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Criticism of teachers in The Australian

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 12 November 2014

The following letter was submitted for possible inclusion in The Australian of Tuesday 11 November 2014. Unsurprisingly, it was not selected for publication.

Standards in teaching and journalism

A recent editorial referred to “declining classroom standards” and asserted that ‘few teachers these days are familiar with classic literature or how to teach it” (“Boost tertiary courses to improve teaching quality”, 7/11). In support of the latter view, a single letter from a reader was cited but no research was mentioned.

There was a time when the editorial comment in reputable newspapers had some basis in evidence that went beyond mere anecdote. Mind you, I have heard teacher friends remark that press standards have been declining for decades and these days few journalists seem to be able to distinguish fact from opinion.

I suspect that most fair minded Australians would hold the nation’s teachers in higher esteem than its journalists.

Garry Collins
President, Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)

Garry Collins, AATE PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, AATE President
About: Garry Collins is the Immediate Past President of ETAQ and began a 2 year term as AATE President on 1 January 2014. A retired high school English teacher, he now works in the School of Education at the University of Queensland as a sessional tutor in English curriculum courses.
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