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Who owns AITSL and cherrypicking research

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 7 July 2014
  • The following letter was written in response to a piece by journalist Justine Ferrari and submitted to The Australian to appear in the edition of Monday 7 July 2014. It was not, however, selected for publication.

Politicians and journalists choose their own adventure

John Fleming, a deputy principal at a Victorian private school, has recently been appointed as Deputy Chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). Justine Ferrari describes him as “the new deputy chair of the national teachers’ institute” (“Schools cool to direct instruction as teachers ‘choose their own adventure’”, 5-6 July). Her use of the possessive apostrophe suggests that this body is collectively owned by teachers. It is not. It is a company wholly owned by the federal Minister for Education.

In the same article, I was amused to read Australian Council for Educational Research chief executive Geoff Masters reported as saying that the teaching profession “is guilty of cherrypicking research to back up its beliefs”. Isn’t this precisely what our political leaders routinely do?

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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