Teaching degrees put to the test

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Teaching degrees at Australian universities will be examined under a review in a bid to boost the number of educators entering the classroom and their preparedness for the job.

Education Minister Jason Clare will announce on Thursday that Sydney University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Scott – a former teacher – will lead the Teacher Education Expert Panel to help tackle the nation’s teacher shortage crisis.

The panel, stacked with leading educators from across the country, will give the government its report card and recommendations by the end of June next year.

Former Teacher of the Year Rebecca West, and former Principal of the Year Andrew Peach are among the panellists.

“There aren’t many jobs more important than being a teacher and we don’t have enough of them,” Mr Clare will say.

Four key areas the panel will make recommendations on include how universities can deliver classroom ready graduates, improving practical teaching experience, making it easier for mid-career entrants, and strengthening the link between performance and funding.

The review will look at whether funding of higher education providers should be based on quality, and if that measure is linked to the need to lift the current average completion rate of degrees above 50 per cent.

The importance of regionally based teaching courses and the under representation of certain communities, including First Nations people will also be reviewed.

The panel will make suggestions on how to encourage more people to make the switch to a career in teaching at the post-graduate level, while maintaining high standards.

Last month, Mr Clare met with his state and territory counterparts, along with teachers and other education experts to discuss how to fix the workforce shortage in the country.

The education ministers pledged to develop a national plan to increase the number of people entering and remaining in teaching.


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