Self-help for practising teachers

Just weeks after humiliating Deans of Education, Jason Clare has announced new funding for a self-help program for teachers.

The Federal Education Minister has committed close to $5m for a national roll-out of Uni Newcastle’s Quality Teaching Round, enabling delivery of the program to 1600 teachers.

The support follows national adoption of the Commonwealth-commissioned review of initial teacher education led by Uni Sydney VC Mark Scott, with Mr Clare warning ITE courses could lose accreditation if their graduates are not taught “the fundamentals” of maths and English teaching and classroom management. (Future Campus July 12).

But Mr Clare carefully distinguishes teachers from some of their trainers. “Teachers are experts at what they do – and who better to learn from, than each other. Over a decade of data shows this program works.”

The Quality Teaching Round involves groups of four teachers observing and analysing their teaching practises. It uses an 18-element model to assess performance, in an approach developed 20 years ago by Jenny Gore and James Ladwig from Uni Newcastle.

The university is now using the model and the Quality Teaching Round approach with its own staff.

“Universities are increasingly scrutinised for the quality of teaching they deliver and the ‘job-readiness’ of the graduates they produce. But universities mostly promote and address ‘quality teaching’ in ways that don’t really get at the heart of what good teaching is, relying instead on student evaluations, teaching awards or academic development programs that only impart information about policy, logistics, and course management,” Sally Patfield and Uni Newcastle colleagues wrote in Campus Morning Mail last year.



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