By Wayne Patterson
Teachers from across the state met in Sydney on 2 June to discuss the Ramsey report, 'Quality Matters.' The report goes well beyond questions relating to teacher education and has important implications for those currently teaching in schools.
Dr. Jim McMorrow, who is convenor of the Teacher Education Review taskforce report, addressed the seminar. Dr McMorrow is responsible for preparing a report to the Minister after consultation with the education community about the recommendations of Dr Ramsey's report.
Other speakers included, Denis Fitzgerald, President of the Australian Education Union, Wendy Currie, NSWTF Research Officer, Ann Taylor, AEU Victoria Branch Deputy President and Cheryl Best, Principal of Granville South High School and a member of the Teacher Education Review taskforce.
Cheryl Best reported on the work of the American National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The board has developed standards and assesses teachers for what they refer to as 'accomplished' teaching, a classification which leads to salary increases of up to $US 10,000 per annum in some American schools.
A series of workshops gave teachers attending the seminar the opportunity to discuss specific issues raised by the report.
The Ramsey Report recommends wide-ranging reforms. Some of these, such as the formation of an Institute of Teachers and targeted teacher education scholarships, deserve careful consideration while others should cause serious debate among teachers.
The Federation has established a forum to this discuss these issues and the DET has published details of the report on its website.