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Radio NZ writes,

The group advising the Government on how to set up charter schools wants people who have no teaching qualifications to be given official teacher registration.

The Charter School Working Group says expertise, rather than a teaching qualification, should also be enough to gain registration.

Chairperson Catherine Isaac says this may include PhDs or degrees in science, engineering or languages. “They may be people with music, arts, trades qualifications who would make great teachers,” she says.

More details are in a NZ Herald article,

While we await full details on the idea, what are readers’ thoughts?

Do read articles first; they offer at least some clues why this is being suggested.

My understanding is that high school teachers have to hold relevant first degrees in the area they teach before undertaking teacher training. I’m guessing this suggestion wants to allow a “fast entry” for those with relevant expertise that might not want to front up to a year of teacher training, perhaps targeted at those who will have a limited role in teaching e.g. a few classes a week, where the return on a year’s training might be less. But does that justify by-passing teaching training?

It is worth noting that the NZ government careers website notes,

The Government offers scholarships for people to train as teachers in subjects where there is a high need. They also offer career changer scholarships, which are available in some subject areas for people wishing to retrain.

Isaac’s suggestion also seems to potentially open a “slippery slope” as to who might qualify for this “fast entry” – you’ll note how Isaac starts with PhDs, but goes on to name a wider range of options – where do the criteria end?

(I don’t normally cover teaching, that’s more Alison’s patch, but I suppose you could argue this falls within the non-research career topic I cover from time to time. This story is apparently on the front cover of today’s edition of the Otago Daily Times, but I can’t [yet] locate an on-line copy of the article, nor I have seen the print copy.)