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Pre-service teacher education

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 8 September 2016

An edited version of the letter below was published in The Australian on Thursday 8 September 2016. It had been submitted in response to an opinion piece by Jennifer Buckingham in the previous day's edition.

The paper used the heading "Teaching directions" and edited the submitted version by deleting the underlined words and adding those shown in brackets.

Explicit instruction in teacher preparation

Jennifer Buckingham implies that explicit instruction is not taught in education faculties in Australia's universities ("The case for education based on what works", 7 Sep).

She (Dr Buckingham) doesn't explain what data she bases this generalization on, but it doesn't gel with my recent lived experience. I am a retired high school English teacher and department head who now works part-time as a sessional tutor in the School of Education at The University of Queensland (University).

Explicit teaching/instruction is certainly stressed in the courses for prospective secondary English teachers in which I have taught for the last (past) few years. I also appreciate the potential of inquiry learning in appropriate situations, but have never been given any direction that it has to be favoured.

Garry Collins

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
Tags: Teacher education

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