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Virulent teacher education market tough on schools

Virulent teacher education market tough on schools

New models of initial teacher education (ITE) are putting increasing demands on schools.

In a bid to address this PPTA’s executive, in consultation with the association’s Otago region, has put together a paper for PPTA’s annual conference to discuss this afternoon.

The Initial teacher education in change: But is it for the better? paper grew from a conference resolution put forward by the Otago region last year. It examines the impact of these models, particularly on the teachers and schools expected to host their students.

PPTA members will consider their effect on teacher workload and problems with new funding models, seeking ways for partnerships between schools and teacher education providers to be better managed and teachers’ contributions recognised.

An increasingly virulent market in ITE grew from the removal of government regulations in 1990, with new institutions chasing students to fill places created.

“Competition of this kind has never been known to deliver improved quality, and this was certainly true for secondary ITE,” PPTA president Angela Roberts said.

Problems around selection, course depth and quality and loose graduation standards were rife, particularly among some of the newer and smaller entrants to the ‘market’.

Over the years there have been some improvements, with a robust set of requirements for courses set up by the New Zealand Teachers Council in 2010, but new problems have arisen.

New models of ITE are making much bigger workload demands on schools and the courses have become shorter, with questions arising around quality and depth.

“We are part of the training system – we take the teacher education students into our classroom and do our best to share with them our understandings about the craft of teaching. We care very much about the quality of people who are recruited into the service. We need them to be selected from a strong pool of graduates and to receive the sort of teacher education that makes them the best teachers they can be,” Roberts said.

The conference paper proposes a working party be established to develop a detailed Code of Practice to guide their work with teacher education providers.

The group would not just include PPTA members but secondary teacher education provider representatives as well.

“This would ensure that both sides of the partnership work together to develop the code,” Roberts said.

PPTA’s annual conference runs from 29 September to 1 October and is an opportunity for members to debate, discuss and vote on papers that will shape PPTA policy. Decisions are made by secondary teachers for secondary teachers.

The full conference papers can be found at:

The conference is being held at the Brentwood Hotel in Kilbirnie, Wellington and media are more than welcome to attend. It is also webstreaming live


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