The Australian Education Union (AEU) has said that a one-off literacy and numeracy test is not enough to improve the quality of teachers .
Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced in June that the Australian Federal Government would be funding a trial Literacy and Numeracy Test for 5000 students studying teaching across Australia.
But a spokesman for the AEU federal branch told The Newsroom this test is only “a BandAid solution”.
“Students who go into teacher training courses need strong literacy and numeracy skills, but one test at the end of the course is not enough to ensure this,” the spokesman from the AEU said.
He also stressed the importance of literacy and numeracy in teaching.
“Teaching is a difficult profession which involves a huge range of skills, of which literacy and numeracy is just one. While academic ability is not the only thing that makes a good teacher, it is a very important part of teaching.”
However, recently appointed primary school teacher, Patricia Walewska told The Newsroom that she thinks the tests are a positive step.
“It is obviously positive because we need to have the skills to be able to teach them,” she said, but agrees that teaching involves more than just numeracy and literacy.
“In (sic) the end of the day, we are not just teaching numeracy and literacy we’re teaching everything, including life skills. You might have someone who can ace those tests no worries, but had absolutely no idea how to approach children on their level. Teaching is all about learning too.”
The trial literacy and numeracy test will be available to students in seven capital cities and regional locations across Australia from August. – Ashleigh Stevenson
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