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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

NSW universities will be required to train specialist teachers with a solid academic foundation in their specific discipline following changes to initial teacher-training requirements announced today.

Physics, chemistry, biology and environment science teachers will now need to demonstrate a solid foundation in their core subjects and the HSC curriculum to progress to teaching in NSW schools after Education Minister Rob Stokes signed the new measure that sets a new standard for excellence across STEM subjects in NSW.
“Teachers should not only be celebrated, they should be revered. These new standards mean the community can continue to have confidence that NSW teachers have deep discipline knowledge,” Mr Stokes said.

By setting required learning during training, it will increase knowledge of core subjects, improving student engagement and success in HSC science courses.

“Minister Birmingham announced that he expects specialised STEM teachers in high schools within five to ten years. I say we start today,” Mr Stokes said.

NSW is already the only state to have minimum requirements in each subject to qualify as a teacher for each high school subject area.

“The notion that you can instruct, inform and inspire students without a firm understanding of the course content is crazy. Teachers should be masters before they educate apprentices,” Mr Stokes said.

Changes to high school minimum qualifications will begin in 2019. This year, we also celebrated the first cohort of primary school graduate teachers who have obtained specialty in maths qualifications in classrooms making a difference to the early engagement of students in STEM.

Teachers who choose to train as a generalist Year 7 to 10 science teacher will also be able to teach the new HSC Investigating Science course. Teacher subject specialisations are recorded by NESA and listed on teachers’ letter of accreditation.