NSW nearly closes classroom door on on-line teaching grads

The NSW Government appears to have lost interest in demanding teacher education graduates qualify for Nobel prizes before being allowed into its schools. However in the absence of a focus on ATARs minister Rob Stokes has a new bunch of criteria, including, “superior cognitive and emotional intelligence measured via a psychometric assessment.” How this will be measured and who will do the measuring will provide months of entertainment for the teacher education community.

But what some will not enjoy at all is another of Mr Stokes’ new rules. “Recognising that teaching is relational, individuals who complete an entirely on-line undergraduate teaching degree will not be preferenced for employment.”

Admittedly, there is a get-out clause, that there will be exceptions for students in remote areas and those whose personal circumstances “make on-line education the only practical option.” And surely all distance ed students still have to do in-person pracs.

Even so, Mr Stokes sends a signal that on-line teacher-ed is inferior, which may not go down well at two of the biggest NSW providers, Charles Sturt U and UNE. CSU has around 6000 external and multi-mode education students and UNE approximately 5500.


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