Teacher training in crisis

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2004 10:44 AM
Teacher training in crisis
A secret report on the supervision of trainee teachers shows the Government has glossed over serious problems with the Teachers Council, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.
The report says the council cannot guarantee that all teacher-training programmes are producing well-prepared new teachers.
Problems cited in the report include:
o Poorly developed conceptual frameworks.
o Narrowly conceived programmes based on the work of a single theorist.
o Inadequate practicum arrangements.
o An unclear progression through programmes.
o Courses that are irrelevant or not aligned to the curriculum.
“This report comes hot on the heels of an ERO report that found that one third of second-year primary teachers and half of second-year secondary teachers were ineffective,” says Mr English.
“When the ERO report was released, the Minister of Education said he would fix the problem by paying more to teachers who supervise new teachers. Mr Mallard tried to cover up this report by telling the Teachers Council to keep it under wraps.”
Mr English has obtained a summary of the report using the Official Information Act.
“The Minister wants the report kept out of the public eye because the Teachers Council doesn’t have the necessary documentation to show them what’s going on in many courses,” he says.
“The documentation they do have makes for disturbing reading, and it’s likely the courses which aren’t documented are even worse.
He is calling on the Teachers Council to release the full report.
“Trevor Mallard has instructed the council not to release the report but they are an independent statutory body and they should tell him to get lost,” says Mr English.

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