Is ATAR an accurate assessment for admission to an education degree?


In April 2021, I observed the following: “The sad reality is that many Australians can’t spell, write, or read correctly.” And this fatigue is exacerbated by the inability to apply grammatical rules correctly. “Few students are exposed to the great books of Western civilization, but instead they need to read inferior works that meet the expectations of the progressive elite.”

Many opinions have been published regarding the decline in the level of English education in elementary schools, high schools and universities.

and Reveal the essayBarry Spurr, Australia’s first professor of poetry, talks about “the vicious circle in English education.” For him, the apparent deterioration of English acquisition is caused by inadequate education of English in college, resulting in inadequate education in this subject in elementary and high school.

Specifically, he claims that those who have learned English at school are “more taught in postmodern models at college.” And this time, many of these graduates return to the classroom as teachers to further spread their learning.

Commenting on failing to facilitate reading great literary books in the classroom, he could also add to the Black Lives Matter movement, cyberbullying, cultural cancellations, refugees, and climate change today. Classroom while banning classical literature from the curriculum reveals that texts about things are invading.

How low is the admission fee for ATAR?

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that Spurr’s view is not fake. Indeed, I recently asked a good high school student if he still had to read some of William Shakespeare’s plays. She told me that the teacher was still discussing Shakespeare’s play, but the students no longer needed to read the text.

Sir John Gilbert’s 1849 painting “William Shakespeare’s Play” contains some scenes and characters from the bard’s play. Daheesh Museum. (Public domain)

It can be reasonably inferred that the reason for this weakening of the English requirements lies in the difficulties associated with reading these plays. Therefore, some garbage talk is a substitute for the actual experience of enjoying the rich language of a great English bard.

What caused this terrible situation? In reality, students can enroll in an educational course at a university with a lower tertiary admission rank (ATAR) in Australia.

Pallavi Singhal, To comment The Sydney Morning Herald on admission requirements for study at Australian universities in 2019 discloses:

Of course, admission requirements vary greatly from university to university. Officially, most Australian universities require applicants to have a 65-70 band ATAR to enroll in an educational course. For example, in 2022, the University of Queensland advertised a guarantee of admission to an education degree with an ATAR score of 76.

However, the Catholic University of Australia had an ATAR cutoff of 48.25 in 2019 for a bachelor’s degree in a primary education course. Some education courses in Victoria had a cutoff score of 30. This is the lowest ATAR reported to be available to students.

vicious circle

It can be argued that the ATAR score for admission to a college education course is too low. Indeed, this is a disadvantage compared to the more intelligently demanding systems that require a score of 96 or higher.

Therefore, it is surprising that many education / education students have difficulty reading and writing properly and are easily taught by instructors who provide students with a pathetic curriculum approved by the University’s Awakened Brigade. Not. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that when graduates return to the classroom, they are not properly equipped to teach English to a cohort of Australian primary and high school students.

Therefore, the ineligible cycle continues and worsens over time. This incompetence manifests itself not only in the apparent lack of good literary books, but also in the noticeable contempt or lack of concern for the application of basic grammatical rules, including the proper use of punctuation, apostrophes, and commas. It undermines the clarity of being able to communicate with people using English.

Of course, there are also talented teachers who are serious about improving their students’ English proficiency. For example, these teachers may try to increase their students’ English vocabulary by becoming accustomed to the words they have learned very much.

Teaching english

Recently I came across the use of the word “sesquipedalian”. This is an adjective used to modify long prose. It is permissible not to understand this word, but it certainly does not seem to stand out in most people’s everyday vocabulary. This word is reminiscent of the word used by Sir Nigel Hawthorne. This is well known as the appropriate question for $ 250,000 ($ 170,000) in “Yes, Prime Minister” as the fictional TV character Humphrey Appleby, or in the popular Channel Nine Millionaire Hotseat Program. ..

Therefore, teachers can use difficult words to diversify and enrich their students’ English vocabulary. This is good unless you sacrifice the clarity of communication of the idea.

Epoch Times Photo
Education is an endless pursuit. (Jacob Lund / Shutterstock)

The unfortunate situation in English education is not helped by those who write meaningless sentences that reasonably intelligent people do not understand.

An example in the academic list H-Japan blog post is the following sentence: “Starting with these questions, Anne McKnight said about Ruth Ozeki’s novel My Year of Meat, in addition to what these localized discussions are not the complete or ironic path to the monument. It may be a symptom of that. Anyone who understands this sentence and claims to be able to explain its meaning to others may be a member of a declining minority.

Therefore, the message is clear. Revalidation of English education should start with an increase in the ATAR score. We hope that this will result in more qualified teachers who are less willing to impose awakened curriculum on high school students.

But will increasing ATAR scores and stricter admission procedures reduce the number of educational graduates who can serve our school? Undoubtedly, considering this question may provide new insights into Australia’s education system.

However, due to its complexity and multifaceted aspects, it is better to leave the discussion on another occasion.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Gabriel Moens


GabriĆ«l A. MoensAM is an emeritus professor at the University of Queensland and vice president and dean of Murdoch University. In 2003, Mornes was awarded the Australian Centennial Medal by the Prime Minister for her service to education. He has taught extensively in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the United States. Moens recently published two novels, “ATwisted Choice” (Boolarong Press, 2020) and “The Coincidence” (Connor Court Publishing, 2021).