So I’ve just finished reading yet another article that provides plenty of commentary about how shit (pardon my Australian) teachers are and the fundamental problems with our education system, yet in the same breath complain that we don’t have enough highly skilled professionals as teachers!?!
“Counting the cost of national maths failure”, The Australian, 6th December.
The article starts with an interesting and rather misleading graph depicting the ‘rapidly’ declining PISA scores for Australian students. I know that this style of writing ‘sells’ more papers but I wonder what kind of outburst there would be if the shoe was on the other foot… imagine if all teachers taught students that newspaper journalists were rubbish and were dumbing down the nation with their continual literary dribble, and that most of them were writing about things they weren’t formally trained to write about! hmmm… that’s actually an intriguing idea…
“The steady decline in mathematics performance in Australian schools has resulted, in turn, in a shortage of qualified maths teachers.” Really?!? Is this the root cause of the declining number of specialist teachers? Or maybe the once respected profession has been dragged through the mud once too often by the ever criticising media.
There is no easy answer for ‘fixing’ the declining levels of achievement in mathematics and anyone that thinks switching everything back to skill & drill rote learning is the way obviously missed the memo on 21st century learning.
Do you have the answer?
2 thoughts on “‘Teacher bashing’ Australia’s favourite sport?”
I heartily agree Jason, but believe there are no quick fix answers. Much of the solution lies in creating a culture that values learning.
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Thanks for your comment Lyn!
The responsibility for the development of a culture that values learning doesn’t sit wholly within a school setting. Communities, both physical and virtual, must work collaboratively with schools to improve the standing of the profession and recognise the heavy weight of responsibility that is placed on staff’s shoulders (not just teachers! SSO’s, school leaders, volunteers, etc). It is not an insurmountable challenge but the difficulty is compounded by the negative perceptions imposed on the public by media outlets. Just look at The Australian again today and compare how many ‘positive’ articles regarding teaching exist vs ‘negative’.