A meeting where education leaders will come together to discuss the future of teaching in New Zealand is to take place at Massey University's Manawatu Campus next week with a notable absentee.
Education Minister Hekia Parata was due to address the Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand in Palmerston North, but has pulled out because of a schedule clash.
A replacement speaker is yet to be announced but Maori Affairs Minister and Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples will also attend the event.
The conference is expected to attract up to 120 leading education researchers, policy makers and professional representatives between October 24 and 26.
Defining the quality of beginning teachers, control over professional standards and the place of alternative teacher education in New Zealand will be some of the topics up for debate at the conference, along with questions over who should develop education policy, the implications of demographic change for teaching, and whether teacher education is a profession.
The theme of the conference is "Reclaiming and Reframing Teacher Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand".
Conference convenor Sally Hansen said the time was ripe for such discussion. "Teacher education and teacher educators face a major crisis of identity," Dr Hansen said. "This conference is critical in providing a platform for raising and discussing significant concerns and issues."
- Manawatu Standard
Who do you think won Key v Cunliffe's second debate?Related story: Leaders debate reveals more even contest