Search Tempo

Search Tempo Says Bigger Classes, Better Teachers and Higher Pay Is the Solution to the Australian Maths Skills Shortage


Brisbane, Australia -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/06/2015 --Search Tempo, a leading Brisbane IT company, says that financial incentives and teacher quality will go a long way to addressing Australia's Mathematical skills shortage.

"The secondary education sector is broken and has been for years. It makes no sense that a brilliant young Maths teacher gets paid the same and often less than a below-par humanities teacher," Search Tempo's Group Product Manager John Hacking said.

"Effective teachers in any field need a combination of subject knowledge, teaching technique and performance art to engage their student audiences and elicit behavioural and cognitive change."

"This combination is hard enough to get in the humanities, but in Mathematics it is an exceedingly rare commodity, a commodity that demands market-based remuneration."

A recent report found that forty per cent of Australia's maths teachers are teaching "out of field".

Queensland's Auditor-General has revealed that one in eight Maths B teachers in years 11 and 12, and one in three maths teachers in years 8 to 10, lacks a tertiary qualification in Mathematics.

Four times more physical education teachers graduated from Queensland universities than maths teachers in 2012. The audit noted a shortage of maths, science and technology teachers in high schools and an oversupply of physical education, music, drama and dance instructors.

In an address to the National Press Club on the 29th April 2015, Catherine Livingstone AO, President, Business Council of Australia said: "In order to achieve these philosophical shifts, we need to move our national preoccupation with class sizes needs to be replaced with a national obsession with teacher quality, teaching standards, learning methods and curriculum."

Mr Hacking went on to say: "Ms Livingstone is correct. Equating class size with educational quality may keep the education unions happy, but it does little to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of what goes on inside the classrooms. Even at so called "top" private schools, getting a good Maths teacher is somewhat of a lottery notwithstanding smaller average class sizes.

"What we need to trial is larger classes lead by Mathematics Teachers with a deep understanding of their subject and outstanding face-to-face teaching skills.

"Good grades in a university teaching degree transcript can be misleading. Teacher recruiters should test for subject knowledge, audition for performance art and teaching technique and then pay for the combination," Mr Hacking said.

John Hacking
Ph: 0402 675 355