Improved teacher education will put Students First said the Minister’s Media announcement. This was the start of a review, or as Stephen Dinham says “ Minister Pyne announces … yet another education review”. Dinham’s biggest concern [as noted before], is that little changes as a result. If this is as important as indicated by the Minister, and supported by Universities Australia, one hopes that change will occur if it is found to be required. Otherwise, what is the point of the exercise
A quality education begins with the best teachers, says Christopher Pyne, SMH. This is not the only factor, but certainly a primary one. The better the teacher, the more likelihood that higher quality learning will take place. It is less likely to occur if other factors have improved but teachers are not of a quality to generate enthusiasm and higher learning standards. Someone else in agreement with teacher quality but seeming to target different approaches is Adrian Piccoli who is targeting higher ATARs, and the value of double degrees [as in Finland].
The appointment of Greg Craven as head of the group has drawn some support [Universities Australia] but criticism from other sources, such as the Education union [AEU]. This is on the basis of the government ‘appointing a vocal critic of minimum entry scores for education degrees’. Perhaps the other members of the group will balance out this view. However, with Greg Craven indicating that the Australia education system is “not a shambles but it deserves to be improved” one hopes his reference to “improv[ing] the painting in the bathroom” is not indicative of the approach [even if only used as an explanation].
A different emphasis than seems to be taken by the mainstream comments comes from the ABC in programs such as Pyne wants more practical teacher training, where the Minister was interviewed by Waleed Aly and Rebecca Huntley. Another approach is that found in Pyne’s Review Panel: Will it help improve teacher quality ? .
Let the discussions begin and … let something result from it that is to the benefit of the system and the students and ultimately the teachers themselves. Better quality teachers, achieved by whatever means, lead to better learning and more committed and enthusiastic students. This in turn makes teachers’ roles easier and more enjoyable in the future. But, at the very least, let something positive be implemented and achieved. Let us not be stuck with reviews where little changes.
22 February 2014
Following on from previous recommendations why not listen to or download Phil Beadle [Conversations with Richard Fidler] which covers a discussion with Phil Beadle about his experiences teaching in inner city London and how he overcame apathy and children who had sworn off education. Good to have something positive for a change.
To follow on from the major theme above you might also consider Counting the costs of moving teacher training out of universities which looks at a new system in the UK.
It would appear that one review has been completed but will not see the light of day just yet - March has firmed in the betting. David Kemp, et al, have apparently handed in the results of their labours and we can now wait with bated breath for what will ensue.
We are rapidly nearing completion of the transition of the site from the previous version to the new one and this should become available online in about two weeks. There are quite a number of changes beside the obvious cosmetic ones. Hopefully you will find it more usable and useful than what it replaces and that the effort it incurred will be validated. It will certainly take up less bandwidth and be available on a greater number of platforms. Though there are big changes, further modifications will be made to fine tune any glitches that occur. We really are not perfect even though we might claim to be from time to time !
We will add a notification of the exact date once this has been determined.
22 February 2014.
- Student rush for scholarships [The Australian, 7 March]
- TEQSA bill deferred [The Scan, 7 March]
- State of VET in Australian schools … [Ministers’ Media Centre, 7 March]
- Pressure builds on state’s religious instruction educator [The Age, Victoria, 7 March]
- NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli calls for My School website to be scrapped [ABC News, 7 March]
- Focus to shift to school trade training [The Scan, 7 March]
- STEM subjects to blossom under The Future Project [University of Sydney, 6 March]
- Australian unis fall in ranking [The Scan, 6 March]
- WA Premier Colin Barnett doubts teachers want to strike ahead of April 1 walkout over education cuts [Perth Now, 6 March]
- Most schools to open during teacher strike [ABC News, NT, 6 March]
- Funding in doubt for childcare training [The Australian, 6 March]
- Schools struggling to teach binge-drinking, drug-taking students, … [ABC News, 6 March]