Yesterday, the ACT Division of ATSE held workshop in Canberra on Inspirational STEM Teaching. Sixty delegates from across Australia heard from a range of speakers and focused on the importance of initial teacher training and the role of teacher certification bodies. It noted that many factors had contributed to the falling interest in STEM subjects by high school students over the past few decades, but Australia’s future economic prosperity would be affected unless the decline was reversed, and an increasing number of high school graduates chose STEM education pathways and careers.
Speakers included the current chief scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC FTSE as well as ATSE President and incoming Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE. Also speaking were Prof Debbie Corrigan from Monash University Education Faculty, Dr Lawrence Ingvarson from ACER, Mr John Phillips from the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, Mr Kerry Sheehan from the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards and Emeritus professor Robin King FTSE, outgoing chair of the ATSE Education Forum.
Lively and wide-ranging discussion covered topics including, how to set and assess standards for exemplary teaching and who should do it; whether there should be independent, industry-based registration of teachers as is done in other professions such as engineering and medicine and models for tertiary education courses and selection for these courses.