Pyne’s argument is that “too much money has been wasted on reducing class sizes and that instead there should be more focus on the quality of teaching”.
We therefore have his argument that teacher training and quality are more important than salaries or reducing class sizes.
But wait a moment, how does one encourage the best people to enter into the teaching profession without paying them an amount at least equivalent to their “market value”? How does one increase the value and thus the quality of teaching without paying wages commesurate with expectations?
Pyne told Lateline that teaching has become a “cheap” and “easy” job to get, and that it is not attracting high achievers.
This is somewhat twisted logic. If a job is “cheap” and therefore as a result is not attracting high achievers, then surely the solution would be to pay teachers more, thereby raising their status. But not so according to Christopher Pyne, who also argues that there are things more important than salaries.
Pyne also intimated that the socio-economic status of school attendees is not relevant as a factor in the success of a student’s education, however then proceeds to argue that private schools are more effective at teaching because of..Why? Because of available resources, which of course relates almost entirely to socio-economic status.
And what do most private schools boast about? None other than smaller class sizes, of course.
I could go on about teacher effectiveness, about why one teacher or one school is more effective than others. We start with children who are motivated learners, due to expectations and socio-economic background plus the availability of resources. However, the most important thing of all is motivation and this relates almost entirely to expectations. Take these same motivated learners, give them a book, give them a set of paints, a block of wood, a set of empty egg cartons and some coloured string and they will learn, they will be effective learners.
Teacher training? Well perhaps, but from my experience the ability to teach children is more about instinct, about providing opportunities to think for oneself without being overly directed. The most effective learner is one who is self-motivated.
Christopher Pyne has also stated that a Coalition government “plans to move underperforming teachers out of the profession”.
But how to identify the underperforming teacher? Results-based. Therefore a teacher who decides to take on the difficult tasks is indeed under the threat of being identified as underperforming due to the difficult backgrounds of some of his or her charges.
In conclusion: according to Christopher Pyne he is not going to pay teachers any more money, is not going to reduce class sizes; and yet via some minor miracle is going to going to focus on “quality”.
Presumably, by the time that Pyne weeds out the underperforming teachers then those left standing will all be pure “quality”..underpaid quality, severely under-resourced quality..but quality nonetheless.
And oh, by the way No help for TAFE
With dozens of Ballarat TAFE courses set to be axed due to state government funding cuts, unions can expect no assistance from the federal government according to a Coalition frontbencher.