Make-up of teaching review panel queried

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen. Picture: ROBERT PEET
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen. Picture: ROBERT PEET

The NSW Teachers Federation and the Australian Education Union have criticised a planned federal government review into teaching training for not including a representative from state education departments.

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced the review on Wednesday. It will examine teaching course content, education methods and training opportunities.

The eight-person review panel includes University of Wollongong Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen and will be chaired by Australian Catholic University Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven.

NSW Teachers Federation regional organiser Nicole Calnan said it was disappointing the panel didn't include a representative from state education departments.

"Locally to have that participation from the university is great, it's interesting though the composition of the panel doesn't include representatives from employers of teachers, the state education department," she said.

"The people that actually employ the teachers don't have a say on the preparation people need to come into that system. It's an extraordinary omission and it should be addressed."

But Ms Calnan said the federation welcomed any attempt to ensure a high standard of teacher education.

"The reality of the classroom is something that changes daily. It's very hard to prepare for every scenario you come across, but it's important that when [teachers] do enter the profession ... the department does all it can do to support the early formative years of their careers."

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli welcomed the review and called on the panel to examine whether all teachers should have postgraduate qualifications.

Prof Leinonen was unavailable to speak to the Mercury, but said in a statement she was honoured to be on the panel.

"It's vital that we provide education programs that are world class and equip the teachers of tomorrow with the skills and experience they need to deliver quality education in the classroom."

She said the panel would focus on teaching and learning methods and improving in-school opportunities, and would look at world-best practices.


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