Griffith supports teacher training reforms

Professor Donna Pendergast.

Griffith University broadly supports the introduction of national reforms to teacher training which were announced by the Federal Government on February 13.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has said a nation-wide approach to improving teaching quality will be implemented, as outlined in the Government Response to the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) inquiry.

Griffith University School of Education and Professional Studies Head Professor Donna Pendergastsaid it wasvitally important to ensure high standards of teacher training are maintained nation-wide.

“As a leading provider of quality teaching programs in Australia, Griffith University welcomes these reforms as they will reassure students, parents and the community that our children are learning to world class standards,” Professor Pendergast said.

Key elements of the reforms include that from 2016, student teachers will be required to pass a national literacy and numeracy test before being allowed to graduate.

Primary school teachers will also need to specialise in a particular subject area, although they will not be limited to teaching that discipline only.

“Griffith University already exceeds many of the new requirements, such as providing practical training and classroom experience for trainee teachers from their first year of study,” Professor Pendergast said.

Kim Bury graduated from Griffith University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education (primary). She is now a teacher at Yarranlea Primary School at Mt Gravatt

The former teachers’ aide and mature-age student said she was “absolutely classroom ready” once she graduated from her four-year degree program at Griffith.

“Increasing amounts of time were spent in the classroom each year through practicums. In first year we spent 10 days in schools and by final year we had 11 weeks of practicums including a six- week block in the classroom.”

“Griffith also provides students with the opportunity to take additional electives in literacy, numeracy and science, as well as having all those disciplines already embedded in the degree core.

“So there is that option to expand your learning even further in a particular area, if you are interested, or if you just want to boost your confidence.

“I think Griffith offers its teaching students a great balance between theory, pedagogy, practical experience and content knowledge.”