24 Replies to “A Quick Question About the VIT”

  1. Marty, Marty, Marty. It serves a very important purpose. It’s THE Professional Body for teachers!! THE Gatekeeper of Teaching Standards. You even get a special card that proves you’re a teacher and can work with children.

    OK, I tried ….

    It’s just more redundant bureaucracy designed to take your money and in return make life hard for everyone (particularly graduate teachers). At least vampires are honest about what they are and you can kill them with a stake.

  2. I was going to say they bought me dinner once back in 2004. Similarly, grasping.

    The card does prove useful sometimes in winter when you have ice on your car windscreen. It is a lot better quality than it was in 2004. Colour hasn’t changed.

    1. Holy moly, how time flies. Yes, back in the day the card entitled you to some serious discounts (I can still remember getting discounts at Borders).

      In seriousness and fairness, I should say that one useful purpose the VIT does serve is to provide a simple mechanism for getting rid of teachers unfit to teach. This is a good thing. Now, whether that service is worth what registration currently costs and whether the general VIT pedantry (including the crap it puts new graduates through) is reasonable are debatable points.

      Number of teachers in Victoria multiplied by the compulsory cost of registration equals a ton of money and I think it’s reasonable to ask where that money goes ….

      I would have much less of an issue with the VIT if it gave better value for money, perhaps engaged in some of the issues that the Teachers Union does (or used to, anyway).

      1. John, ignoring the massive amount of money skimmed from teachers to fund that “mechanism”, and ignoring that VIT’s PD nonsense is pissing off “fit” teachers, is there any evidence that the mechanism works efficiently or accurately to get rid of “unfit” teachers?

        1. Good question, Marty. I believe that VIT has access to the National Criminal Database, so any conviction deemed to make a person unfit to teach will result in that person having to attend a VIT hearing and plead his/her case. I used to read about some of these cases in the VIT Professional Practice issues (until these issues became a series of links to videos rather than pdf’s that you could download and scroll through).

          ‘Unfit’ to teach typically involves offences involving violence, drugs or offences against children (grooming, inappropriate relationships) etc. and it’s a very good thing that this stuff is weeded out.

          However, laziness, incompetence, bullying etc. understandably usually slips through this mechanism (but you’d hope it gets dealt with at the school level. Indeed, I have sometimes seen incompetence get rewarded with promotion – usually to another school).

          1. The criminal policing of teaching is overblown and infused with paranoia, but it is important. So, how much money per teacher per year would you estimate it requires to administer that? Five bucks? Ten bucks? Why does that even require a separate organisation from standard policing? Why, anyway, are teachers paying for that?

            What else? What does VIT offer teachers? Or anyone?

            John, I know you’re playing vampires’ advocate here. But you have your work cut out.

  3. Well, not really vampires’ advocate. I just figure that if I’m going to say mostly negative stuff, it looks more reasonable and balanced if I also acknowledge the one positive.

    Yes, the criminal policing of teaching (as with all other professions and trades) is important. And I think having one professional organisation to administer this is OK. And I’m OK with paying *a* cost for weeding out the unfit elements of the profession.

    But you’ve asked the $95.55 question …. How much to administer this? And what else is offered? As I commented earlier, it would be good to see where the money goes. Because a lot of what I’ve seen looks completely overblown. A lot of image and very little substance, not much transparency or accountability (that I can see). It’s similar to all the crap that goes on with VCAA audits of SACs – and you know my views on that.

  4. Marty (and others) in answer to some of the questions:

    1. Yes, the VIT process does stop some people from becoming teachers. I know this first hand, teaching as part of a university pre-service teacher program for a few years (no longer).

    2. When a teacher is “suspended” but nothing has been proven, the VIT, I have been told, pays their salaries, so that is where a large part (I would assume) of the money goes… especially if they were quite senior at the time.

    3. If anyone starts an alternative body for registering teachers – I’m in.

    1. Well #2 really ticks me off. Since when should *my* money pay the salary of someone who’s ‘suspended’ when nothing is proven!!? Surely the *employer* continues to pay the salary of its employee until such time as something *is* proven! What a blatant misuse of *my* money. See, no transparency or accountability. I am looking further into this.

    2. Number 8, what do you mean by “stop some people from becoming teachers”? You mean the registration of teachers? The registration and reregistration of teachers amounts to idiotic hoop-jumping based upon an idiotic degree based upon idiotic national standards. I am sure this is where much of the money goes, and it is a phenomenally bloated, ridiculous system.

  5. On two different occasions I have worked for a university and have been directly involved with teaching the pre-service teaching qualification. The VIT rubbish has delayed many a good graduate from registering. All anecdotal, of course. Probably lots of other things going on.

    As regards point 2 above, I have tried in vain to confirm what I was told. Not so easy to get answers.

    1. Anecdotal evidence is not to be sneezed at – especially when there’s a lot of it. I can well believe that evidence – Convoluted processes that require inane hoop jumping are always necessary to to justify your existence and show that you’re doing an excellent job.

      Re: #2. How unsurprising that it’s not so easy to get answers. Again it gets back to no transparency or accountability. Surely an Annual Report showing where the money’s being spent, among other things, is an essential requirement. I’m planning to submit a FOI (speaking of jumping hoops). I’d also like to see ICAC take a look ….

        1. Thanks very much, John. Yes, there’s some global detail, notably pages 28 and 31. It is impossible to determine, however, the specific detail behind the global numbers. So, for example, 12% of the registration fees – amounting to about $1.8 million – goes towards “teacher standards”, but what does that mean? There is not a single line in the Report demonstrating that the VIT contributed one iota to maintaining or raising teacher standards in any tangible manner. I’d suggest that, by demanding teachers genuflect to bloated nonsense like the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, the VIT lowers rather than raises teaching standards.

  6. I have almost completed the Master of Teaching (Secondary) and I have started the process of seeking registration with VIT. Whenever I have any question about the process, I simply ask the question on-line as they recommend and VIT gets back to me with clear and helpful answers. Not all bureaucracies are that helpful.

    I note that the requirements for becoming a secondary teacher are increasing. We have gone from a 1-year post-graduate diploma to a 2-year Masters degree; VIT registration; Working with Children Checks; LANTITE tests, and now CASPer tests. All on top of a degree in the areas in which you want to teach. I imagine that the system could be streamlined.

    1. The VIT staff have always been polite to me (though not always competent), but their politeness is neither here nor there. Your second paragraph is the point. There is arguably a weak argument for each individual bit but, collectively, it is completely insane.

    2. Is the 2-year masters degree a *requirement* as such or just what one university has chosen to offer as a pathway?

      Genuinely curious to know if the masters degree is now a requirement here in vic. It is in other parts of the world and qld has for a long time required 5+ years postgraduate study. Just not sure exactly what the requirement is (letter of the law) versus what universities offer that meets the requirement.

      Anyone know for sure?

      1. I know for semi-sure. It’s part of the national standards that new teachers have a two-year Masters of education. Last year was supposed to be the last year you could begin a one-year grad dip instead. That’s exactly why I did the 1-year version of this garbage in 2017, while I still could.

        I did hear a rumour that one could begin a Masters, bail out after one year with a grad dip, and that such a grad dip would still suffice. But I have no confirmation of that.

    3. So a Dip.Ed. gets padded out over two years and is re-branded a Masters. What a joke. The ‘Masters’ label is nothing more than snob value designed to look impressive for the average rube on the street. Has it improved teaching standards? Clearly not if there’s a need to bring in a literacy and numeracy test ….

      Go back some years and Universities started introducing all sorts of weird and wonderful Post-Graduate Diplomas, many of which had less academic credibility than a piece of paper from a corn flakes box. But they obviously generated revenue. Nowadays all these Post-Graduate Diplomas have been re-branded as ‘Masters’ degrees. What a total joke. Once upon a time a Masters degree actually meant something, but not anymore. These so-called ‘Masters’ degrees are nothing more than another cottage industry designed to make money.

      As for a B.Ed. …. What’s the difference between a B.Ed. and a specialist undergraduate degree plus Dip.Ed.? I would easily argue one big difference is that the former gave the aspiring teacher much greater mastery of the subjects s/he wished to teach. But then again, mastery of a subject has not been valued for a long time, it’s exclusively about ‘teaching pedagogy’ and the latest shiny toy ….

          1. Not WILL, HAS. The MTeach has been around for many years. And continues to grow in enrolments, mostly international, fee paying students. At all levels: Secondary, Primary and Early Childhood. The growth is mostly international that is, not the enrolments overall, Australian citizens are still in the majority there, for now, from what I can gather.

  7. OK thanks. I’m in contact (not by choice) with a number of universities and I still see four year BEd students coming through – hence my curiosity if this is being phased out or if it is the choice of universities what they offer.

    1. Ah, good point. I was thinking of people who already completed a non-ed undergraduate degree. Not sure about those who begin with this nonsense straight out of school.

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