Dilemma for education deans

If they fear their faculties will take the fall for everything that is wrong in schools –they may well be right.  Problem is, there may not be much they can do about it

Mary Ryan (NSW Deans Council and ACU)  was out yesterday responding to calls for more in-classroom time for trainee teachers, saying, “we would whole-heartedly welcome professional service reform.” But she warned, “the costs to ITE providers in paying university and school-based placement supervisors and improved digital solutions to support professional placements also needed to be addressed.”

Good-o but  “more resources are needed” may not protect initial teacher educators who are in the frame for failures in teaching how to teach.

As Education Minister Jason Clare points out, and then points out again, “if you ask most teachers, they will tell you that when they first became a teacher, they didn’t feel prepared for the classroom. That the prac they got when they were at uni wasn’t up to scratch,” (CMM March 23 and May 26).

And the review of ITE by Mark Scott (Uni Sydney) and colleagues is up for discussion at July’s education MINCO – one of their proposals is public performance measures of ITE courses, “to increase accountability and inform student choice.”

Whatever is really (and imagined) wrong with schooling isn’t all the fault of teacher education courses – but years of criticism has put that idea firmly on the agenda. And what state minister of education would want to argue? It’s way safer than blaming teachers or parents.

Still, it could be worse. Coalition education  minister Alan Tudge disliked ITE courses so much that he threatened funding if education academics did not teach their students classroom methods he approved of (CMM October 25, November 26 2021).