Two recent articles in the Daily Telegraph, “Students in almost 60 percent of high schools taught by unqualified teachers” and “Mathematics skills out for the count“, highlight two key (and related) concerns in Australian mathematics education: the continuing shortages of skilled maths teachers in high schools (with one in five schools having at least one maths teacher without full qualifications, according to a recent Australian Education Union survey), and the long-term decline in enrollments in advanced maths classes (stabilising a bit in the last year or so, but still 15-25 percent below the numbers from a decade earlier).

[Thanks to Phillip Booker for the links.]

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Filed under: Media, Secondary education |

Phil Harmsworth, on 2 November, 2009 at 10:06 am said:On the other hand, a letter from David Burford in ‘The Age’ 28/10, states that:

‘Two weeks ago, I was one of three maths and science teachers on contracts who were told they would not be required next year. The principal would be re-advertising our jobs as ”graduate positions” (for newly qualified teachers), for which none of us would be eligible.

We have all been avidly searching for work for the past four months. Between us we have only been able to obtain one job interview.’

He goes on to state that he’s seen few ads this year for anything other than graduate positions in his subjects [physics, mathematics and chemistry].

Hardly an incentive for anyone who wishes to become a secondary mathematics teacher.