Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

Shifting the culture of out-of-field professional education for teachers (SCOPE-T)

ARC Discovery Project (2024-2026)

There is an urgent need to understand the factors influencing the pattern of uptake of professional education by out-of-field teachers.
This project will draw on perspectives from schools, governments and professional education providers to answer the following research questions:

  • What factors influence teacher uptake of professional education by out-of-field teachers?
  • What is the ecology of an education system that values diverse pathways towards teachers becoming in-field?

A scoping literature review and policy analysis will inform three interlocking studies:

  • Key stakeholder interviews will capture current policy settings and the varying cultural norms associated with subject specialisations and professional education for out-of-field teachers.
  • A national survey of representatives from across the professional education ecosystem will establish the scope and relative importance of varying factors affecting professional education uptake.
  • A Delphi study will inform an innovative ecological framing of an education system that values diverse pathways towards teachers becoming more specialised by building their teaching capability.

Methodology to Outputs

Our research is predicated on the assumption that teachers and schools are more likely to value and engage with professional education and reduce the incidence of teaching out-of-field when there are defined pathways to becoming ‘in-field’.

The findings will inform an evidence-based framework reflecting current practices and their impacts, an ideal professional education ecosystem comprised of diverse opportunities for re-specialisation, and principles to inform policy and practice needed to attain the ideal.

SCOPE-T website:

Calling for Expressions of Interest: Please click here if you would like to be part of this research