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Professor Drake: Passion for the job is key for teaching success

Victoria University’s Dean of Education, Professor Pat Drake, has applauded the University’s approach to admitting students into four-year teacher training courses.  

The largest proportion of Victoria University students entering undergraduate teacher training are not Year 12 school leavers, and have scores deemed equivalent to Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATARs) that are derived from criteria that compensate e.g. work experience or community leadership activities or technical industry qualifications.

Professor Drake said, “It is well established that ATAR ranking of student teachers has limitations, with recent research such as that by Robertson-Kraft and Duckworth reporting this year that the main clear predictors of teacher effectiveness are traits linked to dispositions such as passion for long-term goals and perseverance. These dispositions are also associated with success – as Thomas Edison famously said, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

“We take the view that there are many ways to succeed, and that slow progress in school should not close doors to motivated individuals chasing success.

“Our confidence is borne out by our students who do succeed, many of them overcoming significant obstacles so to do.  We are proud to be leading the way in alternative entry.

“In the four years it takes to qualify, school leavers will mature, and mature entrants will catch up what they may have missed during their own schooling,” Professor Drake said. 

The teaching profession needs a diverse workforce for schools.  Standards should not be compromised because Australian children deserve the very best on offer. This is why all university teacher education courses are accredited according to national graduate criteria and also by criteria that ensure that programs meet nationally agreed standards. 

Professor Drake said, “Victoria University is confident that by the end of the course everyone who graduates meets the standard that is applied to all teachers no matter which university they attend.

“The strength of Victoria University lies in its commitment to accepting that students will enter teaching from diverse backgrounds – which will not always include high ATAR success at school –and the University, will complement this diversity through intensive, supportive and high quality training.”

For further information contact pat.drake@vu.edu.au

Media Contact:

Christine White,

Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University

9919 4322; 0434 602884; media@vu.edu.au

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