Important non-academic attributes in Australian initial teacher education

Publication Name

Australian Educational Researcher


Current policy initiatives are requiring Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers to select teachers with both the academic and non-academic attributes that ensure their suitability for teaching and their classroom readiness. Research evidence has linked non-academic attributes to teacher quality, student learning outcomes, teacher retention and career satisfaction and success. This study identifies attributes as core, common and contextual across Australia’s ITE providers. We apply the work of Rimm-Kaufman and Hamre (The role of psychological and developmental science in efforts to improve teacher quality. Teach Coll Rec 112(12):2988–3023, 2010) to interrogate the non-academic attributes associated with success in teaching. Our findings revealed a wide range of selection tools and approaches used by Australian ITE providers, reflecting commonality and contextual differences in the non-academic attributes for teaching. We argue that an awareness of what is ‘core’ is important so that ITE providers can move beyond simple compliance to the important task of guidance, development, practice and exposure, while building and nurturing authentic opportunities for preservice teachers’ social and relational growth.

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