The Australian Education Union will fiercely defend initial teacher education from any Morrison Government attacks on hard won quality standards, Federal President Correna Haythorpe said.
The comment was made in response to Acting Education Minister Robert’s announced plan to dumb down initial teacher education through funding for gimmicky programs like Teach for Australia, micro credentials in classroom management, phonics and explicit instruction and a return to one year graduate teaching qualifications.
“The Morrison Government has an ideological driven obsession with undermining the teaching profession. From calling teachers ‘duds’ to now undermining the qualifications required of teachers.
“The AEU will not stand for it. We will fiercely defend the quality and standards in initial teacher education we fought for over many decades
“The announced funding commitments, if delivered, would erode the excellence parents and the community rightly expect from teachers.
“Programs like Teach for Australia and the other initiatives the Acting Education Minister proposes to fund are not the answer to workforce shortages. They do not offer the rigorous pre-service education required to ensure teachers have the skills, confidence and experience to be effective from day one in the classroom.
“Respect, reward and rigour are the pillars of high quality teaching,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“Teachers should be appropriately and competitively remunerated in recognition of their knowledge, skills and experience.
“They should be offered the respect of professional autonomy and trust, and be supported to develop their teaching practice according to the needs of their classroom.
“Finally, the best outcomes for children will be achieved by drawing initial teacher education students from the top 30 per cent of secondary school graduates for undergraduate courses and maintaining a full two-year master qualification for postgraduate ITE studies.
“The fact is, the Morrison Government has failed to invest in public education and no amount of blame-shifting to the teaching profession can cover that.
“Public education needs a change of government and we are campaigning to ensure that our members and their communities understand the importance of their vote for public education.”