News Archive

Latest Publication

Dr Tracy Durksen and Professor Robert Klassen's latest article in The Australian Educational Researcher:

The development of a situational judgement test of personal attribtues for quality teaching in rural and remote Australia 

16 October 2017

Professor Klassen and Dr. Kim present an overview of how the project focuses on reliably and validly measuring non-cognitive attributes associated with teacher effectiveness for the purpose of selection into ITE programmes in an article titled,  Assessing critical attributes of prospective teachers: Implications for selection into initial teacher education programs.

January 2017

Professor Klassen was featured on the front page of the University of York research website with an article titled, How our research is helping to spot top class school teachers 

New article on teacher selection published by TeacherSelect researchers! Find it here 

15 December 2016: Strathclyde University in Glasgow about to pilot SJTs with around 700 primary applicants

Strathclyde University will be piloting the SJTs with over 700 primary applicants from December 2016. Applicants will be invited to complete the Situational Judgement Test at the end of their selection day. 

7 December 2016: Stranmillis University College in Northen Ireland holds expert workshops 

On the 7th of December, Professor Robert Klassen and Dr. Lisa Kim conducted an expert workshop with teacher educators at Stranmillis University College. Participants found the workshop both challenging and stimulating. Stranmillis will begin piloting the SJTs in their early years programs, with plans to extend to BEd and BA programs over the project timeframe. Key discussions with stakeholders, policy makers and career teams from feeder schools will occur over the coming months. The team at Stranmillis is headed by Audrey Curry, Director of Community Engagement and External Relations. The project will be led by Dr. Glenda Walsh, Head of Early Years Education. 

Stranmillis Workshop 2

November 2016: SJTs pilot begins at Liverpool Hope University

Teacher trainee applicants across primary and secondary, were invited to participate in the SJT pilot at Liverpool Hope University which commenced on the 9th of November. Pilot trials will continue on a weekly basis until May 2017. 

24-25 October 2016: Teacher Selection Workshop for the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science

Lithuania workshop

Professor Robert Klassen and team travelled to Vilnius in Lithuania to conduct a workshop with over fifty teacher educators, teachers and career consultants from across the country. The 2-day workshop was highly productive. The Situational Judgement Tests will be refined for piloting in the near future.  Professor Klassen's interview with the Lithuanian irytas portal can be found here.

August 2016: Teach First collaboration

Teach First, a social enterprise registered as a charity, aims to address educational disadvantage in England and Wales and is the first educational provider to partner in our research. SJTs will be piloted until mid 2017 and it is likely that well over 1500 applicants will voluntarily agree to participate in the research project. 

2 March 2016: Teacher Selection featured in The Guardian

The Guardian published an article written by Professor Rob Klassen, outlining the importance of teacher selection, and exploring the latest research into the traits of successful teachers, and how this could inform recruitment. Read the full article here.

4 February 2016: Lithuanian Ministry of Education meeting

Professor Robert Klassen travelled to Lithuania and met with representatives from the Ministry of Education to discuss a collaboration on the selection process for teacher candidates. Whilst in Vilnius, Professor Klassen was interviewed by national media about his research into effective teacher selection.

25 October 2015: Team update

Lisa Kim is looking forward to relocating to the UK from Australia in January to begin her appointment as Postdoctoral Research Fellow for Professor Klassen’s 5-year ERC-funded teacher selection project. Lisa is currently completing her PhD in Psychology at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia with a focus on how teacher and student personality predict student educational outcomes. She brings with her recent expertise gained through an internship at ETS (Educational Testing Service) in the US and has taught undergraduate courses in statistics, personality, and intelligence. We look forward to welcoming Lisa to the University of York!

17 July 2015: Join our team!

We are seeking to appoint a postdoctoral research fellow to join our 5-year European Research Council-funded project titled, 'Improving Educational Outcomes by Transforming the Selection of Teachers.' The project is led by Professor Rob Klassen, Chair of the Psychology in Education Research Centre in the Department of Education at the University of York in the UK.

The project will build understanding of the psychological characteristics (i.e., non-cognitive attributes such as motivation and personality) of successful teachers and will generate new knowledge about the foundation effective teaching. A key goal of the project will be to develop practice-informed innovative teacher selection procedures, using a situational judgment test (SJT) approach.

You will have a PhD in education or psychology (or be near completion) or a closely-related discipline. It is expected that you will have a strong track record of research and training in education, educational psychology, or organizational psychology. In addition, you will show familiarity with current research on psychological characteristics of effective teachers, teacher selection practices (in the UK and internationally), and teaching effectiveness research. Research expertise in test development and the ability to use advanced quantitative and qualitative methodologies (including longitudinal approaches) will be required.

Your primary activity will be research. You will be expected to work with our team of researchers, to liaise with external groups, and to independently manage multiple projects. You will collaboratively and independently prepare research articles, conference presentations, and presentations to professional groups. Modest teaching duties may be negotiated.

Application closing date: 24 August 2015. For more information, click here.

13 July 2015: University of Budapest

Professor Klassen recently travelled to Budapest to meet with a new collaborator, Janós Györi of Eötvös Loránd University (University of Budapest). They have started a SJT project that will involve two key themes: using a critical incident approach to compare key non-cognitive competencies across cultural settings, and implementing a new teacher selection process in Hungary.

4 March 2015: Improving Educational Outcomes by Transforming the Selection of Future Teachers

Professor Robert Klassen has been awarded a highly competitive European Research Council Consolidator Grant to undertake research focused on the theory- and practice-informed development of innovative teacher selection procedures.

Professor Klassen of the University of York was awarded € 1.4 million to support a 60-month program of research that will develop an evidence-based selection approach based on situational judgment test (SJT) methodology with the potential to identify the critical non-cognitive attributes of prospective teachers. The ERC funding presents an opportunity for a novel high-rewards approach to applied educational psychology research that has the potential to markedly enhance the predictive validity of the selection process, resulting in improved educational outcomes.

For more information, read the press release from the Univeristy of York.

13 February 2015: What does it mean to be a classroom ready teacher in Australia?

The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group for the Australian Government Department of Education calls for evidence-based candidate selection processes and research into the effectiveness of initial teacher education in Australia.

Click here to read the report "Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers" from

12 February 2015: What are other educational experts saying about teacher selection processes?

“Selection to teacher education in Finland focuses on finding those individuals who have the right personality, 
advanced interpersonal skills, and the right moral purpose to become lifelong educators.” – Pasi Sahlberg

Read more from Pasi Sahlberg, one of the world's leading educational experts, in the Washington Post: Teach for Finland? Why it won't happen.

30 December 2014: Collaborating with the Department of Education and Communities in Australia

One of the benefits of using SJTs for selection is that the applicant is presented with situations or scenarios that are contextualized for local settings. Although pilot studies have been successfully carried out in the UK and Canada, we wanted to ensure that we were piloting a test that was relevant to an Australian context.

With the support of the People and Services Directorate of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (DEC), we organised a full-day workshop that allowed for local teachers to:

  • review our existing SJT items for relevance in Australia
  • suggest new SJT items based on experience teaching in New South Wales, Australia
  • consider Rural and Remote Suitability as a new and separate teacher competency 

The purpose of the workshop was to help develop an evidence base for a teacher selection tool that can be piloted and implemented by DEC in New South Wales.

Prior to the workshop, 12 teachers (9 women and 3 men) were invited to:

  • share possible scenarios or critical incidents (for new SJT items) through 30-minute phone interviews
  • provide feedback on three previously identified competencies as well as on the potential inclusion of Rural and Remote Suitability as a fourth teacher competency
  • consider how teacher competencies align with the Australian Professional Standards of Teachers

In total, 37 scenarios were created based on 30-minute phone conversations with the participating teachers. 

  • Eight scenarios targeted more than one domain
  • Most scenarios targeted Resilience and Adaptability (11) and Empathy and Communication (11) 
  • Organisation and Planning was the target area for 7 scenarios
  • Rural and Remote Suitability was not targeted individually, but was targeted in one instance in a scenario along with Empathy and Communication and Resilience and Adaptability

Dec2014 Workshop

During the workshop, Professor Klassen along with PhD students, Tracy Durksen (left) and Lisa Kim (right), led the 12 teachers through individual review and group discussions. In addition to discussing the teacher competencies, teachers offered contextualized suggestions on 32 existing SJT items and provided valuable feedback on the newly developed 37 items.

Thank you to all participating teachers and the staff of Peoples and Services for your time and valuable contributions! We look forward to continuing this SJT development, pilot, and implementation process in 2015. 

Questions? Email 

To learn more about teaching careers through the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities, 
connect with teach.nsw on Facebook

23 July 2014: Join our conversation

We were featured in The Conversation sharing why we believe “Tests used to select people who make good doctors could work for teachers too.


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