The Regional Universities Network responds to the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review discussion paper
Back in March Education Minister Alan Tudge created the unfortunately abbreviatable Quality Initial Teacher Education Review, to “consider the next evolution of reforms to teacher education,” (CMM March 12). QITER issued a discussion paper last month (CMM June 21) to which RUN comprehensively responds, with points including,
* the network warns against relying on the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank as an indication of ITE students, suitability for teaching, certainly at RUN members, where many are mature age and are not accepted to study on an ATAR.
* it acknowledges that in ITE “the majority of students are still white, middle class and female” and suggests marketing, scholarships and promotion of the profession to expand the backgrounds of teacher education students
* it warns there are not enough ITE students to remedy teacher shortages, notably in regional, rural and remote Australia
* it calls for a more flexible accreditation system, for example to “facilitate pathways” for tradespeople into teaching
* and it speaks-up for its members’ academics, “ITE teaching staff comprise a mix of teacher educators with high level educational qualifications and who are current and active researchers in the field of education, as well as recent and practicing teachers with current and demonstrated effectiveness as a teacher in the classroom”
RUN also suggests that the reforms of Christopher Pyne’s Tertiary Education Ministerial Advisory Group CMM February 13 2015), which QITER is meant to build on, “have been rolled out for a relatively short period (four years), and it is still too early to determine their impact/success.”