Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Fair Go Win: Teacher Tests Will Improve Standards

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Fair Go Win: Teacher Tests Will Improve Standards

Article excerpt

Byline: Geoff Egan

TEACHERS will be tested on literacy and numeracy before they are able to run a class under a new LNP policy.

The Opposition has pledged to make new school teachers do an online test to check that they can ensure their pupils are learning.

The test would provide teachers with incorrect answers from children and they would have to explain how they would help the pupil get the question right.

This paper revealed, as part of the Fair Go For Our Kids campaign, regional Queensland students were less likely to finish Year 12 than those in Brisbane.

Experts have called for the winning party to improve the quality of teachers and upskill existing teachers.

James Cook University's Shaun Belward, responding to this paper's Fair Go campaign, told NewsRegional too many students did not have the skills from school to negotiate the maths program they offered.

The head of maths said he believed the first step towards changing graduation outcomes in regional areas was attracting quality teachers and ensuring they knew their content.

"We've done some analysis on the students training to be maths teachers and we find a lot of them fall over in first year because they're not strong in maths," he said.

"First and foremost is the quality of the teacher in front of the kids, if you don't have a decent teacher in front of class, then all sort of issues arise. "They have to know their content, if they don't know their mathematics, then there's no way they can do the job properly.

"They'll either convincingly tell the students something that's not right or they will be spotted by the kids as being incompetent in their subject and then they'll have behavioural issues."

The University of Southern Queensland's Stephen Winn said it was impossible to expect regional and rural towns to have expertise in every teaching area and unrealistic to train any one teacher in too many subjects outside their trained fields. …

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