Monday, 14 Aug 2006

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release Monday 14 August 2006 Highly accomplished science teachers deserve higher pay The quality of science teaching and learning in our schools would be improved if science teachers were assessed and highly accomplished teachers rewarded with a higher salary, according to a paper by Dr Lawrence Ingvarson and Ms Anne Semple. Dr Ingvarson is speaking in Canberra today at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) annual conference entitled Boosting Science Learning – What will it take? ACER, in conjunction with the Australian Science Teachers’ Association, conducted preliminary research to develop new methods for gathering evidence about teaching performance that might be used in a system for providing recognition to highly accomplished science teachers. This involves collecting a professional portfolio of items to provide evidence of capability in relation to professional standards. Dr Ingvarson said improving the quality of science learning in our schools will require more effective policies and career pathways for attracting, developing and retaining effective science teachers. “For these policies to work, we need credible methods not only for defining what we think good science teachers should know and be able to do, but also for gathering evidence about performance and assessing whether that evidence indicates that the standards have been met,” Dr Ingvarson said. “Our research shows that we can define good science teaching, we can gather valid evidence of good teaching, and we can assess that evidence reliably.” “These initiatives are very much in the interests of governments and others employing teachers, and should be encouraged through better remuneration and career paths that better reflect what a highly accomplished science teacher is worth, not only to their school, but to our society and our economy.” Dr Lawrence Ingvarson is a Principal Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research. Co-author Ms Anne Semple is a past president of the Australian Science Teachers’ Association and an independent education consultant. ****************ENDS*************