Which of the following words has the closest meaning to “explicit”?
D) clearly stated.
Here’s another. If one box of stationery weighs 3.2 kilograms, how much would 100 boxes weigh?
If you can’t answer these questions correctly, a teaching career probably isn’t for you.
From July next year, education students will have to pass a new literacy and numeracy test – with questions similar to those above – to be registered as teachers.
Click here to TAKE THE TEST
The good news is that nine out of 10 participants in a national pilot of the test conducted earlier this year passed the exam.
Of the 5000 education students who sat the pilot test across the country in August and September, 92 per cent passed the literacy section and 90 per cent passed the numeracy section.
The bad news is that almost 2000 new teachers each year appear to have been graduating with substandard basic literacy and numeracy skills.
If the trial results were replicated nationally, 10 per cent of teaching students – around 1800 people – would have failed this year’s test.
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said: “It is great to see the overwhelming majority of students passed the literacy and numeracy test.
“However, while the majority of initial teacher education students who sat the test passed, it is concerning that up to one in ten did not.
“We need to ensure those students graduating from teaching courses can cope with the demands of teaching and have strong literacy and numeracy skills.”
Senator Birmingham said the aim of the test, which will become mandatory next year for teaching graduates, is to encourage universities to only accept students who are capable of ranking within the top 30 per cent of the population for literacy and numeracy.
If students fail the test, they will be offered targeted support from their university before re-taking the exam.
John Hattie, chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, described the results as a “mixed bag”.
He said he was concerned one in ten students had failed and said the results next year could be worse because the pilot test used volunteers.
The mandatory test is one part of a suite of measures – including tougher accreditation standards for university courses – he hopes will boost teaching quality.
“We need to get away from the idea of teaching as a profession as last resort,” he said.
The federal government adopted the national literacy and numeracy exam following a review of teacher training that recommended against minimum entry requirements for teaching students.
Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven, who headed the review, said: “You can’t select quality teachers by looking at a mark branded on their forehead when they are 17. What matters is how teachers come out of university, not how they go in.”
Data released earlier this year by the federal Department of Education showed only one in five teaching students had a tertiary entrance rank of 80 or above.
The Age: DECEMBER 1 2015