Monday, December 22, 2008

Teach for Australia, revisited

I wrote a blog about Teach for Australia in February 2008 and it is still attracting comments, so I'm revisiting it here.

In a recent comment, franith has referred to the last three paragraphs of this article in The Australian, dated November 28, 2008:
"The commonwealth has already committed to funding a $500 million national partnership to improve teacher quality, and Ms Gillard announced on Wednesday night a scheme to attract the best university graduates into teaching.

Ms Gillard called on businesses to support the program, based on the successful Teach for America scheme, which will recruit top graduates to work in disadvantaged schools before they start their careers in areas such as law, accounting or management consulting.

A joint venture between Noel Pearson's Cape York Institute and Macquarie University is expected to launch Teach for Australia next year"
This sounds more substantial than other ALP government initiatives since IMO teacher quality is the central issue - will have to keep an eye on Julia Gillard, she may be evolving into a real educational reformer

The "Teach for Australia" proposal is based on, but, is also different from the "Teach for America" scheme. One important difference is that TF Australia pairs experienced mentors ("Fellows") with new recruits ("Associates"), which, I believe, TF America does not

What Gillard announced was support for a 'Teach for America' type scheme in disadvantaged Australian schools. Then The Australian newspaper added on a separate paragraph about an expectation regarding the Pearson / Macquarie University 'Teach for Australia' scheme, intended for remote indigenous school, in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia. ie. Gillard did not announce a 'Teach for Australia' scheme, which is a significantly bigger commitment to what she did announce. This may well be a newspaper beat up

I should try to contact Macquarie University in the new year to find out more about this

Here are some other related blogs I have written on this topic (most recent first):

staffing high needs schools

learning evolves pyramid

wendy kopp's book

teaching to the test

teacher training

it sounds like a miracle

curriculum reform will not improve education without quality teachers

teach for australia

mckinsey: run schools as you would run a successful business


franith said...

Good news - The program now has a facebook page ( and a 'launching in march' website at

Bill Kerr said...

thanks franith, good news indeed!

teach for australia (facebook)

teach for australia (website)