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Teacher education review

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 16 February 2015
The recommendations of the TEMAG (Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group) review of teacher education headed by Professor Greg Craven, Vice Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, are now available here http://www.studentsfirst.gov.au/teacher-education-ministerial-advisory-group

On that page you'll also find links to a fact sheet and the federal government's response.

The following two letters commenting on aspects of the recommendations were submitted for possible publication on Monday 16 February 2015, the first in The Australian and the second in The Courier-Mail. Alas, neither made it into print.

University courses and workforce requirements

One of the recommendations of the recently released review of teacher education is that universities should "take into account national workforce needs, in consultation with employers, when making decisions about student intake to better respond to market demand". Should this principle also be applied to other professional degrees such as law? Aren't many more lawyers trained than can be employed in the legal profession?

It could be argued that a place in a law course was wasted on Christopher Pyne because he worked as a solicitor for only a few years before embarking on a career as a political staffer and politician.

Garry Collins

Teacher education and red tape

Based on the recently released review of teacher education, the federal government intends to "increase the rigour of course accreditation". On top of what is currently required, universities will need to provide evidence that their courses will ensure that "teacher education students possess the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the classroom".

Whether or not this is a good idea, it does seem like increased red tape to which the government has often claimed to be opposed.

It is also interesting that the Australian Education Union has called for higher academic entry standards to teacher preparation courses while Education Minister Christopher Pyne dismisses this idea as a "shiny bauble" ("Don't send us dummies", 14/2). This is a curious reversal of what some might have expected.

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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