The need to reform teacher education

NZIER announced:

In this Insight, we analyse anonymised NCEA data linked to later employment for the recent cohort of primary teachers to better understand what might be driving secondary students’ falling performance in maths and science. Our results show that one in four new primary teachers failed NCEA Level 1 maths, and more than half failed Level 1 Science. Many choose not to pursue Maths and Science beyond Level 1, but those who do are more likely to fail than pass.

Level 1 NCEA is not a high standard. It is a minimum that should be needed.

This would partially explain why over time our achievements levels in maths and science has declined.

NZIER proposes a number of useful solutions:

  • Like in secondary schools, have some specialist maths and science teachers at primary level. Comparison to health sector when you have GPs and specialists
  • Secondary trained teachers could be employed by primary schools to provide specialist maths and science support for primary teachers
  • Secondary trained teachers could teach maths and science in primary schools
  • New roles for maths and science specialists could be created with their own ITE pathway and higher remuneration to attract students with stronger maths and science skills.

All seem good ideas worth evaluating.

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