Josephine Tovey and Amy McNeilage, The Sydney Morning Herald (March 12, 2013)
In an effort to raise the standard of teacher training in Australia, the federal government has announced plans for higher standards for teachers entering the profession. As part of the government’s National Plan for School Improvement, the new screening process for admission to teaching courses will include an interview process, demonstration of values and aptitude, and a written statement, thereby making the entry process comparable with existing models in the field of medicine. In addition, all future teachers will need to pass a literacy and numeracy test, demonstrating that their skills are equivalent to the top 30% of the population, before obtaining a teaching degree.
Education Minister Peter Garrett said, “I think that they (teachers) do an excellent job, but the fact is universities need to be sure that the people who are putting up their hand to come in and do teaching have got not only the right qualifications but also the additional temperament, commitment, enthusiasm and directed strengths and real desire to do that job.”
Australia’s plan comes on the heels of a recent, controversial New South Wales proposal, which sets minimum academic entry standards for teacher education students, tougher accreditation tests, and requires mentoring by veteran teachers.