Small team of elite teachers at the forefront of a push to improve the level of education across the country.
- Results of a teacher education review set to be implemented from 2022
- Australian Secondary Principals’ Association says advanced training keeps leaders in the classroom
- Group calls for more HALT teachers in schools across the country
Despite the introduction of the Highly Accomplished and Principal Teacher Certification (HALT) nearly a decade ago, fewer than 900 nationwide have completed the training.
But Australian Secondary Principals’ Association president Andrew Pierpoint said the change was coming, with renewed interest in advancing teacher education.
“We want to make sure these people are the best of the best,” he said.
“This HALT process ensures that the best stay at the top, leading other teachers.”
The push is part of a federal government review on teacher education, with planned changes expected to filter through higher education from next year.
Mr Pierpoint said it takes much more than a grade at the end of 12th grade to become an effective teacher and training models need to focus on other skills before agreeing to teach students .
“To be a good teacher you need more than academic intelligence around the subjects you teach,” he said.
“You have to be able to develop relationships with students. You have to be trained in the theory of assessment and the practice of assessment, for example, the bedside manner that we try to incorporate into the selection of students. future teachers. “
A teacher’s journey
Toowoomba’s teacher Angela Martlew achieved HALT status after what she described as a very difficult process.
“It can take years to develop your application and then you submit it to the Queensland College of Teachers,” she said.
“The panel you are faced with then is nerve-racking; teachers don’t take it lightly. This is just the first hurdle.”
Ms Martlew said she had to submit an evidence-based portfolio, face a panel of independent educational experts and be reviewed by a classroom assessor.
“It was very exciting to receive this successful email because the submission of this portfolio took a lot of work.
“The celebrations could have involved a burst of champagne.”
Ms Martlew said she supported measures to employ more HALT certified teachers.
“Research has shown that there is a huge benefit to having more than one HALT teacher in a school, but it has to be a rigorous process.
“There may be ways to encourage other teachers to consider it.
Mr Pierpoint said HALT training was vital to retaining expertise in the classroom.
“These are teachers who are at the top of their game and stay on top of their game, rather than going into administrative roles in a school,” he said.
Change of course required
Announcing the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) review earlier this year, Education Minister Alan Tudge set the goal of bringing Australia back to the top of education nations by 2030.
Mr Tudge admitted that Australian educational standards have steadily declined over the past two decades.
The Australian Secondary Principals’ Association also urged the ITE review to implement changes in the teaching courses offered across the country to make them consistent.
Typically, the practical element of a teaching degree is done in blocks in the amount of 10 weeks.
“Why not see if we can have several months based in a school,” Mr. Pierpoint said.
“We have learned that distance learning can be very effective for short periods of time, so let’s use it and get students to study in a school and understand how the school works from the inside out, not from the inside. ‘outside.”
The Federal Ministry of Education is expected to start discussions on the recommendations of the ITE review with higher education institutions and schools early next year, with permanent changes to follow.