Please tell me this isn’t true

March 4th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Rodney Hide writes in the HoS:

I know I would have a lot to learn if I wanted to teach in a school. But I don’t understand why the Teachers Council gets to demand that prospective teachers attend Auckland University for a full year to get a Graduate Diploma in Teaching before doing so.

I already have three degrees, have taught science and economics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, have worked in a successful merchant bank and have some knowledge of government and its operation.

In some capacity I would have something to teach students. But I can’t. The Teachers Council declares I must complete a diploma that includes a course called EDPROFST 612, which “explores questions relating to … the Treaty of Waitangi and the socio-political influences that shape the interconnections between learning and context”.

This might explain a lot!

I am amazed we have the many good teachers that we do. But I wonder how many potentially good teachers the Teachers Council and their asinine courses and processes have driven away.

I like the Teach for America programme where top graduates spend two years or more working as teachers, after a five week summer training course.

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38 Responses to “Please tell me this isn’t true”

  1. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Rodney is right. The irony is, you need none of that to teach at tertiary level.

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  2. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    It’s called mafia. A protection racket.
    The insidious and divisive Treaty of Waitangi is everywhere.

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  3. Redbaiter (8,944 comments) says:

    Education is mis-education.

    A derelict rotting decrepit system that needs to be totally pulled down and rebuilt, given it exists only as a vehicle for Marxist/ left wing political concepts to be introduced to the poor students forced to participate.

    The left run education is this country, and that’s why it is a dysfunctional disaster. The same happens to anything they get their hands on.

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  4. Dave Guerin (32 comments) says:

    Teach First in NZ has a similar approach to Teach for America. Its first cohort started in Nov 2012. http://teachfirstnz.org/

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  5. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Well – I guess the point of the graduate diploma is to ensure that all teachers subscribe to the official doctrine. Makes sense.

    What’s the opposite of diversity? University.

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  6. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I can’t quite fathom what Rodney is moaning about. With the advent of Charter Schools, he’ll be able to teach whatever he likes, qualifications or not. Even the local plumber will be able to become a teacher…

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/key-don-t-worry-unqualified-teachers-5001829

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  7. All_on_Red (1,583 comments) says:

    Looking down your nose at Plumbers are you Ross?
    Typical

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  8. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    I have long believed that at least at secondary school teaching should be a part-time occupation so that teachers have lives in the real world and help their students relate to that.

    The unionised profession is a guarantee it will fail many students.

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  9. PaulL (5,986 comments) says:

    ross69: only if a school hires them, presumably the principal is accountable for hiring decisions. If a school were to offer a blended apprenticeship course, and provide instruction in plumbing as a complement to the normal curriculum, then damn right the local plumber should be able to be a teacher. Are you saying that wouldn’t be something we’d want?

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  10. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Most of my teacher training was a waste of time and too much unsubstantiated twaddle dressed up as pedagogical theory but it was useful to have teaching practice in different kinds of schools and learn together with other teachers. There’s nothing though that can prepare you for the actual classroom with your own classes with not only teaching but admin, behaviour, relationships etc etc to contend with.

    It would seem to me to be far better for the PPTA and others to let the first charter schools get started and then fail and then they can say they told us so – and reinforce the importance of a trained and qualified teaching force and all the other union shibboleths.

    Of course if they work then we all have to go back to the drawing board, especially for the kids too many schools are failing now.

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  11. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    @ross69 – our local plumber is a truly amazing man who would be an inspiration to students. However he would never put up with the educational b.s. required to be a State Teacher. I believe his brother is a surgeon.

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  12. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    iMP – at tertiary level you are teaching adults not children, maybe that is part of it?

    (I agree the treaty thing sounds like BS… )

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  13. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    Schools can employ teachers with a so called LAT license. So the situation isn’t as bad as Rodney makes at, and with LATs, which are considerably easier to get now Labour isn’t in government, our situation is vast improved over other socialist countries actually.

    But I agree that a school should be able to employ ANYONE they’d like to teach.

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  14. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I have a friend who is a plumber – a smart guy as it is. He doesn’t have much formal schooling beyond college but he has good problem solving skills and is looking to run his own business.

    I also have a friend who has a degree in media studies.

    That one is not doing so well.

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  15. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    What happened to the teachers college in Karori (Wellington)? Do they not do the same course? That would make the commute an easy one if he were determined to be a teacher.

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  16. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    While I disagree with Hide that anyone should be able to teach without training or registration, I agree that EDPROFST 612 was total bull. I had to sit through that class, which was 1/8 of teacher training as a whole and it was very maddening. The course was meant to be about teaching Maori students, but actually almost everything applied to all low socio-economic status students. The emphasis on bi-culturalism over multi-culturalism was jarring. Teaching Pacific Islanders, refugees, Indians, all got a single lesson each. Maori got an entire paper, which seemed driven by political correctness mania to me.

    I also agree that much of the theory we learnt at training college was pretty much useless once we actually entered the classroom. There was a consensus amongst the student teachers I knew that the practicums out in actual schools were ten times more worthwhile. It is worth noting here that PPTA is not opposing Teach First NZ and is keeping an open mind to see if that is a better system for training some teachers.

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  17. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Was having the conversation with the principal of our kids school the other day. He doesnt really give a damn either way, more interested in outcomes for kids – smart bloke that.

    As an aside, his admin person was having a complete whinge about NovaPay. Fucking useless government departments and usless IT projects blah blah, wha wha etc etc.

    I then pointed out to her that her newsletter the week before had been emailed nearly 50 times to each parent as a result of a glitch in the mail server at the school that she is responsible for. Asked her if she was going to reimburse me for the time I spent deleting them, making sure my virus software was up to date, and the bandwidth she had wasted as a result of that.

    Funny, she STFU quite quickly after that…

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  18. redeye (629 comments) says:

    I love the way Ross69 pops in here most days, drops a pile of dog muck, but never sticks around to debate it. Unless the name Bain is mentioned of course.

    The only people that shouldn’t be allowed to teach are professional public servants.

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  19. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    I half agree with this. Teacher training often does include some political rubbish as Rodney describes, and I have little time for that.

    However, good teacher training also include a great deal on

    a) educational psychology – because it is not actually about teaching, it is about learning and how learning actually takes place inside people’s heads. Many foolish people think teaching is just standing up in front of a class and pouring out what you know. It is NOT. That is of very limited value (especially with children). You must understand how it is that people actually learn things and develop techniques to fit them.

    b) the tools of teaching particular subjects. These are many and varied and vary by subject (maths is different from French and history). If you are going to be an effective teacher you need to have a big toolkit, just like an effective plumber or engineer.

    c) managing a classroom. Teaching 14-year-olds is bloody hard, and completely different from teaching adults. If you can’t get the management and discipline and classroom atosphere working you are buggered.

    That said, BeaB (above) is right: there is no substitute for practical experience, and the teaching experiences that the training provides are vital. You need both. I have been a teacher and I do thus know a bit about what I’m saying.

    I fully support chartered schools, and think they should be able to employ whoever they like. Why would they want to employ someone who is no good? There ARE good people who have a lot to contribute who do not fit the official rules. There are even some rare individuals who have a natural gift, and can do well just on instinct.

    But the common idea that teaching is easy, that anyone with knowledge can do it, and you don’t need training is wrong and as foolish as applying the same thinking to doctors or engineers.

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  20. Colville (2,269 comments) says:

    To be a plumber you need to know;

    1. Shit runs downhill.
    2. Payday is Thursday.

    Alan Wilkinson. Your plumber would also earn too much to consider teaching.

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  21. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Colville, your last sentence is correct. However he has apprentices so he does teach – just on the job. He knows how to run a business, manage people, equipment and supplies, keep customers happy, prioritise his tasks, fix problems, find best solutions and does it all at break-neck speed.

    He would, of course, leave most teachers for dead.

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  22. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I unblocked my own toilet last year.

    Whatever plumbers earn doing other people’s toilets, it isn’t enough.

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  23. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I love the way Ross69 pops in here most days

    I love that you hang on every word I say. Thanks for the compliment.

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  24. greybeard (61 comments) says:

    S.Russell: my daughter is a teacher, currently teaching in London. I know from many conversations with her that she would agree with you entirely, on all points.

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  25. freemark (580 comments) says:

    What gets lost in this issue is that many people are also parents, and have gained the skills in all those aspects of learning management, child/youth behavioural management etc etc.. I was at a great BBQ recently, met a nice guy who turned out to be an English Teacher. We discussed charter schools, his ONLY argument was the one about unregistered teachers. When I pointed out that probably plenty of registered teachers would be involved, his ONLY argument was that “well, that would just validate the Nact Govt” FFS, I aimed plenty of questions around kids outcomes, parental choice etc.. NO other argument was forthcoming. Brainwashed by PPTA, NZEI etc.. who don’t give a shit about the children by the looks.

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  26. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    David Farrar – are you honstly saying that you didnt know this?

    The teachers are the most left leaning anti social group in the country and for some reason they think that we must all turn maori.

    And you wonder why people think the maori culture is a load of old pre histroic crap and their belief in monsters at the bend in the river is proof that theyre slow in the head. Only with the support of outfits like the teachers could this happen.

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  27. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    It is interesting.Barristers and Solicitors need to be appropriately qualified and registered. As do real estate agents. But teaching we complain about professional standards. We have introduced charter schools where registration is not required because act thinks it is a sterling idea. I am all for getting rid of unnecessary red tape and perhaps charter real estate firms could be the next step in the right direction followed by charter law firms. Or is it just teachers we want to continually kick the shit out of.

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  28. MT_Tinman (3,190 comments) says:

    Colville (613) Says:
    March 4th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
    To be a plumber you need to know;

    1. Shit runs downhill.
    2. Payday is Thursday.

    A wise man once told me the two things a plumber must learn are;

    1. Water runs down hill.
    2. It ‘aint always just water.

    That wise man should have been a headmaster ;-)

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  29. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    @Mark, so what is the appropriate qualification for teaching? What are the essential degree subjects that must be mastered?

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  30. PaulL (5,986 comments) says:

    Mark, I’m pretty sure Lawyer’s offices employ people who aren’t lawyers. Some of them even do paralegal work. But in a school, you can’t be in the classroom if you’re not a teacher. Charter schools are looking to loosen that up. I don’t think anyone seriously thinks that any significant proportion of the teaching staff in those schools wouldn’t be fully trained teachers. They’re just saying that around the edges and in some specific subjects, it might be OK to try different approaches.

    My usual rule is that when one side is insisting on an absolute, and the other side is arguing for some flexibility, that usually those pushing the absolute are in the wrong.

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  31. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Teachers and their unions are hijacking the country. They are brainwashing generations of kids with environmental-extremist, multiculturalist, soft-left, PC propaganda.

    Environmentalism is poured down kids’ throats ad nauseum. Maori language is increasingly forced on all kids. They are taught to be peaceniks without acknowledgement that peace is an outcome of being prepared for war. They are taught that it’s our greedy fault that half the world is starving.

    All this would be fine if the policy was created and led by our representative politicians after political and public debate. But no, the schoolies are working to their own political and social agenda.

    I say: Go National and Banks with charter schools.

    Can we please get chains of charter Montessori schools running in NZ?

    Technology business whizzes in the USA are disproportionately coming from Montessori education. For example, Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, and Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales.

    In the meantime, if you want to see where on-the-job training is working look at Germany, with its vast array of apprenticeships.

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  32. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    I was a teacher’s aide in a primary school. I also flatted with 3 girls all doing teacher’s college. The work they did was hocum.

    What you need are people who have done a degree or postgraduate degree in English teaching English, and the same for Maths etc and you’re away. For instance at my school the Economics teacher was an ex treasurer for a Middle-Eastern government. He was brilliant, and hated having to waste his valuable time fucking around learning all of this Euphemistic Orwellian junk psychology nonsense teacher’s have to put up with.

    Teacher’s College seems to be a weird hodge podge of low IQ basic psychology, business administration, quantitative skills and high school level general aptitudes.

    TCol students definitely work hard, but the question is whether it’s necessary if you have a degree in something else aaaaaaaaaaaaand it really isn’t. At all. Charter schools are brilliant. Hey Ross69, I wish my mate’s dad the plumber had taught me something at high-school. Then I might have had a straight money earning skill rather then having the awful fucking teacher I had for 5th form maths who I now discover is actually one of the only teachers I’ve ever heard of actually be let go for incompetence. Of course, he was picked up by another school as the Union would like and is now ruining life outcomes for a bunch of other students.

    It’s funny Ross69 because although you believe it’s anathema to grade teachers, I guarantee you, every single person associated with a school knows who the better teachers are. Also, while I understand that people who haven’t done TCol must know nothing about pedagogical theory or ‘how to make money’ according to you, you don’t need to sit through a lot of junky content to be a good teacher.

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  33. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    I don’t think the solution to overly PC teacher training with too much focus on theory is to throw the whole thing out and hire untrained teachers. The solution is to improve teacher education. It’s also not fair to say all teacher colleges do a poor job. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Graduate School of Education down in Canterbury. They focus on real classroom management and actual skills needed in the classroom. From what I’ve heard it is a boot camp for excellent teachers. They take in a very small number of trainees though, much smaller than what Auckland or Otago are taking in. And we should also give Teach First NZ a chance.

    As for performance pay, the evidence I’ve seen just doesn’t support it working. The PISA In Focus report found that performance pay had no positive effect on student outcomes in the OECD nations which tried it. Never mind the extra bureaucracy and burden on senior managers such a sytstem would create. Money should be spent where it is most likely to actually improve student outcomes. I know the principal of my school is actually against introducing performance pay because he thinks it would take up his already precious time and lead to conflict with his staff.

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  34. pq (728 comments) says:

    I wanted an income so I signed up with my specialist degree behind me, it was some years ago, and i had forgotten how independant I had become and how much a slave to the system I would have to be. I would have to sign offevery class with notes and attributes, and various garbage within system. They wanted to send me to Whanganui , and my talent was nothing. The kids crowded around me, at the lower decile school,they said you can be our teacher, it was sad, I said no , and i went home because I just could not face the music. As usual i agree with Rodney Hide

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  35. OneTrack (3,109 comments) says:

    For primary teachers, why don’t we skip the degree completely and just have three years focussed teacher training. Yes, I know, like they did in the old days.

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  36. itstricky (1,836 comments) says:

    Jack5 -:

    They are brainwashing generations of kids with environmental-extremist, multiculturalist, soft-left, PC propaganda.

    Environmentalism is poured down kids’ throats ad nauseum. Maori language is increasingly forced on all kids. They are taught to be peaceniks without acknowledgement that peace is an outcome of being prepared for war. They are taught that it’s our greedy fault that half the world is starving.

    ….
    Technology business whizzes in the USA are disproportionately coming from Montessori education. For example, Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin

    Well, looky here. Larry and Sergei are clearly environmental-extermists:

    http://www.google.co.nz/green/

    And, well, clearly they are also such dodgy multiculturalists:

    http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=mi

    And, jeees they are even soft, lefty, peace-niks:

    http://www.google.com/giving/people.html

    You don’t know how much of a jaded, old, cynical man you sound.

    Most of these things are awesome achievements in producing amazing, rounded children – not just those that can earn a squillion dollars a year. So yes, you are quite right -: these things should be led by our representative politicians after political and public debate.

    Get down off your teacher bashing high horse and get with the rest of the world.

    As for Rodney, well… If it was the other way around he’d be going on about how unqualified teachers are and how dangerous that was. Just like the rest of them there politicians. Which is a pity, I’ve enjoyed some of his columns recently.

    The course is clearly the same as “Professional Studies” in other disciplines. Sure, arguments could be had for other ways of doing it but I’ve no idea why Rodney is on about it. Presumably to justify and market up unregistered teachers in charter schools. Until the first discretion, that is, at which point all current MPs will convienently suffer brain-fade.

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  37. hj (7,026 comments) says:

    If children were taught critical thinking it would blow the pants off the treaty dogma. For example on aboriginal title, Elizabeth Rata points out that this is an appeal to antiquity.

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  38. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    I don’t think the solution to overly PC teacher training with too much focus on theory is to throw the whole thing out and hire untrained teachers.

    This is of course the generally-held view outside of the deranged “real world” of Kiwiblog commenters and ex-ACT MPs.

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