Train teachers in schools, not universities

The Herald reports:

Aspiring teachers should be trained mostly at schools instead of university to help get the best and brightest in front of classrooms, a report argues.

The push for “training schools” comes in the first year of a groundbreaking scheme by one Auckland school in which aspiring teachers complete their training in school and as members of staff.

A report released today by the think-tank and co-authored by former Auckland Grammar School headmaster John Morris argues more options are needed for those interested in teaching.

Teachers are the single biggest influence on student achievement in schools, theTeaching Stars: Transforming the Education Profession report states.

One way to improve the profession should be the option to train teachers in schools, which would have top schools accredited as training schools where teacher qualifications could be offered in conjunction with a university.

Sounds an excellent idea to me.

John Morris is the co-author of a NZ Initiative report on teaching quality with Rose Patterson, which argues the case for performance-related pay. The report, published today, proposes a performance-related pay system in which teachers would need to apply to ascend levels on a pay scale, moving up when certain standards were met.

You mean like almost every other job does. I find the idea of automatic progression up any scale as ludicrous when it is for a professional role. Think if we paid MPs more for the length of time they have been in Parliament!

Mr Morris said the standards would not be based on student achievement data but on factors such as contribution to the school as a whole. He said the Education Council of Aotearoa NZ (Educanz), which will replace the Teachers Council, was a strong candidate to articulate such standards.

Mr Morris is the chairman of the transition board overseeing the establishment of Educanz, and his comments have infuriated the PPTA union, who strongly oppose the proposed pay overhaul.

President Angela Roberts said she had written to Education Minister Hekia Parata calling for Mr Morris’ resignation from the board.

Ms Parata said Mr Morris was well-respected and one of 11 people on the transition board. “I am confident that any potential conflicts of interest can be managed,” she said.

Rather than attack Morris, I’d rather hear from the PPTA why they think progression should be automatic, and have their input into what factors should progression up the pay scale be based on if it is not automatic.

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