The Board of Studies’ move to institute personality tests at all universities comes after a crackdown on teacher training by the NSW government in September. Photo: Lyn OsbornNSW teaching students will face personality assessments from next year, the NSW Board of Studies has confirmed.
The President of the NSW Council of Deans of Education, Chris Davison, said the assessments will draw from tests similar to those undertaken for the army and will weed out candidates unsuited to teaching before they begin their degrees.
“The challenge is to have one that works for teaching. You probably need a much higher degree of empathy than you do in the army,” she said.
Professor Davison said that the national program was necessary despite tough new regulations on literacy and numeracy imposed by the NSW government.
She said the personality assessments were being implemented because students with poor communication or behavioral issues were still undertaking teaching degrees.
“At one stage it emerged that someone in our own program at UNSW had major psychological problems,” she said.
“They already had a degree in another field so had passed the academic requirements but they couldn’t maintain eye contact, they couldn’t maintain conversation. We found out they had recently been released from psychiatric ward and had problems interacting with people.
“Their counsellor suggested they take up a teaching degree. I counselled them to withdraw.”
The Board of Studies’ move to implement personality tests at all universities comes after a crackdown on teacher training by the NSW government in September.
For the first time this year, teachers had to achieve three band 5s to be accepted into university and pass literacy and numeracy tests, as thousands of school students prepare to return to school from January 28.
Less than 10 per cent of universities are impacted by the band 5 regulation, said Professor Davison. It does not apply to double teaching degrees such as a Bachelor of Science and Education.
The second degree is assumed to take the place of the three band 5 standard at most major universities.
Professor Davison said the tougher academic regulations announced by NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli at UNSW in September were “ironic, because we are not affected by them”.
While the regulations may not have prevented students from enrolling at most major universities, the publicity has made a dent in teaching applications throughout the state.
“Across the sector there has been a drop in applications for teaching this year,” said Western Sydney University’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Denise Kirkpatrick.
Professor Kirkpatrick said she welcomed the government’s tightening of teaching standards, saying it would lead to more well-prepared teachers in the state’s classrooms.
Despite the crackdown, second chances have been extended to teachers who have not met the three band 5 standard through alternative entry schemes or scored a double degree position.
At the University of Notre Dame Australia, students who failed to get the required marks will be able to take a bridging course that will equate to the threeband 5 qualification.
The course will focus on HSC English and the seven key competencies outlined in the Australian Curriculum: literacy, numeracy, ICT capability, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, ethical understanding and intercultural understanding.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.