Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

May 28, 2023, 04:41:05 pm

Author Topic: 2019 AA Club - Week 17  (Read 3747 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 349
  • Respect: +84
2019 AA Club - Week 17
« on: August 26, 2019, 07:59:20 am »
Why our best and brightest don’t teach
25th August 2019 - The Sydney Morning Herald

Bright young Australians are interested in becoming teachers, but are put off by low pay and poor career progression. That’s the finding of Australia’s first survey of young high achievers on their attitudes to teaching as a career choice.

To inform our new report on how to boost teacher quality and student performance, the Grattan Institute asked almost 1000 bright young people (aged 18-25 and with an ATAR of 80 or higher) about their study and career plans.

We found that high-achieving young Australians are very altruistic. They rank "the ability to make a difference" as their number-one factor when choosing a career. About 70 per cent said they would be willing to give teaching a go. One high achiever described teaching as the “best input you can have for another individual”.

But a high ATAR opens the door to countless careers – many of which pay a lot more than teaching.

Bright young people know that if they go into teaching, they will be staring down the barrel of a lifetime of pay much lower than their classmates who choose degrees such as engineering, science, or law. More than 50 per cent of law graduates working full time in their 40s earn more than $140,000; for teaching graduates that figure is 5 per cent.

High achievers don’t rank pay as the most important factor when choosing a career, but the pay in teaching is their biggest turn-off. Teachers are not on the poverty line – they earn well above the average wage. And for teachers just out of university, a starting salary of $70,000 is on par with many of their peers in other professions.

But the pay in teaching does not rise much with expertise. Teacher pay at the top shows the biggest gap to other professions. For a school-leaver with a high ATAR, choosing teaching is a long-term financial sacrifice which means they will be unlikely to afford a house in the heart of our major capital cities. Faced with this prospect, most high achievers interested in teaching are deciding to enrol in other degrees instead.

It wasn’t always like this. Teaching used to be a leg-up into a professional occupation for generations of working-class Australians. In the 1950s, teaching students received a scholarship valued at about half the average full-time wage, and up until the 1980s, teachers earned a salary similar to other professionals.

But teacher pay has been declining for 40 years relative to other professions, and with it fewer bright young people have chosen teaching as a career. Our survey shows they worry not just about pay but also getting “stuck” in the classroom. They want a career that provides more challenge and opportunities to develop professionally.

Today, only 3 per cent of high achievers choose teaching for their undergraduate studies, compared to 19 per cent for science, 14 per cent for health, and 9 per cent for engineering. Over the past decade, demand from high achievers for teaching fell by a third – more than for any other undergraduate field of study.

Demand from high achievers is so low that many students are now admitted to teaching through ‘non-ATAR’ routes. Fewer than half those students finish their degree.

We need more bright and eager young people in the classroom. International evidence shows that people who did well at school themselves can go on to become teachers who help their students learn more.

Australia is now at risk of losing our "clever country" moniker. Our kids are falling behind, even in absolute terms. On international tests, the typical year 9 student today performs worse than a similar aged student in 2003; by 12 months in maths, and nine months in reading.

We can never prove what is causing our students to fall behind, but it’s difficult to ignore the fact that Australia’s test score decline has coincided with the retirement of many of the teachers who were recruited when salaries were much more competitive with other professions.

Regardless of the cause, one of the best ways to get us back on the right track is to attract more bright young people into teaching.

If Australia is to catch up, bold action must be taken. Grattan’s new report, Attracting high achievers to teaching, proposes a $1.6 billion reform package for government schools to double the number of high achievers who choose to become teachers. It would increase the average ATAR of teaching graduates to 85 within the next decade.

The package includes $10,000-a-year scholarships for high achievers who take up teaching, and new career paths for leaders of the profession with pay of up to $180,000 – about $80,000 more than the current highest standard pay rate for teachers.

The immediate goal should be to send a strong message to our best and brightest – if you want a challenging and well-paid career, choose teaching. The long-term national imperative is to create a better-educated, and therefore more prosperous, Australia.

Julie Sonnemann is a fellow of school education at the Grattan Institute. Co-authored with Jonathan Nolan, associate at the Grattan Institute.

Image: https://imgur.com/Ir0vOOU

2017 : Further Maths [38]
2018 : English [45] ;English Language [43] ; Food Studies [47] ;French [33] ;Legal Studies [39]
VCE ATAR : 98.10
2019 - 2023 : Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

I'm selling a huge electronic copy of  VCE English essays and resources document (with essays that have teacher feedback and marks) for $10. Feel free to PM me for details!


  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Respect: +3
Re: 2019 AA Club - Week 17
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2019, 10:27:06 pm »
Hi, could someone please give me feedback upon my analysis? Thank you

Following the new report released by Grattan which proposes a $1.6 billion reform package for government schools to increase the numbers of high achieving students who choose to become teachers, a debate has been sparked upon why high-achieving students are not taking up teaching as a career. In her article, published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 25th August 2019, ‘Why our best and brightest don’t teach”, Julie Sonnemann contends that due to the monetary disadvantages of a teaching career, high-achieving students are deterred from teaching. Therefore, she urges that students should be provided with more incentives in order to encourage them to choose teaching as a career. The audience that she appeals to include Australians who are unaware about the shortage of capable teachers, parents of young children and government officials. The supplementary photograph of a classroom affirms Sonnemann’s stance that providing high-achieving students with more benefits will motivate them to start teaching.

Sonnemann postulates that while Australian students are interested in becoming teachers, they are deterred due to the low pay and poor career progression. Sonnemann utilizes words such as ‘bright’ and ‘altruistic’ to describe the students in order to reinforce to the audience the high level of ability and intellect of these students. These words carry connotations of being intelligent and selfless which further illustrates the student’s compassionate nature, thus suggesting to Australians that these students are capable and therefore more of them should be teaching their children. This is further emphasized when Sonnemann highlights that “high-achieving students don’t rank pay as the most important factor when choosing a career” and instead they are more concerned with their “ability to make a difference” through the career they have chosen. In doing this, Sonnemann attempts to paint an idyllic and positive image of these students in order to instill a sense of guilt within the government officials that it is in fact their policies that have reduced the number of students that are interested in entering the teaching field, thus urging them to increase teacher’s wages. Furthermore, Sonnemann also displays statistics such as “teacher pay has been declining for 40 years relative to other professions” and that only “5 per cent of teaching graduates working full time in their 40s earn more than $140 000”. These statistics aim to shock the audience who may believe that it is unfair for teachers to be paid a lower salary as compared to other professionals, thereby persuading them to take action by advocating for an increase in teacher’s wages.

Sonnemann further asserts that this shortage of capable teachers has a major impact upon the education of the students. She presents that an “year 9 student performs worse [on international tests] than a similar aged student in 2003”. Through this, Sonnemann aims to emphasise the gravity of the issue and advises parents of young children to not take this issue lightly as it will have an affect upon their own children as well. Sonnemann also seeks to instill a sense of fear within Australian patriots over the portrayal of Australia internationally because of the low academic standards when she states that “our kids are falling behind” and that “Australia is now at risk of losing our clever country moniker”. Through the use of the inclusive pronoun “our”, Sonnemann aims to make the audience feel that they are involved in this issue and that they have some personal connection to it. The use of this friendly tone helps Sonnemann to form a close bond with the audience, making them more likely to agree with her stance. The supplementary image further enhances Sonnemann’s argument as it depicts a group of students in a classroom. The teacher’s face is cut out and the background is blurred while the focus has been placed upon the students which suggests that the focus of the audience should be upon the affect that this underpaying of teachers has upon the students as they are ultimately the future of the country. It therefore attempts to evoke a sense of blame and anger within the audience towards the government, thus making them more likely to act upon this issue. Sonnemann further utilizes evidence which shows that “people who did well at school themselves can go on to become teachers who help their students learn more”. This aims to give credibility to her argument as the audience is more likely to trust and agree with her as she has evidence that supports her stance. This may persuade the audience into believing that high-achieving students should be encouraged to become teachers in order for their children to get a better education which would in turn improve the future of Australia.
Offering Tutoring for Biology, Psychology and Methods in 2020

Monash Biomed Journal