Teacher Training needs to be refocused

The Australian’s editorial (‘Time to get real about teaching’ 6/5) paints an expectational picture of change to teacher training methodologies that, as the editorial states. may not come pass post election, when promises often remain unfulfilled. As the editorial intimates, entry into universities has too often been allowed simply to generate dollars from students and government subsidies.

Literacy and numeracy competence for those contemplating a teaching career should be an absolute prerequisite entry into any training program. There should be no need to contemplate catch up teaching of essential literacy and numeracy skills.

The issue of illiteracy and innumeracy as barriers to be surmounted by those in training to be teachers is not new. Over three decades ago, a senior lecturer in education at LaTrobe University who was visiting said to me, “We used to teach trainee teachers to teach. Now we have to teach them (the basics of literacy and numeracy) and having donor that, teach them to teach.” Since then, the erosion of teacher capacity has reduced further. It IS time to get real about teaching but I am not holding my breath about that necessity becoming a realiity.

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