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Your Professional Experience Handbook

Your Professional Experience Handbook

by Anne Prescott and Michael Cavanagh
Publication Date: 22/08/2014
RRP  $66.95 $58.75

This Australian handbook presents detailed, practical advice on how preservice teachers can confidently approach professional experience placements and the work they undertake with their mentors.

Throughout the text important research-based evidence and theoretical frameworks are highlighted to provide a lens through which professional experiences can be analysed.

By providing a strong theoretical foundation, the handbook is designed to help preservice teachers to make sense of their classroom experiences and provide guidance on how to improve their pedagogy.

Publication Date:
Pearson Education Australia
1st Edition
Dimensions (mm):

1. Making the most of your professional experience
2. Professional standards for teachers
3. Orienting yourself to the school
4. Orienting yourself to the classroom

5. Lesson preparation
6. Quality learning and teaching
7. Meeting the needs of a mixed range of students
8. Developing and maintaining productive relationships with students

9. A reflective professional experience
10. Working productively with your mentors
11. Your first year of teaching


The handbook is organised into three sections:

The first part deals with the preparations that are necessary before each new professional experience opportunity.

  • Chapter 1 includes a discussion of the influences that shape preservice teachers’ classroom practice and the importance of developing your personal philosophy of teaching. The text also reviews how to plan goals for professional experience and identify strategies to deal with stress and anxiety.
  • Chapter 2 introduces the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2011).
  • Chapter 3 looks at the orientation period in a new school. We identify the important points for discussion during your initial meetings with your mentors and discuss how to make the most of the early stages in professional experience.
  • The transition to the classroom is outlined in Chapter 4, where we identify how to observe lessons, how to discover the classroom norms and routines, strategies for learning students’ names and various methods for motivating students.

The second part of the book focuses on the elements of effective learning and teaching.


  • Chapter 5 presents an analysis of the essential elements of lesson preparation and planning.
  • Chapter 6 considers the research on pedagogical content knowledge and describes the Productive Pedagogies framework. The role of questioning in effective teaching practice is examined and ideas on how to organise and manage whole class discussions are presented . The chapter also includes consideration of research into students’ ideas about the characteristics of effective teachers.
  • Meeting the learning needs of a diverse range of students are discussed in Chapter 7. The important aspects of differentiated instruction is identified.
  • Chapter 8 explores classroom organisation and management. The role of developing and maintaining productive relationships with students in order to engage them in lessons and manage their behaviour is examined.


In the final part of the book , the role of critical reflection in professional experience is considered.

  • Chapter 9 situates critical reflection within the learning and teaching cycle, with particular reference to student assessment and teacher self-evaluation.
  • Chapter 10 examines the importance of working productively with your mentors during professional experience. A particular focus of this chapter is how preservice teachers can approach discussing their lessons with their mentors.
  • To conclude the book, Chapter 11 looks at the transition from preservice teaching to your first year in the classroom after completing your teacher education studies. Advice is provided on how to write a CV, prepare for job interviews and organise a portfolio mapped against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Suggestions are also made on how to approach the first few lessons with a new class, how to build productive relations with your colleagues and with parents/carers, and effective strategies for time management.



  • The chapters in the text begin with a set of specific learning objectives that allow students to check your understanding.
  • Learning from experience boxes provide suggestions on how to apply some of the key ideas discussed in each chapter to professional experience activities.
  • At the end of each chapter is a case study in which a hypothetical scenario related to the chapter content is presented. These case studies include reflection questions designed to help students formulate their own response to the situation.
  • As well as the references list that accompanies each chapter, a list of websites and other resources for further reading and study are also included.

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