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Home > News > 2016 > February > Personality tests for teachers miss the point

Personality tests for teachers miss the point

Proposed personality tests for student teachers in NSW would only serve to help reinforce low public perceptions of the profession according to the IEUA-QNT.

The NSW Board of Studies recently confirmed such testing of student teachers would begin in 2017.

IEUA-QNT Research Officer Adele Schmidt said the proposal does nothing to address, and everything to amplify already poor public perception of the profession.  

“Such a proposal is quite troubling. It is a common technique used in a corporate setting but to use it as a tool to determine who is 'suited' to teaching is inappropriate.

“While there is no doubt that there are some characteristics which are essential for dealing with children and adolescents, the exact mix of personal and academic characteristics required for success as a teacher depends on complex, dynamic interactions that are underappreciated by those outside of the profession.

“The ability of a teacher to engage with their students cannot be so easily as to identify those who might be 'good teachers' before they have even entered the classroom.

“Personality tests such as the one proposed for NSW teaching students only puts public focus on what makes a 'bad' teacher and could well put deter students from pursuing teaching as a career altogether.

“At a time when we are losing so many graduate teachers from the profession, putting in place barriers to their pursuit of teaching as a career from the very beginning makes no sense,” Ms Schmidt said.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.