AustMS calls for improved teaching standards in Australian schools

AustMS has joined a consortium of professional bodies in mathematics and statistics calling for Commonwealth and state action to improve teaching in mathematics in schools. Two in five current Australian maths teachers were never trained to teach mathematics, and now find themselves teaching ‘out of field’. These committed teachers need support and upskilling.

A new review highlights the out-of-field teaching problem. While the Government has released a National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, which AustMS fully supports, we believe it must include upskilling initiatives in addition to initiatives to improve teacher supply and retention. There are currently thousands of teachers already in our classrooms who are affected, and tens of thousands of students who could benefit, in addition to an Australian economy that depends on a mathematically trained workforce. The review also highlights retraining programs that have been successful in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The consortium includes the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS), the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA), the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) and the Actuaries Institute.

The review was authored by Michelle Barker, Merrilyn Goos and Mary Coupland. Details of the consortium’s position and recommendations can be found here.