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Beyond A One-size-fits All Approach To High-quality Teacher Education

The Minister’s announcement on the education budget shows a prioritisation of school-based training whilst the latest press release from the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand is seeking to position teaching as a postgraduate profession.

Teaching has been a degree profession for many years now, with teacher education

encompassing 3-year undergraduate degrees and 1-year graduate and postgraduate diplomas and Masters degrees. Since 2019, all these qualifications have increased time in schools and early learning centres to 40%, as required by the Teaching Council Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand (TEFANZ) welcomes discussions and investments that support the delivery of high-quality Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Aotearoa New Zealand but it critiques the ways in which current decisions about ITE have excluded ITE providers themselves and appear to advocate for a one-size-fits-all approach.

Dr Rosina Merry (Chair of the TEFANZ executive) believes there should be choice in the

provision of high-quality ITE, offering a variety of pathways to becoming a teacher, which would attract more applicants into the profession. Government investment should aim to make quality ITE accessible to more at both undergraduate and post graduate levels. Dr Merry recognises the need for greater numbers of prepared graduates moving into the profession and states that TEFANZ, representing ITE providers across Aotearoa, should be part of the decision-making process.

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TEFANZ acknowledges the commitment of the providers who have worked closely with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and respective approval organisations (such as NZQA and CUAP) to ensure quality programmes lead to quality graduates. These programmes acknowledge and leverage the benefits of both on-campus and field-based learning, and reflect ITE providers’ close work with school partners and stakeholders to develop programmes that meet the needs of their communities.

The Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand (TEFANZ) is a not-for-profit

organisation representing and consisting of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers (university and non-university) across early childhood, primary, secondary and Māori medium education sectors. TEFANZ’s role is to promote and foster quality initial teacher education, advocate for the profession and contribute to educational policy on ITE.

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