NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli backs teachers with higher degree
Postgraduate degrees can strengthen professions: Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli. Photo: Kate GeraghtyNSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has called for the Abbott government’s review into teacher training to examine whether all teachers should have postgraduate qualifications before entering classrooms.
Mr Piccoli said the strong education results and high social status of the teaching profession in Finland – where teachers must have a master’s degree in education – showed the idea was worth exploring.
He said he was impressed by the University of Melbourne’s policy of offering teaching only as a two-year postgraduate degree.
”It would strengthen the profession for all teachers to have postgraduate degrees,” he said. ”It is something the review should consider.”
Mr Piccoli acknowledged the federal government would have to alter its demand-driven funding model if teaching degrees were postgraduate-only.
Victoria’s Minister for the Teacher Profession, Peter Hall, said: ”I am delighted Minister Pyne shares the same drive to reform teacher education as we do in Victoria.
”I look forward to working with Minister Pyne and his panel to raise standards and build a better education system for our students.”
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced on Wednesday that Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven will chair an eight-person panel to review teacher training.
Mr Pyne said he was concerned teaching courses were ”too theoretical, ideological and faddish [and] not based on the evidence of what works in teaching important subjects such as literacy”.
The Australian Education Union criticised Professor Craven’s appointment because he opposes minimum entry scores for teaching degrees.
”We stand on the side of rigour and strong standards – Greg Craven stands for something different to that,” AEU president Angelo Gavrielatos said.
Professor Craven said the review would focus on course content, instruction methods and integrating practice and theory.
”You can’t select quality teachers by looking at a mark branded on their forehead when they are 17,” he said. ”What matters is how teachers come out of university, not how they go in.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Greg Craven is vice-chancellor of the Australian National University. He is the Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor.
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