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The Forum > Article Comments > Teachers find the dark side uppermost > Comments

Teachers find the dark side uppermost : Comments

By Robert Clements, published 9/3/2012

Teachers are simply overwhelmed by the battle star of regulation and fad.

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Great piece - so sad but so true! No wonder so many beginning teachers get frustrated and burnt out and leave the profession so early (or move to a non-government school).

It's the elephant in the room that nobody wants to deal with as the educrats and teacher academics continue on their way, oblivious to the damage they are causing.
Posted by Kevin D, Friday, 9 March 2012 8:35:42 AM
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Good work Robert. Paperwork and fads continue to bedevil modern education. Sadly, as Kevin says, no-one wants to deal with these matters. The National Curriculum is a solution in search of a problem and nonsensical fads like Quality Teaching are generated by the spin doctors in Education Departments across the nation. You can see it happening: an 'expert' from the UK or USA comes to sleepy Oz with an idea that will 'transform education'. The local Education Department, anxious to give its Minister something to announce, goes into overdrive. Glossy publications are printed; seminars scheduled; thoughtful papers produced by the ever helpful academics in our university education faculties.

All this activity happens at the expense of well planned courses of study, well structured lessons, active teaching (not faciliating) and careful responses to those students who have trouble keeping up. Teaching, though personally draining and operationally challenging, is not a conceptually difficult activity. If governments, educrats and academics would stop trying to 'transform' it, we might get better results.
Posted by Senior Victorian, Friday, 9 March 2012 8:52:22 AM
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Is state run compulsory mass education a viable proposition?

Isn't the sort of equine fertiliser Robert Clements describes inevitable in any state run system?
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Friday, 9 March 2012 11:20:17 AM
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The statement that the AEU is opposed to merit-based pay is false. The AEU, like all those who know what a profession is and who understand teaching, are opposed to performance bonus systems, because they allow favourtism, encourage bullying by school principals, concentrate the money on the schools in which teaching is easiest, work against the collegiate nature of teaching, devalue subjects that cannot be easily turned into a number via a test and, as US evidence says, do not work to improve educational achievement.

The Victorian advanced skills teacher system was brought in as a result of union advocacy in the 1990s. It rewarded teachers with higher skills, though the reward at the first level was too small, the reward at the higher levels meant reducing the teacherís classroom time and the salary at the highest level, which the AEU and the government had agreed would be the same as the second level of vice principal salary, was reduced by the Victorian IRC.

There has never been a system that adequately rewards the best classroom teachers and keeps them in the classroom, though one was first proposed to my knowledge in the 1979 Green Paper. We may one day get one, but it wonít be via performance pay and it will be with the support of the AEU.
Posted by Chris C, Friday, 9 March 2012 2:05:39 PM
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Robert Clements,
The situation you describe & lament was borne by leftist Labor & just about everyone who calls themselves a teacher is a vehement Labor supporter.
Would you agree that in order to get out of this mess you should really advise all teachers not to vote for Labor from now on ?
You can't say this won't work because it hasn't been done yet. I'm sure it would work.
Posted by individual, Friday, 9 March 2012 6:36:38 PM
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Dreadful writing. Does nothing for the cause of teachers.
Posted by Tutoricus, Saturday, 10 March 2012 1:55:53 PM
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