Education Minister Dan Tehan has two direct messages for universities in his speech today at ANU’s Beyond Year 12 conference.
In a wide-ranging address the minister will focus on the student experience in school education but he will also add to his message that he is a friend to classroom teachers, referring to the parliamentary inquiry he has commissioned into the status and working conditions of the profession (CMM November 16). And he will tell education faculties to give trainee teachers the experience they need. “Student teachers need more time in the classroom as part of their teacher training. It’s like learning a musical instrument or playing a sport: practice makes perfect,” Mr Tehan is expected to say.
The minister will also back Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s push for an emphasis on maths In school as a requirement for university STEM study. “Universities must be leaders and clearly communicate to school students the reality of university degrees. For example, to be a successful engineer you need to have studied mathematics”
“That is not to say there is not a role for developing skills like problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and teamwork, but those skills cannot be applied if someone doesn’t have the basic skills of literacy and numeracy. Our Government will never support any change to our national curriculum that diverges from these priorities.”