CASPer: Teacher Training (The Complete Guide)
CASPer Preparation Specialists
Who Sits this CASPer?
This CASPer exam set features two branches: one for Undergraduate Teacher Education, and one for Postgraduate Teacher Training. This covers courses like Bachelor of Education Early Childhood & Primary, Bachelor of Health & Physical Education, the Master of Teaching Courses, or the Master of Applied Learning & Teaching Secondary. As it stands, CASPer is used for the selection of Teaching applicants only in Australia. The following universities use CASPer as part of their assessment process for those applying to Teaching courses:
La Trobe University
Other schools in Australia will use the CASPer for other courses, like Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, or Allied Health Sciences. You can see our other guides for an overview of CASPer in general, or for specific guidance on the Medicine CASPer.
Raters are drawn from across Australia. They will all have an interest in Teaching, or increasing the quality of Teaching across the country. They might be teachers, lecturers at universities that are using CASPer, involved in administration at universities using CASPer, or otherwise have a link to Teaching. They will not know what schools you are applying to, nor any personal information about you (all the responses they see are completely anonymised). All the raters are given a background on the theory behind scenarios, but no right or wrong answers. The raters will rank your responses against others in your group of applicants.
The Australian Education CASPer cycle runs from September to July.
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As any other CASPer examination, you should be aware of the ten core characteristics being assessed. However, as this test has been developed in conjunction with the AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership), its focus has necessarily been altered to take their key principles into account. The AITSL key principles, as per their 2015 Accreditation of initial teacher education programs in Australia document, are as follows: impact, evidence-based, rigour, continuous improvement, flexibility, diversity and innovation, partnerships, transparency, and research. CASPer will therefore continue to use its ten core characteristics when developing questions for this particular test, but will have given extensive thought to how they, and each question, might fit AITSL’s principles. CASPer for teaching is especially likely to emphasise the most ‘people skills’ orientated domains (communication, collaboration, self awareness and empathy) as Teaching is a profession that relies so heavily on working closely with other people, and the ability to develop strong interpersonal relationships.
The Universities are looking for students that already possess these people skills, as their courses are too short to teach them effectively. These aptitudes might be mainly intrinsic, or could be teachable with enough time.
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Preparation for CASPer Teacher Training
You should combine a general CASPer preparation schedule with specific work aimed at improving your knowledge of the Teaching profession and the principles that underpin it. You should therefore pay great attention to the AITSL website, and thoroughly study the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers document. This will provide you with both specific knowledge, and reminders of how teachers should act in general. You should also bear in mind that your raters will be teachers in Australia, and whilst they will be trained by CASPer to an extent, they will also be relying heavily on the standards and principles that they have been taught by Australian bodies.
Remember that very few – if any – scenarios will be explicitly based on teaching. They are instead more likely to feature a general situation, in which you must enact the correct attitudes and principles. Of particular relevance from the AITSL site is diversity. AITSL emphasises strategies for teaching Aboriginal students, as well as Torres Strait Islander students – whilst the scenarios you face will likely not be this specific, you should make sure that you are well aware of the importance of diversity, how to communicate with others from different backgrounds, and showing empathy and understanding for and towards other cultures.
In general, your preparation should begin around two months before you sit the CASPer, which has been found to be adequate time to reinforce the correct response styles, and to prepare experiences that you can draw upon for each domain. You should use practice questions with model answers, as can be found in our Online Question Bank.
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