Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne will today announce a review of teacher training in a bid to make education degrees less ''faddish'' and ''ideological''.
Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven - a vocal opponent of minimum entry scores for teaching degrees - will chair an eight-member advisory panel to report to Mr Pyne by the middle of the year.
The review will examine university course content, teacher education methods, and practical training opportunities. It will place special emphasis on foreign languages, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Mr Pyne said he believes teacher quality is the most important factor in improving student outcomes. In a piece for Fairfax Media (see theage.com.au), he wrote: ''There is the view that standards are too soft … and some universities resist demands for more stringent entry requirements or to change course contents.
''And there is evidence that our teacher education system is not up to scratch. We are not attracting the top students into teacher courses as we once did, courses are too theoretical, ideological and faddish, not based on the evidence of what works in teaching important subjects like literacy.''
An independent consultant will also be engaged to conduct a benchmarking study of the world's best teacher education programs.
The advisory panel also includes: University of Melbourne dean of education Field Rickards; University of Wollongong deputy vice-chancellor Eeva Leinonen; Grattan Institute school education program director Ben Jensen; maths education expert Kim Beswick; Independent Schools Victoria chief Michelle Green; the deputy principal of Haileybury school in Victoria, John Fleming; and Trevor Fletcher, principal of Eastern Fleurieu School in South Australia.