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Teacher training essential for tertiary staff

21 September 2004

Teacher training essential for tertiary staff

Teacher training is essential to ensure high quality tertiary teachers, Associate Education Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Speaking at the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITPNZ) Staff Developers Conference in Hamilton today, he applauded tertiary organisations providing teacher training to their staff and reiterated the government’s commitment to support the development of quality teaching in tertiary organisations.

“Our support for quality teaching in recent years has included: contestable funding for particularly innovative projects like the e-Learning Collaborative Teaching Initiative, e-Learning Toolbox and ITPNZ’s ‘Developing e-Learning Leaders and Institutional Capability’; the annual Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards; and research about effective teaching and learning, including the proposed National Centre for Vocational Education and Training Research.

“We are about to take some important new steps to build on what has already been achieved.

“As I foreshadowed at the time of the 2004 Budget, the government intends to announce in the next few months final policies in a range of areas to support quality tertiary teaching.

“We will move from funding purely by student volume to linking our funding to the quality of learners’ education outcomes through a ‘performance element’ in tuition funding. Final decisions have yet to be made on the performance indicators to be used, but a technical group of sector experts has recommended that they be course retention, successful course completion, and the results of a survey of all graduates to measure their learning experience.

“I will soon be announcing details of a project to enhance the professional development of the tertiary teaching workforce. This will focus on sharing excellent teaching practices and helping teachers adapt to new technologies and a wider range of student learning needs. The concept of networked centres of ‘learning excellence’ is one idea under consideration. “I will soon be receiving a report from the Enhancing Quality Project. This project is considering how quality tertiary teaching and learning can be supported by developing a culture of quality and using quality assurance arrangements. I understand that an innovative new approach has been proposed, which I’m looking forward to seeing.

“Tertiary education is now something that the majority of New Zealanders are involved in and they need to be taught by tertiary teachers who have a high level of teaching skills.

“There are many outstanding tertiary teachers, the challenge is to lift the quality of tertiary teaching across the whole sector.”

ENDS

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