Award restructuring in the Northern Territory education industry
: focus on the master teacher scheme

  • Jennifer Margaret Elvery

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    This study describes and analyses the effects of the award restructuring process on aspects of the Northern Territory education industry. The special focus of the study was the Master Teacher scheme which was a major element of the implementation of award restructuring in the Northern Territory education sector. The study attempts to link conceptions of productivity attached to award restructuring with the effects of the Master Teacher scheme, and then to link these effects with any other conceptions of productivity which arise in the research.

    The data was collected from documents housed with the Australian Education Union (Northern Territory), twenty-five newly-confirmed master teachers, and six school and system administrators. A case study approach was used to determine the relationship between the aims of the award restructuring process and the effects of the Master Teacher scheme. This was cross-referenced with the views of the administrators, and the Northern Territory background to the implementation award restructuring.

    The results indicate that the Master Teacher scheme is generally providing teachers with access to the better careers foreshadowed in the Structural Efficiency Principle. Despite this, there still appear to be problems pertaining to the correlation of those perceived to be 'master teachers' and those who are granted the status. It is likely that this difficulty is also linked with the other significant hindrance to productivity, which is the ways in which the appraisal process and the report which emerges from it can discourage a teacher.

    It also is clear that the Master Teacher scheme is neither the sole means of encouraging productivity nor the sole measure of it. Several of the master teachers indicated that they would have performed in the ways they had anyway, regardless of possible rewards. They were also aware of teachers who did not have master teacher status, but who were working in a highly professional and productive way.

    The ambiguities of the Literature are maintained to a significant degree. Using a selection of possible criteria, a process and a career structure, the Northern Territory Department of Education has sought to measure, reward and encourage productivity in the school system. The findings of this research show that it is not the total picture. Yet it is at least a small picture of how the professional and industrial paradigms of the workplace might join together to recognise the value of productivity in an educational context.
    Date of AwardOct 1994
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJim Cameron (Supervisor)

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