Professor Tania Aspland, The Executive Dean of Faculty of Education and Arts successfully led a forum of the Australian Council of Deans of Education together with The Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham in Adelaide on 1 September.
The Deans were particularly pleased to hear the Minister recognise the important public benefit of Commonwealth-supported places (CSPs) in teacher education and there will be further consultation on how to best utilise existing infrastructure and organisations to ensure the best CSP framework.
Additional points raised in questions with the Minister included the following:
National Framework for Principals The Minister has tasked AITSL with developing a comprehensive National Framework for Principals with pre-Principal pathways and accompanying applicant standards. The AITSL proposal will go to Ministerial Council next year and may later be introduced as a standalone framework or as part of the current Gonski reforms.
More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Deans were heartened by the Minister’s interest in the critical area of attracting, supporting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers and teacher education academics following the end of the More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative (MATSITI) project last year. The Deans strongly agree with the Minister’s view of the need for strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models in classrooms for all Australian students and improvement in cultural awareness, appreciation and respect.
Professional Experience, Evidence-based Tools and Lifelong Learning
Preparing teachers for rural and remote education
Minister Birmingham outlined the three pillars of back-to-basics, core literacy and numeracy skills; the need for STEM skills in our economy; and the complex preparation of students required for students to work and participate successfully in society. Professor Aspland supports his focus on the use of evidence in pedagogy and practice and the challenging task of providing teachers with access to evidence-based tools throughout their careers.