Monday, September 06, 2010

Aptitude and academic excellence new must-haves for would-be teachers

Another theory-driven government brainwave. It won't work because the teachers themselves have been taught badly and because it is mainly dummies who go into teaching these days. Who in their right mind would want to spend the day in front of the undisciplined rabble that many Australian classrooms have become?

Before anything else is achieved you have to make classrooms a place where smart people would like to work -- and to do that you have to restore effective discipline. But restoring effective discipline is the big non-no in the politically correct world of teaching.

If the policy below is implemented without other changes, it will just lead to a teacher shortage

ASPIRING teachers will have to meet tough entry standards in English and maths. They will also have to demonstrate an aptitude for the profession under a national overhaul of teacher education to start next year.

A consultation paper on a national accreditation system for education degrees, released by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, stipulates that school leavers will have to score in the top 30 per cent in English and maths to study primary teaching and the top 30 per cent in English to become high school teachers.

The proposed model also increases the amount of disciplinary study included in education degrees, requiring high school teachers to major in one subject for at least three years and preferably a minor study for at least two years in a second subject.

The plan was commissioned at a meeting of the nation's education ministers in April, which specified that accreditation standards include prerequisites in English and maths, as well as requiring universities to train prospective teachers in special education, teaching indigenous students, classroom and behaviour management, assessment and the use of data.

Accreditation standards, which vary from state to state, are used to set the minimum employment standards for teachers entering the profession. The national system would align university courses with the professional standards for graduate teachers, which AITSL is in the process of finalising.

The model proposed by AITSL stipulates a minimum four-year undergraduate degree and replaces the 12-month Diploma of Education with a two-year graduate course.

The undergraduate qualifications comprise either a three-year degree in the required discipline followed by a postgraduate education qualification; a four-year integrated degree of the disciplinary and professional qualification; or a four-year double degree in a discipline and teaching.

The entry requirements in English and maths are set for school leavers but the model allows alternative entry paths for mature-age and other students who fail to meet the prerequisites, requiring the university to demonstrate that students had met an equivalent standard by the completion of the course. Primary school teachers would have to complete tertiary study in all the learning areas of the curriculum, and middle-school teachers would have to complete at least two years of study in two disciplines.

The courses would also have to train teaching students in how to teach those subjects.

Graduates wishing to become teachers must hold a specific discipline qualification, such as an arts or science degree, and "demonstrate an aptitude and commitment to teaching together with a capacity to successfully complete the program".

Undergraduate teaching programs must include at least 80 days -and graduate programs at least 60 days -- of supervised teaching practice, with universities required to detail the relationship with the schools, the nature and length of the placement, supervisory and support arrangements, and assessment criteria.


ABC backs down over Warming claims

ABC Audience and consumer affairs provide the following reply in regard to a complaint about its report "Melting ice making Everest climbs dangerous".
As previously advised, the ABC sourced the report it published as 'Melting ice making Everest climbs dangerous' from the BBC as part of an established agency arrangement. When your complaint was received, Audience and Consumer Affairs considered whether a significant error had been made which warranted correction. We noted that table 10.2 of the Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 did appear to show temperatures rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia. We do not claim that this was the source relied upon by the BBC in their original story.

We have noted the material you have provided questioning the veracity of a statement in the report. Since we have not been able to verify a source for the references to climate, and in view of the brevity and overall focus of the item, we have removed these references from the story and added an Editor's Note to this effect.

The editorial note reads "Editor's note (September 1, 2010): "A reference to studies of climate in the Himalayas has been removed from this story because the ABC was not able to verify its source."

Without a credible, verifiable source this story amounted to unsubstantiated rumour, and now without the climate aspect it is hardly newsworthy and probably should have been left in the editor's bin.

If only ABC News had spent a small amount of time checking its sources before getting carried away with unsubstantiated claims of climate alarm, ABC's audience would not have been mislead.

We have yet to receive a response from the BBC.

More HERE (See the original for links)

Habitual criminals continue to clog court system

Habitual criminals should be locked up for good. Society deserves protection from them

WA'S 10 worst adult "petty" criminals have committed a staggering 519 offences in just three years - and half of them did not spend a day in jail. Department of Attorney- General figures from 2007 to 2009 show that our clogged courts are being drained by the same serial offenders, at huge cost to taxpayers.

The repeat adult offences vary widely and include stealing, disorderly behaviour, trespass, street drinking, drug possession, breaching bail, carrying controlled weapons, common assault, burglary and failing to comply with police officers. Two court regulars were convicted of 98 offences, but only one received a jail term.

The figures reveal a similar trend for juveniles. The 20 most prolific offenders, aged 16 and 17, were responsible for a combined 905 offences in the same period.

Attorney-General Christian Porter told The Sunday Times he believed the habitual re-offending wasn't a result of punishments handed down by courts. "It is difficult for the criminal justice system to deal effectively with such offenders because each individual offence is minor, but the cumulative impact is serious," he said. "These are offenders who have been given multiple opportunities to rehabilitate themselves and failed to take those opportunities."

The State Government is proposing to name and shame repeat offenders in an internet "rogues' gallery".

Mr Porter said introduction of the Prohibited Behaviour Orders Bill would send a message to anti-social recidivists that the public was tired of their behaviour. Under the legislation, courts would have discretion to publish offenders' details on a government website, including their name, photo, their suburb and the terms of the order. Serious anti-social offenders would be banned from doing things, being in places or associating with people related to their crimes.

The orders would cover alcohol-fuelled violence, rock attacks, hooning, arson and misbehaviour on public transport and would be in addition to any criminal penalty. Breaches would incur fines of up to $10,000 and include the prospect of detention or jail.

"We know that in the UK courts treated breaches of similar orders as a serious matter, with terms of imprisonment occurring in roughly half of all breaches," Mr Porter said. "Should this occur it would be a victory for community safety."

Mr Porter said previous state Labor administrations had failed to give courts further options in dealing "with this hardcore group of repeat offenders". He said the Opposition "has no plan except to oppose".

Opposition Leader Eric Ripper confirmed Labor would not support the Bill and would "take him (Mr Porter) apart on the detail". "If those offenders are so prolific, they would have been before the courts on many occasions and there are plenty of existing mechanisms in the law already to enable them to be dealt with," Mr Ripper said. "What (Mr Porter) is doing is justifying PBOs on these offenders' records, when these offenders can be dealt with by existing mechanisms."

Mr Ripper suggested that PBOs had failed in Britain and any order published on the internet could be with people for life.

Breakdown of crimes

* Ten adult criminals committed 519 offences in just three years.

*Only 18 terms of imprisonment out of 519 crimes

*Five committed a total 209 offences without one going to jail

*Only one jail term after 49 offences for a one-man crimewave

*Ten most prolific 16-year-olds committed 510 offences - 121 were convicted for theft and 41 for aggravated burglary. Community based orders were handed out to 141 of them, 132 were not punished at all and 88 received conditional release orders.

* Stealing and disorderly behaviour in public accounted for 106 of the 395 offences in the three-year period for the 10 worst 17-year-olds. Five were jailed and 43 were given detention while 114 were handed community based orders.


Inept Federal health bureaucracy gumming up the works

THE state's top health bureaucrat has warned that Queenslanders could be put at risk if the registering of medical professionals is not fast-tracked. Queensland Health's director-general, Mick Reid, has attacked the newly created Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and said urgent action needed to be taken to speed up the registration process.

"It is critically important that we have the best streamline processes in place because public safety could be compromised as a result of the delays," he said. "Queensland has the greatest growth rate of health professional groups than any other state, we're the ones who are impacted most by the delays in processing and inappropriate bureaucratic red tape."

The agency came into operation on July 1 this year and has been riddled with problems surrounding the registration of doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Hundreds of applicants are understood to have been caught up in delays with the registration process. The agency changed its criteria for international applicants who applied for registration seven weeks after it began operation.

Mr Reid said it was a priority that registration changes were made that would enable a more efficient process for applicants. "There's certainly been delays in the processing of applicants for new registrations and the renewals of registration and that's particularly in medicine and nursing," he said. "They have to go get their act together."

The Nursery and Midwifery Board – one of the 10 boards regulated by the agency – has come under fire for denying nurses registration until English-speaking applicants could prove they were competent in their native language.

Mr Reid has already sent a letter to the Nursing and Midwifery Board's chairwoman, Anne Copeland, demanding an urgent examination of the requirements of applicants.

New Zealand-born nurse Joanne Hening was left in limbo for more than two months after she was denied her nursing registration until she was able to prove that she was competent in her native tongue. But within hours of speaking to The Courier-Mail her registration was approved by the agency.

Health Minister Paul Lucas has also attacked the agency's handling of registrations and said he would be discussing it at the next national health ministers' conference. "No matter who is the incoming health minister, this has to be a priority because it can undermine the very considerable benefits of national registration," he said.


1 comment:

Paul said...

The English language test that Nurses are required to sit is a very expensive proposition for those sitting. Maybe that is why it is applied so seemingly thoughtlessly.