ATSE welcomes the opportunity to respond to the draft national teacher workforce plan. ATSE recently released the Our STEM Skilled Future: An Education Roadmap for an Innovative Workforce report which examined how to improve STEM education and lifelong learning to help Australia reach a technologypowered, human-driven future (ATSE 2022). Based on this work, ATSE makes the following recommendations to improve the teaching workforce, particularly in STEM education:
Recommendation 1: A broad National Skills Taxonomy be established to enable comprehensive and strategic communication and planning for skills needs and pathways among industry, governments, educators, and the greater workforce.
Recommendation 2: State and Territory Government education departments employ sufficient teacher assistants in primary and secondary education to alleviate teacher time pressure and support teachers’ continual learning and development.
Recommendation 3: A centralised resource be established providing digital self-serve STEM education resources to teachers, quality assessed against the recommended National Skills Taxonomy.
Recommendation 4: Develop and invest in a targeted paid internship program for undergraduate tertiary mathematics and computer science students, to expose them to regional, rural, and remote teaching career options that they may not have otherwise considered.
Recommendation 5: Establish a Regional, Rural and Remote Mathematics Community of Practice, and consider the development of similar communities focused on other critical areas of STEM teaching.
Recommendation 6: Include as part of the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan a long-term strategy to recruit and retain in-field STEM teachers.
Recommendation 7: Government education departments invest in programs to improve and provide culturally appropriate and engaging delivery of STEM education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, particularly acknowledging Traditional knowledge, and including teaching ‘in language’. These should be developed in consultation with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.