PPTA puts spotlight on quality teaching
Creating the conditions to enable quality teaching is about strengthening the partnership between teachers, students, parents, communities and Government, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.
In opening PPTA’s Quality Teaching: Leading the Way Conference, Te Whaiti said good decision making in education needed to involve teachers because they had to translate policy into effective teaching and learning in the classroom.
She said teachers had been shut out of debates about education in the 1990s, however, the government “now seems to acknowledge that effective change in schools cannot happen without the involvement of professionals in the classroom.
“Teachers have a serious representative role to advocate on behalf of the profession precisely because we know the realities of life in schools. Taking account of those realities and practicalities is vital for effective improvements.
PPTA’s conference will consider the meaning of quality teaching, what enables it to occur and what prevents it from occurring. It will look at the intense focus on quality teachers, both in New Zealand and overseas.
Te Whaiti said teachers taught best when they had a wealth of knowledge far beyond the immediate needs of their class, “so that they can place what they are teaching within that larger framework and fully understand the path their students are on.
“Quality teaching is also about collegiality and trust, not about teachers being competitive, nor about teachers producing artefacts for a low trust accountability or compliance regime.
“In true collegiality, teachers can share their hesitations and questions, seek answers to problems, share successes and offer support to each other.”
Te Whaiti said PPTA was pleased to be holding its second professional conference in three years, and privileged to bring together distinguished educators from New Zealand and abroad for three days of thought-provoking debate and dialogue.
“PPTA is a professional association, and our commitment to the professional aspect of our activities is very strong, and very long-standing. It belies attempts by some people to paint us as a militant union.”