. If students think they may experience challenges related to a disability, chronic health condition or any other reason, it is strongly advised they discuss these with a Accessibility Adviser or Faculty staff, such as an academic Student Advisor.
Considerations emerging post enrolment during a course of study
In the event of changing circumstances where a disability or health condition may be experienced post enrolment and during the course of study, the student is advised to make an appointment with a Accessibility Adviser or Student Advisor in the School. This should occur as early as possible to avoid potential negative impacts on future study prospects. In summary, it is important for students to recognise that any variation in their study program, due to a disability or health condition, needs to be addressed immediately by consulting with the above listed advisory services.
How to read the Inherent Requirement statements
These Inherent Requirements should be read in conjunction with other course information and related material such as that provided by the:
- Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), specifically,
- The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) and the
- Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programs in Australia.
Each Inherent Requirement listed in this document is made up of the following statements:
- Definition of the Inherent Requirement;
- Descriptor/s of what the Inherent Requirement is, and
- Justification/s for why this is an Inherent Requirement of the course.
Inherent Requirement Areas
For all teacher education courses at the University of Tasmania the following competency areas apply:
- Ethical behaviour
- Legal knowledge
- Professional knowledge
- Psychological functioning
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Interpersonal engagement
- Sensory ability
- Strength & mobility
- Sustainable performance
The University of Tasmania acknowledges the contribution of the Western Sydney University, which has been instrumental in the development of this program and has served as a framework for the Inherent Requirements document for the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania.
Ethical behaviour describes students’ capacity to comply with professional standards, while being accountable and responsible for ensuring ethical behaviour in all contexts. (APST 7.1)
- Knowledge of, and engage in, behaviour consistent with all relevant standards. (APST 7)
- Understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe,
responsible and ethical use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in learning and teaching. (APST 4.5)
Students’ compliance with the Standards facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships with people to ensure their physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing is not placed at risk.
Legal knowledge describes the capacity to understand that initial teacher education courses are mandated by specific legislation and regulation that require students to comply with professional accreditation and professional field experience obligations.
- Knowledge and compliance with Australian law, professional regulation requirements and standards relevant to persons working with children, young people and their families, and those which dictate the scope of teaching.
- Understanding of relevant legislative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to year level.
Knowledge, understanding, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary pre-requisites to professional and field experience in order to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.
Compliance with these professional regulations and the Australian Law ensures that students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.
Professional knowledge describes the capacity to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of social, physical and intellectual development of school students, their individual characteristics and how these may affect learning.
- Relevant knowledge of the central concepts, modes of enquiry, research based knowledge and structure of the content. (APST1.2)
- Knowledge of the typical stages of student’s intellectual, physical and social development as well as an awareness of exceptions to general patterns. (APST1.1)
- Knowledge of a range of strategies for teaching to meet the needs of all students from diverse backgrounds. (APST 2.5; 2.6)
Students need to demonstrate that they have the capacity to acquire a wide professional knowledge base of teaching methods and individual student’s characteristics and needs.
Psychological functioning describes the capacity to consistently adapt effectively to all arising sensitive and sometimes complex situations in educational settings.
- Psychological functioning to work constructively in diverse and challenging academic and educational environments. (APST 4.1, 4.3, 6.3)
- Consistency in responding appropriately to children, young people and family’s needs in stressful and challenging situations. (APST 7.4)
- Capacity to self-evaluate and reflect upon own practice, feelings, beliefs and consequences of these for individuals and groups. (APST 6.3, 6.4)
Psychological functioning is required to work in changing and unpredictable environments. Students will be exposed to complex and stressful situations that require objective and professional management.
Describes the ability to build meaningful relationships and work effectively and sensitively in educational and community settings
- The ability to work effectively, sensitively and confidentially with children, young people, parents/carers and community members. (APST 7.4; 3.7)
- The ability to create rapport with peers, academic and professional staff conducive to effective working relationships. (APST 6.3)
- Cultural competence, sensitivity and willingness to work with individual children and young people in a complex and diverse Australian society. (APST 2.4)
The ability to engage with school students, parents and work colleagues appropriately and with sensitivity is required and demonstrated through acknowledging diverse backgrounds and ability with respect in a variety of social contexts.
Effective engagement is a crucial requirement for the achievement of productive interpersonal relationships for teachers.
Sustainable performance describes the capacity to perform both mental and physical tasks over appropriate time frames to meet both academic and professional practice course requirements.
- Consistent and sustained level of physical energy to complete a specific task in a timely manner.
- The ability to perform all required activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately.
- The capacity to maintain consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of academic, field, or professional experience.
In order to provide a safe learning environment, the ability to demonstrate physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement for the performance of multiple tasks in varying periods of time to provide safe and effective participation in all teaching, field, and professional experience activities.
Verbal Communication describes the capacity to communicate clearly and effectively through conversation, both professionally and socially with students, parents and fellow professionals.
- Effective verbal communication at formal and informal levels in tutorials, with peers and lecturers/tutors, including speaking in front of small and large groups. (APST 3.5)
- The ability to provide clear instructions and presentation of ideas to individuals and large groups relevant to the learning context. (APST 4.2)
- The capacity to use verbal language in a range of different social situations with children and adults during professional and field experience. This includes speaking in front of a group of either peers or school students. (APST 7.3)
- The ability to communicate effectively with diverse linguistic and cultural groups and individuals across a range of social contexts. (APST 2.4)
- The capacity to use a range of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) that support verbal communication with individuals and small groups for learning and assessment purposes and during professional and field experience. (APST 2.6)
Verbal communication is the primary medium of communication in an educational setting.
Timely, accurate, clear and effective delivery of information provides clear instruction and initiation of learning.
Interactivity of communication is fundamental to the educational process.
Adequate verbal communication is essential in developing and maintaining effective relationships with all educational stakeholders.
Aural communication describes the transmission of information through the auditory sensory system, i.e. speaking and hearing. It includes paralinguistic communication to convey meaning. Paralinguistic communication describes pitch, loudness, rate and fluency.
- Sufficient aural function to perform and comprehend the required range of tasks. (APST 4.1)
- Active listening in tutorials and lectures with tutors, lecturers and peers and during professional and field experience with families and children. (APST 4.2)
- Appropriate use of ICTs that support aural communication with individuals and small groups for learning and assessment purposes and during professional and field experience, such as audio-visual equipment and mobile phones and technologies. (APST 2.6; 4.5)
The use of effective aural communication is required to engage formally and informally in tutorials with peers and lecturers/tutors in small and large groups and during professional and field experience in a range of different social situations with children and adults. (APST 3.3).
Empathy and active listening are required in diverse social and linguistic contexts.
Non-Verbal Communication describes situation where communication occurs through body language, such as behavioural cues, gestures and eye contact.
- The capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues and gestures.
- Consistent and appropriate awareness of own behaviours.
- Sensitivity to individual differences. (APST 1.6)
In order to build rapport in academic, work and professional relationships, the ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues is essential.
The ability to maintain consistent and appropriate facial expressions and eye contact (where appropriate), promotes the trust and respect necessary for good interpersonal relationships.
Safe and effective initial teacher education requires the capacity to observe, interpret and respond appropriately to non-verbal communication, particularly in situations where children may not be able to verbalise distress, discomfort or fear. (APST 3.5).
For children who do not talk or use verbal language their gestures and cues are their main communication tool. (APST 1.6)
Students demonstrate the capacity to construct and model coherent written communication appropriate to the circumstance, such as in professional classroom practice, in tutorials or writing of essays.
Written communication describes the capacity to convey meaning through written information by using correct spelling and grammar.
The ability to construct a range of written assignments is an essential requirement. Adherence to ethical and academic standards is required in order to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant content and pedagogy in curriculum materials and professional practice.
The production of accurate, responsive and diligent reports, student profiles, record keeping, lesson material, curriculum plans, assessment tasks and evaluations are essential components for an effective learning environment.
The effective use of a range of texts, including those that are written, screen-based, image- based, sign/symbol-based are necessary to communicate meaning, directions and imagination in each of the courses offered by the Faculty of Education.
Critical Thinking and Analysis
Describes the capacity to understand, analyse and synthesise information to apply knowledge of theory and apply the skills of reasoning and understanding in literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology (ICT).
- Consistent and effective cognitive skills in order to provide safe, professional and competent teaching practice.
- The capacity to locate appropriate and relevant information.
- The ability to process information relevant to practice.
- The ability to integrate, reflect on and implement theoretical knowledge in tutorials, professional and field experience settings.
Engagement in quality teaching relies on the understanding and application of theory in practice.
Describes the capacity to apply conventional knowledge and theory of literacy in English language.
- Competent English language and literacy skills for professional and effective delivery of teaching content.
- The ability to accurately acquire information and convey appropriate messages.
- The ability to read and comprehend a range of texts for teaching and learning purposes.
- The capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly manner.
The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for effective preparation and teaching practice.
The ability to acquire information and to clearly and accurately convey information is fundamental to teaching and learning.
All entrants to initial teacher education will successfully demonstrate their capacity to engage effectively with a rigorous higher education program and to carry out the intellectual demands of teaching itself. To achieve this it is expected that applicants’ levels of personal literacy should be broadly equivalent to those in the top 30% of the population.
Standard 3: Program entrants (APST 3.1)
Describes the capacity to apply conventional knowledge and theory of numeracy and its application in teaching.
- Application of knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies to support students’ numeracy achievement.
- Correct interpretation and application of data, measurements and numerical criteria in a range of contexts.
The effective application of numeracy skills is a basic requirement for proficiency in teaching.
All entrants to initial teacher education will successfully demonstrate their capacity to engage effectively with a rigorous higher education program and to carry out the intellectual demands of teaching itself. To achieve this it is expected that applicants’ levels of personal numeracy should be broadly equivalent to those in the top 30% of the population.
Standard 3: Program entrants (APST 3.2)
Information & Communication Technologies
Describes the capacity to use information and communication technologies (ICT) in processes that are fundamental to accessing course content, current teaching practice, and pedagogical practice.
- Knowledge of, and confidence in, the use of ICT in academic, professional and curriculum contexts. (APST 2.6)
- Effective implementation of teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities. (APST 2.5; 3.4)
ICT has become an essential part of the teaching and learning process and is necessary to provide an effective teaching and learning environment consistent with contemporary pedagogy.
Meeting these requirements is necessary for course accreditation and graduate eligibility for registration.
Describes the capacity to have adequate visual acuity to provide safe and effective supervision of children and young people in a range of educational and community settings. (APST 1.6)
- Perform the range of skills associated with the practice of teaching. (APST 4.1)
- Monitor children and young people’s behaviour and safety. (APST 4.2)
Visual observations, examinations and assessment are fundamental to safe and effective teaching practice.
Describes the hearing ability to provide safe and effective supervision of children as well as engage in interpersonal communication at all levels of teaching and learning.
- To effectively participate in learning activities and the range of skills associated with practice teaching.
- For effective interaction with children to provide safe supervision in all educational and community settings.
Functional hearing ability is a basic requirement and is essential for participation in all areas of teaching and learning and is a fundamental requirement for teaching practice.
Strength and Mobility
Describes the ability to use large body movements (gross motor skills) to participate in all movement and physical activities in educational and community settings.
Students demonstrate the ability to move and perform gross motor function required within the range of teaching practice with particular relevance to physical education.
Sufficient gross motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care in regular classrooms. Tasks that involve gross motor skills include sitting, lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting and bending. Students in regular classrooms must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to themselves and others.
It is an APST requirement that educators are able to undertake a wide range of physical tasks and classroom routines. Meeting these requirements is necessary for course accreditation and eligibility for registration.
Describes the ability to use fine body muscles and manual dexterity (fine motor skills) to participate in all fine movement physical activities in educational and community settings.
Students demonstrate the ability to use fine motor skills to provide safe effective education and care.
Sufficient fine motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise education and care. Tasks that involve fine motor skills include being able to grasp, press, push, turn, squeeze and manipulate various objects. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to themselves and others.
It is an APST requirement that educators are able to undertake a wide range of fine motor tasks and classroom routines.
This content is adapted from the University of Western Sydney's Inherent Requirements and includes copyright used under licence from the University of Western Sydney. All Inherent Requirements appearing in this document are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International licence. The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website.