Quick class fix picked-on
There has been more criticism this week of a 6-week fast-track program designed to get more professionals into teaching.
A controversial program has been labelled an "expensive experiment" by the State School Teachers Union.
The Teach For Australia program signs up high-achieving university graduates from a range of disciplines, and gives them a six week crash-course in classroom teaching.
Recruits then enter the classroom (with monitoring) while completing a Masters of Teaching part-time over two years.
The scheme costs the Federal Government $22 million in funding per year, while private donors provide the remainder.
It has been criticised for a seemingly low retention rate, with just 60 per cent of graduates still teaching after the two-year program.
Teach For Australia is being rolled-out in Western Australian schools, but the union says it is an “unacceptable” imposition on school resources.
Teach For Australia has placed 13 graduates in classes at five low socio-economic schools in WA this term.
More than half of them had to move interstate to teach in WA, where shortages exist in some schools’ maths, science and English classes.
But the State School Teachers Union says that while it may be a good concept, the reality of the scheme is flawed.
“In the traditional model, student teachers are supervised and assessed,” union secretary Pat Byrne told the ABC
“Under this model, they are fully responsible from day one, they have to do the marking, assessment, the recording.
“Six weeks preparation just isn't sufficient.
“Teaching is a profession - I don't believe that any other profession would tolerate this sort of thing.
“The new WA funding model and associated funding cuts means that teachers don't have the time to be taken offline to provide support and assistance that is necessary.
“It's a significant additional workload,” she said.
Teach For Australia WA manager John Inverarity says the scheme works.
“I highly regard teacher training, but I have a view that if you are 21 years old, you have had 21 years of teacher training from your parents, family, coaches,” he said.
“You are very aware of the learning and teaching dynamic.”
He said they only recruited graduates that had a very strong academic background.
“Academic ability is a very good predictor of good teaching, and these students on an average, have an ATAR score in the high 90s,” he said.