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	ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
Acknowledgements
The breadth and depth of the research and 
development work undertaken within the suite 
of teacher education programs at the University of the Sunshine Coast during 2012, was 
made possible through the collegial work of the education staff, the advice and guidance of 
Professor Noel Meyers and Ass
ociate Professor Deborah Heck and the valued contributions 
from staff in other disciplines, pre
service teachers, members of the wider education 
community and teacher education colleagues in other universities in Queensland and beyond.
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
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funding
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Vol 38, 8, August 2013
form of the eventual
programs
. In addition to this, a re
conside
ration of the structure of the 
Bachelor of Education pr
ograms 
for Secondary 
(currently the Combined Degrees which were 
going to become Double Degrees) is bei
ng undertaken by Academic Board.
Thus, internal 
threads as well as external o
nes have the potential to be un
ravelled and re
woven in the 
emerging tapestry
in the months to come. 
However, n
o matter what the precise requirements turn out to be in order 
for the 
programs to be approved
eeping sight of the big picture 
(the 
emerging 
final tapestry) 
essential.
The richness of both the weaving process a
nd the
end product w
ill effectively 
empower teacher educators to deliver both a practical and a visionary product which, it is 
anticipated, will 
serve
the needs of
and inspire
future teachers. 
Even though t
he current state 
of play
is one of
pausing with the wea
ver’s shuttle in hand
, observing 
the process of 
change 
and ascertaining whether there 
can 
be a successful
integrat
ion
of 
all required
elements
in 
order for us to be able to offer these new programs during 2014
is the focus at the time of 
writing
It is cle
, however,
that 
the 
integrated, 
collaborative and creative approach 
reflected 
in the metaphor of the tapestry
which leads to cognitive understanding of the complex 
process involved in current re
dev
elopment obligations regarding 
eacher education 
program
can continue to be used 
this program re
development process 
in the near future, 
and in 
other similar contexts
The process and methodology embarked on in this context has formed the basis 
for the development of a tapestry
inspired model and will bec
ome the focus of further study 
and application.  In the meantime, it remains
an important
practical
consideration 
for 
the 
future as to whether
the tapestry of 
developing 
eacher education 
program
continue to 
emerge 
through 
effective 
colla
boration
hin the currently
ever
changing
internal
and 
external parameters
. The end goals of rigour, inspiration and relevance must remain central to 
the teacher education tapestry loom so that they can have a creative, energising and practical 
impact on
quality 
rning and 
hing in 
our schools.
At an 
education staff m
eeting held at the Universit
y of the Sunshine Coast during 
March 2013
, the complexity entailed in the process of re
developing 
eacher education 
program
s was described at times as a 
series of door
s which had to be opened
, a 
series of 
hoops which had to be jumped through
and, as described in this reflection, a 
tapestry, 
waiting to be woven carefully with all the essential threads and fibres
The outcome of this 
particular discussion served t
affirm 
that teacher educators 
are passionate about retaining 
aesthetic qualities of 
eacher education 
program
s in the midst of compliance requirements. 
They know that only then, will they be sure that the end results can serve the teachers of 
tomorrow we
, and that we will have reached Dyson’s ‘Landscape of Transformation’ (2007
. And so, i
remains a
dream and vision, 
that each 
eacher education 
program
become
tapestry of rich and royal hue,
An everlasting vision of the ever
changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold,
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.
Lyrics of 
Tapestry
by Carole King, 1971 
(Perone, J. 2006
Glossary 
AECEC
Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority
AITSL
Australian In
stitute for Teaching and School Leadership
AQF
Australian Qualifications Framework
QCT
Queensland College of Teachers
SCSEEC 
Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood
TEQSA  
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
Pedagogical Symbolism of 
the 
Tapestry 
Metaph
For the 
contributors to this process of program re
development 
to 
understand 
more fully the complexity of the task they were involved in, t
he 
teacher education tapestry
metaphor expounded 
here 
is an example of a 
cognitive metaphor
in that it associates an
object to an experience outside the object's environment
. Lakoff and Johnson 
(1980) 
refer
to 
this type of analogy as a
‘conduit metaphor
, in that ideas or objec
ts can be put into words or 
‘containers’ and then sent along channels or conduits, 
to a listener who takes that idea or 
object out of the container and makes meaning of it
(pp3 
The process 
was enhanced 
metaphor of the tapestry in order for all 
stake
holders 
to make meaning of it
(Lakoff and 
Johnson, 1980).
The aesthetic qualities of using the tapestry as a metaphor are al
so of pedagogical 
value to the teaching t
eam at the University of the Sunshine Coast. 
Visc
her asserted 
that 
when we
look at a painting, we ‘feel ourselves into it’
through the visual metaphors 
inherent in the work of art. Whittock (1992) 
maintains
that n
onlinguistic metaphors 
can 
be 
the
foundation of an empowering
experience across
all the Visual and Performing Arts
hilst
Schroeder 
(2010) expound
the elevating qualities which can be the result of artistic 
metaphor: 
From an aesthetic perspective,
artists create images that abstract and reify 
things, people and holy figures. They have honed these skill
for centuries
building up a visual vocabulary
that expresses our highest hopes and our 
deepest failures
’ (p28)
In addition, t
he type of metaphor chosen can impact significantly on the 
receiver’s perception of the concept/ situation/ process or scenario being portray
ed and it can 
be argued that the tapestry metaphor 
have the potential to create an image in the mind’s 
eye of the receiver which enhance
what otherwise 
could 
be seen to be a dull and 
bureaucratic process. Sergiovanni (1994) describes the poor image c
reated by educational 
administrator’s choice of metaphors such as 
factories
for their learning environments
, when 
something more community
oriented
, creative
or altruistic would enhance the receiver’s 
impression.
Sergiovanni (1994), maintaining that root
metaphors shape the way we 
understand,  reflects on the important use of metaphor in this context by asserting
that y
can’t borrow character, you have to create it
’ (p214).
Creating character to enlighten, 
empower and inspire is at the root of the tap
estry metaphor. 
Utilising the Dyson (2007) 
framework to depict the stages in the developing consciousness of the phenomenon posed by 
the metaphor of tapestry weaving for teacher education program design (as shown in Figures 
, 2 and 3) adds a practical pers
pective to our assertion that metaphoric use is pedagogically 
sound.
The 
Tapestry 
is a Work of Art in Progress
At the time of writing, working towards the goal of establishing both 
ndergraduate and 
graduate e
ntry 
Bachelor of Education p
rograms of qual
ity is an artwork (a 
tapestry) still in progress. 
As the deadline
for both internal and external approvals and 
accreditation for
the re
developed programs loom
, the big picture task of leading this process 
for
change is accompanied
by the crucial micro
aging tasks of cross
checking
the details 
of each course, map
ping the professional standards, graduate a
ttributes
, generic s
kills
and 
threshold learning o
utcomes
and complying with all mandated requirements in the 
submissions. 
There is a
complicating fact
or of amendments to
the 
University
cademic 
olicy
and more recent stipulations from AITSL
, both of which will 
impact on the shape and 
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
instead of simply one of ‘project mentality’
are aspects which need
serious consideration by 
all accreditatio
n bodies and other stake
holders for the effective emergence of excellent 
teacher education programs
Our Tapestry
Despi
te the blocks we encountered during the process, o
ur teacher education re
development model began to emerge
during 
the 
early stages of the
program re
development 
process, 
with 
a focus on
myriad sources of consultation (‘threads’) which were woven into a 
ther organic tapestry in a horizontal f
ashion:
igure 5
Tapestry of Teacher Education Re
development, 2012
ee Glossary for explanatio
n of 
acronyms and abbreviations)
This tapestry model
(Figure 5
grew somewhat haphazardly. Even though the 
metaphor
of a woven tapestry 
seemed appropriate 
early on
, the end result was more of a 
bricolage
(Denzin and Lincoln, 2003) as the threads were added at random. 
During 2012, 
the Education Team were also engaged in developing Core Values and these would need to 
e incorporated into the tapestry as we progressed.
The Education Team’s Core Values were the result of staff consultation, 
and they 
encompassed the following concepts:
Transformative and Informed Practice
Social Justice and Inclusion
A Future Orientation
Community Capacity Building
As the process developed it became increasingly apparent that these values 
were the stabilising values amidst the myriad threads we were working at unravelling 
and they would be the strengths of our eventual program in 
that they would reflect 
an owned process of establishing what was important to us as teacher educators at the 
University of the Sunshine Coast, in designing and delivery teacher education 
programs of quality.
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
Phases of the Program Re
development 
Process
YEAR 1
YEAR 2
YEAR 3
YEAR 4
Internal Consultation and Collaboration
Program Proposals and Course Outlines 
written
writing, amendments, double 
checking documentation
nternal Accreditation
External Accreditation
Advertising 
QTAC 
Enrolments
Practical preparation including time
tabling 
Commencement of Programs
Figure 4
Time
line for Teacher Education Program Development and Accredi
tation at the University of 
the Sunshine Coast in 2013.
Not only are the inherent time
scales involved in the program re
development 
process 
potential 
blocks to achieving effective reforms to these programs
, but so are the 
difficulties involved with deve
loping the number of new courses which have to be written, 
proposed and justified internally and externally during the time available for University 
Learning and Teaching Committees to consider them. To date, the education team have 
written 34 new course o
utlines with all the associated documentation, in addition to the 
documentation required for 5 completely new teacher education programs. In hindsight, it 
would have been more beneficia
l to allocate additional time for
the presentation of such a 
significan
t number of proposals at the internal approvals stage of the process, in order to 
ensure comprehension of the 
complex teacher
education tapestry being woven.
The cycle for refor
m within educational contexts appears to get shorter and 
sho
rter with what Full
an (1992
) describes as ‘political pressures combin(ing) with the 
segmented, uncoordinated nature of educatio
nal organisations to produce a ‘project mentality
which leaves 
teachers and the public with a 
growing cynicism 
that innovation i
s marginal and 
politically motivated
(p3)
fore, there
are
blocks to the process of 
teacher education 
program re
development 
indicated here in terms of the length of time for accreditation
, in 
conjunction with prediction of the introduction of ren
ewed cycles of reform before 
innovations can be actualised. W
ith 
this ‘
project mentality
approach to the task
, it is possible 
that 
the 
project
may be doomed to failure before the next cycle of reform appears on the 
horizon
Fullan’s solutions 
to this ch
allenge 
include
1) reform must focus on the development and interrelationships of all the main 
components 
of the system simultaneously
curriculum, teaching and teacher 
development, community, student support systems, and so
on, and 
2) reform must focus
not just on structure, policy, and r
egulations but on deeper issues 
of the 
culture 
of the
system.
’ (p
Consequently, it became apparent that these
issue
of t
he t
ime required to develop 
such 
teacher education 
programs 
and the change of focus to
one of 
a ‘culture of reform’ 
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
here were 
also many practical considerations such as 
the on
going logistical 
complications of succes
sfully aligning University and School C
alendars for the purposes of 
industry placem
ent and professional 
learnin
experience. 
In addition, e
ducation courses often 
have to be offered in a shorter time
frame than the length of time allocated to courses in the 
discipline areas, in order to create available time for the professional learning experience to 
be undertaken
during a specific study session
. This duality of length of courses poses a real 
challenge in that portions of the discipline course
are planned to
be offered during 
such 
periods when pre
service teachers are on their pro
fessional learning experience. Furth
ermore, 
ignificant changes were in process with regard to 
the number and timing of 
study sessions 
being offered by the University, and
thus, the
aligning 
of 
some of the planned courses in 
summer sessions and in the mid
year break proved to be more complex
, given that census 
dates for all of these sessions generally dictated when a certain proportion of assessment had 
to have been completed by.
But, as the process began to take shape, it was t
he need to comply with academic 
frames for 
submissions and accreditation with National and State jurisdictional bodies 
which emerged as one o
f the greatest challenges
to a creative and collaborative process
(see 
Figure 4
. Early on, 
AITSL (through 
the Queensland College of Teachers (
QCT
) advised 
that 
9 months would 
be 
required for the external accreditation process
, and, internally we 
were advised that we 
would need to allow ample time for the Faculty Learning and Teaching 
Committee to understand and consider all the proposals in order to progre
ss them to 
Academic Learning and Teaching Committee and finally to Academic Board for approval
Thus
we made 
a conse
rvative estimate of 15 months 
for internal approval and external 
accreditation. However,
there were
crucial components at each end of this 
time frame
. The 
consultation, collaboration and proposal
writing phase of the process
, of necessity, 
took 9 
months prior to submission to Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee, and
when final 
accreditation for the programs is received, there 
would need
to be a 
period of 6 months in 
which the programs
can be advertised through QTAC 
(in order for us to secure enrolments 
for the following year) 
and 
an internally 
allocat
ed amount of
time is given for time
tabling, 
facilities planning and sustainable enrolmen
ts to be realised
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
with its perceived benefits. 
The difficulties experienced by our team at the University of the 
Sunshine Coast in satisfying all the stipu
lated requirements from myriad jurisdictional bodies 
whilst trying to be true to the mission of the education team is echoed by Ormond (2012), 
who claims that ‘the chief difficulty in writing a new teacher education course lies in just 
where one should beg
in’. She explains that another challenge is the ‘necessary amalgamation 
of appropriate models and mandated standards, all of which must be mapped and explored. It 
would seem that duplicate tasks of accommodating myriad requirements into teacher 
education p
rograms are being performed around Australia in 2013 and that it is timely to 
underline the need to review what teacher educators must do to comply wi
th accreditation 
requirements and to ask the question of whether some liai
ons between relevant bodies can
be 
realised in the near future.
From 
particular 
perspective, some challenges to 
accomplishing the program 
development task were encountered. The very nature of the work engaged in by academic 
staff, with its imperatives of research outputs, as well 
as specific teaching commitments 
which can span across a long working day, meant that planning for whole team collaboration 
and consultation proved difficult. 
n a new university such as the University of the Sunshine 
Coast, program and course development 
has been a priority 
in the first years of the existence 
of the education discipline in order to establish the programs and courses
other universities 
already have in place
, leaving little time for further contemplation
. The pre
dominance of 
early career ac
ademics in this context, with many 
colleagues 
in the process of completing the 
PhDs or in establishing an academic publications profile
, has been another additional focus 
which has left less time to participate in this current program redevelopment process
here 
gathering together the whole team proved impossible, individual sessions were arranged, 
which proved effective for specific feedback but did not provide opportunities for team 
ownership of the process (and end result) to the degree anticipated. Add
itionally, engagement 
must not be perceived to be more 
of a 
ritual than reality (Hendricks et al, 2008) otherwise it is 
unlikely for there to be the anticipated successful outcomes to the change management 
process. In this situation, logistical and percept
ual challenges proved to be inhibitors to the 
process.
Another human relations aspect of this process revolved around
the territorial 
nature of the co
ordination of programs and courses by specific academic staff 
which 
understandably caused consternation w
hen the possibility of significant changes was 
highlighted. The difficulty of incorporating successful collaborative processes in the face of 
changes which have the potential to 
affect staff members’
roles had to be addressed in this 
situation as did some 
of the other factors impacting successful change management processes 
in higher education contexts as expounded by Brown (2012). It was the case during this 
process at USC that the 
emphasis in the change was to focus on the high importance of 
positive stu
dent experienc
es as the core business of the U
niversity
(Brown, 2012
retrospect, it would have been beneficial to publicly address these potentially far
reaching 
implications of personal significance prior to undertaking the collaborative proce
ss, and have 
this addressed at a senior level within the university. In addition, there is a need, even in a 
relatively new organisation
for 
academic staff to
affirm their role as partners in 
cultural 
change 
along with the need for flexibility and adap
ion
, and to 
come to an 
understand
ing of
the notion of 
'institutional churn', through which institutions regularly re
invent themselves in 
an attempt to better face their changing circumstances
’ (Tight, 2013)
This kind of cultural 
shift takes time to ac
hieve and, in order to pave the way for increased cooperation and 
ownership of our process, there was a need to make more time and opportunities available for 
articulating the ‘churn’ which would be perceived to be happening within the education 
discipline
with regards to the program redevelopment.
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
Figure 3
: The Tapes
try metaphor’s Landscape of Transformation in the University of the Sunshine 
Coast’s teacher education program redevelopment process in 2012, based on Dyson (2007)
Artistic Blocks
Burton and Steane (2004) maintain that 
just as a tapestry can show a pic
ture 
from a particular long
range perspective, a closer scrutiny reveals knots, threads and colours 
not apparent from a long
distance perspective
’ (p131)
. It has become most apparent to 
edu
cators working on p
service 
eacher education 
program 
developm
ent in the current 
complex accreditation
oriented environment, that each jurisdictional body and stakeholder 
group can clearly see the whole tapestry from their particular long
range perspective, 
but they 
may be 
unaware of the 
knots, threads and colours
which have to be intricately woven to 
satisfy other stakeholders along with their own requirements. Based on the experience of 
eacher education 
program 
development to date at the University of the Sunshine Coast, a 
sustainable solution to this complexi
ty would be for there to be increased communication and 
integration of mandated requirements between all accreditation bodies, governments making 
educational policy and professional associations. The creation of a template for 
eacher 
education 
program
s to
which all interested parties could contribute, could potentially provide 
benefits to both tertiary providers and accreditation bodies, and diminish the inefficiencies, 
blocks and frustrations associated with the current challenging mission.
This could be 
the 
subject of further research and proposal, building on initial discussions with the (QCT) 
Queensland College of Teachers at a meeting at the University of the Sunshine Coast in early 
2013. Subsequent to this discussion, QCT has announced professional de
velopment for 
program developers accommodating the AITSL and the specific Queensland 
requirements. It 
is hoped that there can be some liaison between other jurisdictional bodies in order to 
enhance understanding of other
requirements. Federal Education Min
ister of the time, Peter 
Garrett (2012), highlighted the features and complexities of the accreditation process along 
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ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
program which had 
already accommodated the mandated 
requirement of 
two year full
equivalent post graduate
study in 
eacher education 
(AITSL, 2011). 
This program is unique in 
some aspects of teacher education in that it offers what it describes as a ‘c
linical approach’
rather like what would be experienced by trainee nurses and doctors, by
providing
continuous 
onnections between what is studied at university with what is experienced in schools 
through 
practical involvement in the classroom for two day
s a week from very early on in the 
program of study (University of Melbourne, 2013). Increased practical experience and the 
associated improvements in confidence and expertise on the part of the pre
service teacher 
were evaluated by our team at the Univers
ity of the Sunshine Coast to be very important 
considerations, and the way that the University of Melbourne was accommodating this need 
into the design of their programs was one that we would learn from. In addition, t
he pros and 
cons of offering a Level 8
(Australian Qualifications Framework
) teaching 
qualification such as the one offered at the University of Melbourne was discussed, and 
further investigations about this would be made at a later date. Further research would 
continue to 
be done in the
following months to ascertain what level of post
graduate teacher 
education programs would be 
planned to be 
offered by other Queensland universities as the 
two year requirement for post
graduate students came into force, as well as discerning what 
potenti
al consumers 
and future teachers 
would want to be able to undertake. 
In addition to researching what 
the current offerings 
from each tertiary provider 
were 
at the beginning of 2012, it was important to develop partnerships with other Universities to 
hare what was planned for the future. 
The work undertaken by
Margaret Lloyd through an 
OLT F
ellowship towards the end of 2012, and 
the 
subsequent kno
wledge and understanding 
she
shared at 
workshop sessions at 
the University of the Sunshine Coast 
and throug
electronic 
ccess to program development materials
devised for the purpose of collegial 
sharing
across a number of Universities, 
provided further opportunities for reflection and for 
the effective progression of 
the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 
cher education 
program 
development
(Lloyd, 2013).
Externally, the 
many threads
ded to in the tapestry metaphor
included the 
full range of the 
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (
AITSL
Professional Standards for Teachers
(AITSL, 
the Queensland Government’
response 
to the National requirements 
(Queensland Government, 2011), 
the Threshold Learning 
Outcomes of the Australian Qualifications Framework
Australian Government, 
the 
stringent accreditation guidelines of TEQS
(Tertiary Education Quality and Standards 
Agency, 20130) 
and 
the additional requirement
s from the Queensland 
College of Teachers 
for the accreditation of Queensland 
Teacher education 
program
(Queensland College of 
Teachers, 2011). 
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
two y
ear full
time equivalent 
mandated education 
urses. The balance between the 
discipline area study a
nd that of e
ducation courses remains unchanged i
n the proposed 
transference to Double D
egree p
rograms, but the changes to 
academic p
olicy at the 
University of the Sunshine Coast had made mandatory other key aspects including the need 
for accreditation of t
he two 
teaching areas within the same d
iscipline
area
Secondly, the need 
to e
nsure that the University’s graduate a
ttributes 
and generic s
kills 
(University of the 
Sunshine Coast, 2013) 
were mapped across all undergraduate programs and linked to the 
Thresh
old Learning Outcomes of Level 7 of 
the Australian Qualifications
Framework 
Australian 
Government, 
) was a
nother
high priority. Administratively, implications of 
changes to the existing programs, the numbers of courses offered, the transitional 
arrang
ements to existing 
teacher education 
students that would be needed and future 
marketing, enrolment and timetabling concerns, all had to be discussed and woven into the 
emerging 
tapestry. 
Consultation within the University involved gauging the opinions of 
staff and 
students through thei
r participation in collaborative workshop
sessions and through written 
feedback. T
he external
ducation community was consulted thro
ugh the Education Advisory 
Committee
meeting
during 2012 regarding 
what were the important c
haracteristics of 
teacher education program
from the local schools’ perspective. Of special in
terest were any 
changes to the p
essional l
earning components
, and what would be beneficial to include in 
the revised programs. 
For example, thr
ough the delibe
rations of the Education Advisory 
ommittee, co
nfusion regarding whether the
intention of the AITSL (2011
) English 
Language requirements being 
applied to 
entry or exit levels 
of teacher education programs 
was debated, and from the C
ommittee’s proposals whi
ch ensued, clarification was sought 
(and received) from the Queensland College of Teachers. 
This clarification e
nsures that the 
mandated 
English Language proficiency
level
demonstrated on entrance to 
eacher 
education 
program
s at the University of the S
unshine 
Coast, 
and not at exit, thus 
assuring
local schools supervising our pre
service t
eachers on practicums that appropriate levels of 
comprehension and communication can be expected fr
om those who have English as a 
second l
anguage. 
The topic of the 
ffective 
supervision of teachers on practicum a
nd the 
triadic relationship of c
m teacher, student teacher and university s
upervisor
(Atputh
asamy, 2005, p2) 
also debated
at these Education Advisory 
Committee 
meetings 
during 2012
, in order to sa
tisfy both school and student perspectives
In addition, 
tapping into 
the collective wisdom of
academic 
which included 
significant teaching experience in schools as well as at tertiary level, was fundamental to
ensuring
that proposals were academical
ly rigorous, relevant and practical at the same time
research 
conducted 
into teacher quality and the ways in which this influences scho
ol 
culture (Simon, 2007) and my
own practical experience of 
teaching and administering in 
schools was a
lens through
which much of the gathered information 
could be viewed
during 
consultation sessions
Finally, and
most importantly, 
full consideration of 
the
Core Values of 
the E
ducation T
eam’s workshopped outcomes from collaborative sessions held during 2012 
would be c
rucial to our program
development process. 
External Threads
An important 
early on 
in the program re
design process 
to undertake a
bench
marking 
comparison of the University of the Sunshine Coast
’s 
eacher education 
program
s with those offe
red elsewhere in Australia and internationally
noting
rities, 
strengths and
differences
The University of Melbourne’s Master of Education
was a
striking 
example
of the development of a significantly different program from the majority analysed
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
However, 
the need for economic rationalism as well as creativity and inspiration 
emerging
as an essential criterion in highe
education during
this time of expansion
and 
it had direct impact on the ways in which the teacher education programs were to be re
developed. It is a time when
overnment policy increasingly directs universities to act as 
corporations, informed by 
econo
rationalism
as much as a pursuit of knowledge
(Kent, 
Some aspects of economic rationalism and its impact on teacher education 
programs are expounded by Ling (2012
), in which she 
discusses
increased 
staff/student ratios, reduction of
hours for teaching 
university courses, obsession with 
profit margins and cost
driven budget models’. She maintains that there are indications that
policies
which ema
nate from ‘New Right ideologies’ and ‘neo
conservative and neo
liberal 
policies
in bot
h Aus
tralia and globally have led to 
a situation in which ‘successive 
governments have underfunded 
higher
education’
Rooney and Hearn’s (2000) portrayal of 
the tensions within higher education of the concerns of ‘mind, markets and machines’ 
continues to 
be a real challenge for many universities and their various faculties 
as the
ability 
to focus on ideology has the potential to 
diminish when 
achieving increased 
economic 
efficiency in 
competitive
tertiary environment
. Their analysis provides a provocativ
e image 
of the challenges of ideology and 
functionality with a university 
n example of this 
being 
the 
opportunity 
to c
ombine cohorts of teacher educat
ion students into the same courses when 
it is more ideologically sound to separate them into year of st
udy, level of expertise or stage 
or subject of teaching. 
For these reasons, the University of the Sunshine Coast was 
experiencing the same demands to balance ideology and economic efficiencies, and this 
requirement had a
direct impact on our pro
gram re
dev
elopment work. 
It is appropriate also 
to reflect on current potential funding implications for all universities in Australia, as these 
will add to the
influences on the rationalisation
of courses offered across all programs, 
teacher education ones included
he 
recommendations of the 
Gonski ‘Review of Funding 
for Schooling
Final Report
Australian Government, 
, negotiations with 
State Governments and the 
ensuing 
highly
charged public 
debate will 
potentially result in
significant 
changes in te
rtiary fun
ding
. This, in turn, will 
have further impact on staff/student 
ratios, numbers of courses and programs being offere
d and the need for other strategies to 
improve fi
nancial viability of higher educa
tion provision generally and
teacher education 
urses offered in particular.
Additionally, 
with the changing and e
ver
more demanding landscape of
jurisdictional bodies relating to 
teacher education
, there was little alternative but to re
visit 
the dept
h and breadth of courses, to establish a
balance bet
ween 
the 
mandated components 
in order to comply with all that was required for the foreseeable future
) and
to ensure 
the 
viability of the programs as a whole. There were increased numbers of enrolled students in
teacher education 
the University of the 
Sunshine Coast 
but also
a growing number of 
programs 
and courses 
to 
cater to
the different 
phases of schooling. D
iscovering ways to 
streamline the delivery of mandated components across all phases
would be welcomed as part 
of this push for increased viabil
and economic rationalism
Internally, the Academic Board of the University of the Sunshine Coast had made 
changes 
to 
academic p
olicy which had, as a consequence, impacted on the current 
teacher 
education program
s. Firstly, there was the need to re
deve
lop 
the existing 
Combined D
egree 
rograms 
as Double D
egree p
rograms, with the inherent implications
for combinations of 
teaching areas which this would lead to. 
The secondary p
service 
teacher education 
program
s at the University of the Sunshine Coast up
until this point 
have
been based on two 
year f
ull
time equivalent study in a d
iscipline a
rea, majoring in one subject
. This course of 
study 
can lead to satisfying the requirements
for a major teaching area, in combination with 
studying courses leading to 
satisfying the requirements for a minor teaching area
. This 
program of study in the d
iscipline areas 
plus a number of c
ore courses
, is combined with 
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
and similarities of aspects of the process were noted: complexity of the task, the aesthetic 
nature of the whole, t
he integration of crucial threads and the increased understanding of the 
phenomenon on the part of those involved
Queensland’s 
Learning Guidelines for 
Kindergarten Teachers 
(Queensland 
Studies Authority, 
2010) illustrate
the complexity of 
the teacher’s d
ecision mak
ing process as 
like weaving a piece of fabric
ver time the 
fabric takes shape. Each piece of fabric is different. Sometimes it is smooth; other times it is a 
bit uneven
’ (p8)
The
creative elements 
of the tapestry metaphor 
symbolise 
the high
revered, 
altruistic and important n
ature of learning and teaching which will enhance its stature and 
invaluable contribution to the world
. Hattie’s research (2003) underlines the high importance 
and effectiveness of 
deep representations
in the teachin
g and learning process. If the aim of 
teacher education program
s is to educate potential teachers to facilitate the best poss
ible 
learning in the students of
their future classrooms, there is an imperative to role
model this 
capacity i
n University 
eacher 
education 
program
s and to demonstrate the impact that such 
approaches as 
deep representations
can have on the learner. Through the design and 
delivery of well
woven 
eacher education 
program
s, students will
be able to observe ‘exper
t’ 
teacher e
ducators d
elivering 
owledge that is more integrated
relating
current lesson 
content to o
ther subjects in the curriculum
and making
lessons uniquely their own by 
changing, combining, and adding to them according to their students’ needs and their own 
goals
ttie, 2003, p5)
Another aspect of teacher behaviour which increases effectiveness 
for the learner, according to Hattie’s research, is for them to adopt a ‘problem
solving 
approach to their work. The successful inter
weaving of academic requirements, profe
ssional 
standards and internal accountabilities culminate in a product (the teacher education program) 
which demonstrates this same capacity to solve myriad requirements simultaneously, and this 
is role
modelled to pre
service teachers undertaking the prog
ram.
Weaving the Tapestry
at the University of the Sunshine Coast
Fundamental to the re
development of the 
eacher education 
program
s was 
the 
analysis of 
what was currently offered 
at the University of the Sunshine Coast
and elsewhere
d what was stipulated in terms of 
the 
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
TEQSA
regarding the 
Australian Qualification Framework (
AQF
levels for each of our 
programs
Understanding the Threshold Learning Outcomes relevant to each of the leve
was of paramount importance in order for the University to achieve accreditation with the 
tertiary accreditation authority. 
It 
was observed 
that 
across all 
the 
eacher education 
program
offered at the University of the Sunshine Coast 
the three Combin
ed D
egr
ees (of Bach
elor of 
Education with Bachelor
of Business, Arts or
Science)
and
the Graduate Diploma
in 
Education (Primary and Secondary)
a large number of requ
ired and elective courses had 
been written and were available
. Having an understanding o
f the depth and breadth of the 
content and learning outcomes for each of these could only be achieved with the input from 
staff currently involved in these 
programs and 
courses. Frequent individual conversations and 
a series of consultative sessions 
provid
ed 
essential illumination
to current practice and to 
what staff felt were vital
ingredients of best practice
, as well as ensuring that a student
centred lens 
was adopted
Burton and Steane
(2004
), in utilising the tapestry metaphor in 
relation to the proc
ess of synthesising in research, believe that there should be a weaving 
together and integration of the threads or arguments that are contai
ned in previous writings on 
the 
topic
. Within our context
it would also be important to preserve and include those p
olicy 
documents, program outlines and course details which were valued and deemed beneficial to 
the integrity of the programs.
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
and implemented, this methodology emerged as 
the process by which 
a unique
outcome 
could be realised, successfully addressing mandatory obligations at the same time. 
For this to
be effective
in the long term
, there had to 
continue
to 
be a collective approach 
to weaving in 
the numerous threads 
by all involved in this process
, and not a hierarchical one
, or one that 
was based on a single person holding the decision
making power
(Jones et al, 2012).
As 
expounded by Jones et al, the be
st professional and academic practice is considered to result 
from collective collaboration, as was demonstrated through their research within four 
Australian Universities ‘that 
used a 
distributed
leadership
approach to build 
leadership
capacity in learnin
g and teaching’. 
Thus, the process involved in teacher education program 
development at the University of the Sunshine Coast, began by unravelling what amounted 
to a knotted bundle of threads, including opinions and researched information, through a 
col
laborative process involving a variety of stake
holders.
Figure 2
: The Tapestry metaphor’s Landscape of Consciousness in the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 
teacher education program redevelopment process in 2012, based on Dyson (2007)
Tapestry Fea
tures
and 
Many
apestry analogies have been successfully expounded across myriad 
fields of expertise and disciplines
, highlighting the unique nature of complex 
concepts and 
situations, along with the inter
weaving of stake
holder influences, agen
das and information
Such scenarios, contexts and issues relate to 
organisational change, 
demanding roles and 
responsibilities, 
product renewal
and 
evolving phenomena
. The tapestry metaphor provides a 
creative structure on which to build understanding and 
from which to observe the
benefits of 
applying methodology to 
concepts, 
scenarios 
or tasks 
which appear initially to be chaotic, or 
even random
. Researchers making reference to the nature of tapestry weaving as a metaphor 
include 
Zeveloff et al
(1992), Ro
bbins (1996), Blakemore
Brown (2002)
, Kalitzhus and 
Twohig (2009), 
Ball (1999), Lowenstein (2000), Deegan (1998) and
Head and Clausen (1999) 
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ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
calibre since 2010 (Good Universities Guide, 2010 onwards). Cognisant of this feature of the 
University’s teaching performance, as well as the high level of graduate satisfact
ion, the 
priority was to preserve what was already bei
ng offered with success.  
Its aim for its students 
is that they will emerge as well
rounded, inspiring professionals in their field in this fast 
moving world of the 21
century, displaying t
he Universi
ty’s graduate a
ttributes of being 
empowered, engaged, ethical, knowledgeable
creative and critical thinkers who are 
sustainability
focused
d who possess the University’s generic s
kills of 
communication, 
collaboration, problem
solving, organisation, a
pplying technologies and information literacy
University of the Sunshine Coast, 2013).
Growing rapidly from a 
cohort 
524 students
in 
its first year of operation
, the University enrolled 9,300 students at the start of 2013. Of that 
number, 1145 (12%) w
ere students studying 
teacher education 
program
s, with the majority 
intent on becoming teachers in schools in Queensland, elsewhere in Australia and overseas 
University of the Sunshine Coast, 2013). The significance of this cohort lies not only in 
numbers
and the associated benefits from securing steady growth in enrolments, but in the 
high levels of professional aspiration within the student cohort and the motivation of 
academic staff in teaching the teachers of tomorrow well in order to influence positiv
ely the 
quality of teaching that happens in our schools (Marzano, 2010).
Illuminating Literature
The nature of the challenging times in
servi
teacher education 
is that of 
competing, albeit altruistic, intentions, and this phenomenon is evident in 
other areas of 
higher education (Abbott, 2012). 
Best practice in the art of teaching is illuminated by Hattie 
(2003), Mar
zano(2010) and Darling
Hammond (2006
) and many of these 
findings
were 
considered and reflected upon by the program re
development team.
Similar to current 
societal expectations for schools to provide instruction and guidance in a rapidly growing 
number of aspects of child and ad
olescent development in addition to 
their core business of 
teaching and learning (O’Grady, 2010), tertiary 
er education 
program 
developers are 
also compelled to come to terms 
with a formidable task of ensuring that all components 
expected are accomm
odated satisfactorily in their p
service 
teacher education 
program
(Lloyd, M. 2012). 
The
teacher education 
roviders are discovering the
necessity of serving many 
masters and being compliant with accreditation standards
which
can squeeze out both 
creativity and motivation to remain student
focussed 
the very quality espoused by the 
teachers of the teachers of t
omorrow (Wilkinson, 2011).
If done well, these 
developed 
eacher education 
programs can succeed in inspiring and serving the practical needs of future 
teachers (Ormond, 2012), 
but 
there is evidence in Australia and internationally that attempts 
to incor
porate increased accountability and adherence to mandated standards does not 
necessarily constitute effective reform regarding the quality of learning for our children 
(Tuinamuana, 2011) and so
, in considering the literature available on these aspects of o
ur task,  
the challenge ahead presented itself as
a significant one. 
Consciousness of the Threads
The
consideration of 
the advice of 
many contributors
sets of guidelines, agendas 
and 
policies 
essential. 
ffectively 
empowering the 
education 
team inv
olved 
at the 
University of the Sunshine Coast
to be involved in
a collabo
rative process
was equally 
mportant to the emergence of an effective
theoretical methodology
and finding the perfect 
balance between theory, accountability and creativity
. Once coll
aboration was planned for 
ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
of 
the academic staff
many of 
who
had
valuable
expertise in the
delivery
of 
teacher 
education
, and guidance from admi
nistrators cognisant of the
protocols and processes
within 
the University
The aim of relating this proce
ss metaphorically to that of tapestry weaving was to 
aid our own understanding of the complexities and inter
relatedness of each important strand 
of the process, and to emphasise the dreaming and artistic aspects of the curriculum design 
process in combina
tion with the necessary requirements of the administrator to get the 
programs to the accreditation
worthy 
stage. Additionally, by recording 
experience
with 
academic process
, cur
riculum re
design, collaboration within the tertiary sector and the 
tial inter
play with external accreditation bodies
by means of the metaphor, we hope to 
share our experiences with others charged with similar curriculum design tasks
Our
process 
has
been recorded and reflected upon 
utilising auto
ethnography which, accor
ding to Dyson 
(2007), is
framework for perceiving the rise in consciousness facilitated by the use of 
metaphor, as one moves th
rough the  ‘
Landscap
of Action’
and the ‘Landscape of 
Consciousness’, to the ‘Landscape of Transformation’
The devel
opment of the 
process is highlighted by means of a series of diagrams (
Figures 1, 2 and 3
) based on Dyson’s 
framework for the tapestry metaphor utilised in relating the emergence of our program 
redevelopment. 
Figure 1:
The Tapestry metaphor’s 
Landscape 
of Action in the University of the Sunshine Coast’s teacher 
education program redevelopment process in 2012, based on Dyson (2007)
Our Tapestry Cloth
The University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, established in 1996, 
has demonstrated
succ
ess in organisational envisioning of innovative, sustainable and 
attractive 
ducation programs for contemporary tertiary students in its relatively short history 
(University of the Sunshine Coast, 2013).
The University of the Sunshine Coast had 
demonstrate
d strength in its teaching quality with it receiving five stars for its teaching 
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ust
ralian Journal of Teacher Educa
tion
Vol 38, 8, August 2013
The Weaving of a Tapestry
a Metaphor for Teacher Education 
Curriculum Development
Susan E. Simon
University of 
the Sunshine Coast
Abstract: Teacher educators rightfully dream of delivering inspiring 
programs to benefit future teachers and the students
they will in turn 
inspire. However, in the current teacher education environment in 
Australia, the artisan’s craft of weaving rich texture and producing a 
masterpiece is potentially over
shadowed by the educational 
administrator’s continual focus on the m
apping of professional 
standards to produce an accreditation
worthy product. Responding to 
increased accountability, teacher educators at the University of the 
Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, embarked on re
developing 
programs utilising a process 
akin to tapestry weaving. This metaphor 
enriched contributors’ understanding of the complex process of 
teacher education program re
development and it reflected qualities 
associated with the emergence of a tapestry, including artistic blocks 
and changing p
erspectives, agendas and anticipated outcomes.
Dreamer
rtisan
s or 
dministrators
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, en
wrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night and light and the half
light,
I would
spread the cloths under your feet: but I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tr
ead on my dreams. 
(W.B. Yeats, 1899)
The world over, teacher educators are dreaming, designing and delivering wh
they anticip
ate will be the best possible 
teacher education 
program
s (Stewart, 2010). 
invited to r
esearch ways of 
developing the 
service 
eacher education program
s at the 
University of the Sunshine Coast at the end of 2011, 
in line with eme
rging internal and 
external requirements, 
having been an educator in Queensland Schools
for more than 20 
years, with many
of these as a School Principal. Bringing both
objective and s
chool
orientated
approaches to the task
, as well as a passion for quality
teaching,
were
qualities 
which 
potentially 
could be of assistance i
n achieving the
desired 
outcome
of designing 
effective
programs which would not only 
meet imminent deadlines but
nurture
the 
ownership of staff involved in their delivery.
The 
immedi
ate task was
to research 
available literature on collaborative practices 
and the current challenges posed to tertiary providers of teacher education programs in order 
to be well
informed for the process of consultation and re
development. 
Subsequently, it
crucial to
unearth
the 
range of 
agendas fro
m a plethora of stakeholders, 
requirements from 
jurisdictional bodies in the tertiary sector
and 
the expectations of compliance from the 
professional accreditation bodies placing demands on new program develo
pment 
Hendricks, 
. et al. 
There was much that
needed to be researched, analysed, discussed and 
hypothesised about
. In order for this to happen, it would be im
perative to garner
the support 
us
tr
a
li
a
n J
o
ur
n
a
l of T
e
a
c
h
e
r E
duc
a
tio
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er
sit
y of t
h
e Su
n
s
h
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e Co
as
t, Q
u
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en
s
l
a
n
d
, Aus
tr
a
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n J
o
u
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l of
T
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a
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u
c
a
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io
n
, 38