I have been saying over and over again that something has to be done about the poor quality of teacher training. I have written to education ministers and tried to sell the message through this site, that improved teacher training was a must. Even though I was certain that an overhaul of our teacher training courses would bring immediate results, I felt that no politician would have the courage to even look at this area, let alone actively take the project on.
I am overjoyed to be proven wrong:
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne will announce on Wednesday a far-reaching review into teacher training in a bid to make education degrees less ”faddish” and ”ideological”.
Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven – a vocal opponent of minimum entry scores for teaching degrees – will chair an eight-member advisory panel to report to Mr Pyne by the middle of this year.
An eight-member ministerial advisory group will report by the middle of the year on how education degrees at universities can better prepare new teachers.
“There is absolutely no reason at all why Australia, as one of the wealthiest countries in the world … shouldn’t have the best teacher training in the world,” Mr Pyne told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.
“I want it to be more practical, I want them to have better experiences in the classroom rather than in universities and I want it to be less theoretical.”
Mr Pyne said the only way the federal government could influence teacher quality was by looking at university courses.
He suggested the standard was too low because very few people failed teaching degrees.
But he said imposing minimum entry scores for teaching degrees was a “blunt instrument” that would not guarantee quality.
Instead he wants the advisory body to have a particular focus on in-classroom training.
“My instinct is that the more a teacher is in the classroom learning on the job about how to teach people how to count and to read, the better,” he said.
Amen to that!
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