Monthly archives: February, 2019

Are we facing a glut of teachers?

Third Degree Australia is heading for a teacher glut, but a shortage of maths and science teachers. Photo: Simon Schluter
Shanghai night field

Is Australia facing a glut of teachers?

The evidence is stacking up that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for teachers, particularly primary teacher graduates, to find permanent jobs.

In May, a federal government body, the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership, released a report showing that only half of education graduates got full-time jobs.

In 2011, 55 per cent of primary teacher graduates obtained full-time jobs, 31 per cent had part-time work and 14 per cent didn’t have jobs. For secondary teachers, 56 per cent had full-time appointments, 28 per cent worked part-time and 16 per cent didn’t have jobs.

Many graduate teachers in Victoria have short-term contracts, but want permanent positions. A 2012 Productivity Commission report, Schools Workforce, says contract and casual employment has been growing in Australia.

The report also says there is a surplus of teachers as “evidenced by the substantial number of (mainly primary) teachers who are on standby for positions in metropolitan areas”. For example, of the 33,000 teachers on waiting lists for permanent positions in NSW, about 19,000 are qualified primary teachers.

However, the Productivity Commission report also points out there are maths and science teacher shortages.

Earlier this year, The West Australian reported that more than 700 education graduates who applied to work in government schools missed out on jobs. Only 278 graduates out of 992 applicants had jobs by the first day of school this year.

Last week, the Barnett government said it would put a freeze on the hiring of new teachers.

Last year, the South Australian government in conjunction with universities released research predicting an oversupply of primary teachers and a very modest shortfall in secondary teachers.

And earlier this year, The Courier-Mail reported that 1608 new 2012 education graduates applied for work with Queensland’s Education Department this year, but only a fraction got jobs.

Unemployment among teaching graduates, particularly primary ones, is likely to get worse. Since the uncapping of university places in 2012, more students have been accepted into education courses.

Under the new demand-driven system universities can determine how many undergraduates they accept into degrees, except for medicine. As a result, universities are no longer guaranteed funding for a set number of student places. Their revenue now hinges on how many students take up their university offers.

The year before the demand-driven system was introduced, Deakin University’s Melbourne campus made 340 offers in its primary degree. In the first year of the new initiative, the number of offers jumped to 452 and this year the university made 511 offers in primary teaching.

Interestingly, the number of offers in science teaching at Deakin’s Melbourne campus has dropped by 15, from 65 in 2011 to 50 this year.

So, what can be done about the likely oversupply of teachers, particularly among primary teachers?

Perhaps Ontario, which has a glut of teachers, can provide guidance. The government in the Canadian province has just announced measures to cut back on the number of students training as teachers. The oversupply of teachers in Ontario is particularly acute among primary graduates.

The government will halve the number of university teaching places and also increase the time to complete an education degree. The measures are also intended to improve teacher training and raise standards.

British Columbia is also worried about an oversupply of teachers, but has been curbing enrolments. Part of the reason for the potential glut of teachers, according to experts, is the growth in the number of education courses offered.

Perhaps some of those courses should be dropped in British Columbia and Australia.

Now, 48 Australian institutions offer more than 400 initial teacher education courses. Some of those courses are new, particularly in Victoria where Holmesglen TAFE and the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE, now teach education degrees.

Of course, many Australian graduates who can’t find permanent jobs head overseas to teach. Canadians do the same. Third Degree recently met a graduate from Toronto who is teaching at a primary school in Essendon.

But it’s a waste of public money to keep training more and more teachers, particularly for primary schools, when the job market is tight. The money needs to be redirected into finding more ways to avert the shortfall in science and maths teachers.

Links (statistics on university offers)

Follow Third Degree on Twitter: @thirddegreeblog

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….

Course road test: criminology

cccc Photographers pursue gangland figure Carl Williams after his associate, Andrew Veniamin, was shot dead in 2004. Deakin’s criminology course looks at media portrayal of crime, along with criminal behaviour, law, terrorism and ethics. Photo: Angela Wylie
Shanghai night field

Bachelor of criminology at Deakin University

What’s this degree all about?

It’s about trying to understand why some behaviours are defined as criminal, and why certain people become criminals, explains Darren Palmer, associate professor of criminology at Deakin University. Students start by considering crime, theories about behaviour and our responses to it. As you progress through this degree, you’ll get to explore everything from sentencing, law, terrorism and ethics to international and comparative criminal justice. There’s a course looking at the way the media portrays crime and a new one in surveillance studies.

Surveillance studies?

According to Dr Palmer, there has been a shift in surveillance methods in the past 10 years. This course will look at the legal powers of surveillance agencies to collect mega-data, as well as at the impact of changing surveillance techniques on society.

Now, that’s very topical.

You bet. Keeping current, there is also a course in “sex, crime and justice in an electronic age” and a course in crime prevention and security.

Cool. So who signs up?

About 80 students every year. “Criminology is booming,” says Dr Palmer, who says matters relating to crime, justice and security have become more pressing in the past 15 years. “They’re part of our everyday thoughts,” he says. “Students have a desire to have a richer understanding of what’s going on.” Most students come straight from school and two-thirds are female, he says. Though this course is taught at Deakin’s campus at Waurn Ponds, in Geelong, one-third of students are off-campus with the course available online. You’ll need an ATAR score of about 60 to 70. What’s more, you could be finished in just two years.

How’s that?

With Deakin’s trimester model, it’s possible to complete the degree in two years, though there is no requirement to do so. On graduation, students often look for police or security work. Some go on to work for the public service, federal agencies or non-government organisations dealing with some aspect of criminal justice.

What will it cost?

In 2013, students with a Commonwealth-supported place on this course could expect to pay about $6150 for the year.

What do students have to say?

Erin Byrt, 21, is doing a double degree pairing criminology and law, and is in her fourth of six years. She is enjoying the criminology major, and has found some of the electives, such as terrorism and transnational crime, particularly interesting. She notes that the use of peer mentoring, in which students read and reflect on each other’s work, is “incredibly useful”. “I started to notice great things about other people’s work and flaws in my own,” she says.

Where will I find more info?

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….

Reserve Roos upset Blues

The Kangaroos stole Queanbeyan bragging rights in the Canberra Raiders Cup grand final but the club’s reserve-grade side secured the biggest upset of the year to add salt to the Blues’ wounds on Sunday. The Kangaroos won the reserve-grade premiership with a 20-10 win over the Blues in the Canberra Raiders Cup curtain-raiser at Seiffert Oval.
Shanghai night field

Few gave the Kangaroos any hope of toppling the previously undefeated Blues. But led by inspirational captain-coach Peter Hunt, the Kangaroos defied the odds to secure a sweet victory and cap off a successful day for the club.

Hunt, 29, has been playing for the Kangaroos since he was four years old and won a Canberra Raiders Cup premiership in 2011.

”I just love the club. I’ve been here for the hardest times I’ve ever seen, won a first-grade competition and my goal this year was to win reserve grade,” Hunt said.

”I’d do anything for this club. My first game of footy was 1989 and I was four years old playing in the under-6s.”

The Blues finished the regular season at the top of the ladder with 14 wins from 14 games.

They scored 618 points and conceded just 146 to be the standout team in reserve grade.

But they fell at the final hurdle, after cross-town rivals the Kangaroos stormed from third place to win the title.

The Kangaroos missed out on a premiership hat-trick when the club’s under-18 zone 2 team lost its grand final to Gungahlin 24-26.

In other games, Gungahlin beat Woden Valley 36-20 in the under-18 zone 1 grand final and Binalong beat Harden 32-6 in the George Tooke Shield on Saturday.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….

Lewis leads teammates to glory

Matt Lewis celebrates after a standout game for Roos in the grand final. Photo: Melissa AdamsOn a day where his side showed plenty of guts, no one was braver than Queanbeyan Kangaroos prop Matt Lewis.
Shanghai night field

Despite badly injuring his hamstring in the warm-up, Lewis battled through 50 painful minutes to inspire his side to a 17-16 grand final win over Queanbeyan Blues.

A key plank of the Kangaroos march to the decider, Lewis still had a big impact against his old side in Sunday’s Canberra Raiders Cup decider at Seiffert Oval.

”That would never happen, there’s no way I’d miss a grand final,” Lewis said. ”They strapped it up for me but it was still no good. It was giving me pain all through the game.

”It was terrible watching most of the second half and extra time, I had my jumper over my head.”

As a result, Lewis didn’t watch teammate Jordan Macey slot the match-winning field goal. Macey described Lewis’ display as inspirational. ”When he did his hammy we were behind the eight-ball from the start, but he played with a lot of heart,” Macey said.

Kangaroos coach Aaron Gorrell paid credit to the rest of his forward pack for lifting in Lewis’ absence. ”Losing Lewy was pretty disappointing and it’s the first time we’ve won without him this year,” Gorrell said. ”We just needed other guys to step up, and they did.”

The win ensured their two retirees, hooker Lee Welsh and prop Jeff Donald, farewelled the game on the best possible note.

”I played in the last grand final win against the Blues [2011], but this one was definitely the best,” Donald said.

”They’ve put us through the wringers all year so we knew we had to step up.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….

Dunemann wants to end on a high

Sackings, AWOL stars, a doping confession and a record loss – it’s easy to see why interim Canberra Raiders coach Andrew Dunemann rates this season the toughest he has been involved with in 20 years at the elite level.
Shanghai night field

Dunemann has challenged his players to put the off-field issues and coaching uncertainty behind them and get themselves up for Sunday night’s swansong against the Cronulla Sharks at Canberra Stadium.

It will be easier said than done after the Raiders crashed out of finals contention courtesy of a 50-16 flogging at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on Saturday night.

The Raiders have lurched from one drama to the next in the most tumultuous season in the club’s 32-year history.

They include:

■ Josh Dugan’s axing after a round one rooftop drinking session.

■ The 68-4 loss to the Melbourne Storm was the club’s greatest losing margin.

■ The sacking of coach David Furner two weeks ago.

■ The continued absence of State of Origin star Blake Ferguson.

■ Last Thursday’s bombshell that winger Sandor Earl had been issued an infraction notice for using and trafficking a peptide.

Dunemann – who made his first-grade debut in 1994 and played more than 250 games before entering the coaching ranks – wanted his players to forget about the drama and give everything they had to finish the year on a high.

”It’s about pride,” he said.

”Tossing up that bit of rubbish we tossed up last night isn’t good enough.

”I’ve asked all the boys to clear everything out of their heads in the past week with what’s been happening because it’s been a major distraction for everyone.”

Dunemann said the two games he has been in charge of, both losses, had not deterred him from applying for the coaching position on a full-time basis.

”I just think it’s a build-up with what’s happened previously and I think some players are playing to 50 per cent of their capabilities,” he said.

”Nothing changes my outlook on the squad we’ve got here.

”It’s still a good squad. For me, it needs three to six months in the pre-season and come back refreshed. The break’s going to do them great.”

Dunemann said the season had taken its toll, with the Raiders dominating the headlines for the wrong reasons from the start.

”There’s been … incidents throughout the year from round one to where we are now,” he said.

”I’m not painting a picture of feeling sorry for them, but everything that’s happened doesn’t happen in this club very often.

”Mentally, they are getting to the end of their tether. We just need to make sure we can get up for one more game.”

Dunemann said prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs was highly unlikely to be fit to face the Sharks after continuing to struggle with a leg injury.

Learoyd-Lahrs, who has been sidelined since the round eight win against the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park, was a late withdrawal from the loss to the Warriors on Saturday night.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….