Intrigue in the Big League

A uni student's intrigue in marketing and media

Millions wasted training teachers

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TENS of millions of dollars are being wasted training teachers who do not enter a classroom, with federal and state governments spending at least $16,500 on each student teacher every year despite up to 90 per cent in some states failing to find a job.

Universities graduate about 16,000 new teachers every year across the nation, half of whom are primary teachers, but an oversupply in the workforce means the vast majority of new teachers struggle to find work in schools.

Shortages exist in maths and science teaching, but across the rest of the profession universities are producing more teachers than required, particularly in primary teaching, with tens of thousands of teachers on waiting lists in the biggest states.”

(The Australian, 2013)

This is an article reviewing the amount of students studying to be teachers at universities and how the money spent on their training is a waste. The report explains the money is wasted because many of the students are unable to find jobs in teaching after they complete their course.

The article offers a lot of statistical information, including the following:

“90 per cent of teachers graduating university in NSW and Queensland fail to find a job, while about 40,000 teachers in NSW and 16,000 teachers in Queensland are on departmental waiting lists for a permanent job.”

Statistics to show evidence of unemployed people with university degrees for teaching are displayed throughout the article, however there are nearly never any sources to show where the information was gained.

Statistics are often used without providing a proper reference in news reporting. The following clip is part of a Today Tonight story, it uses statistics that are vague and without a reference to strengthen the argument. (Only the first 2 minutes are relevant to statistics)

In this clip, Today Tonight states that it costs the average family $1455 extra to cover shopkeeper losses. This statistic could mean anything to the audience. Is it per month? year? lifetime? And why the average family? Does that mean every family has youth that shoplift? The figure has no real meaning, it is just meant to be a large number that means families are losing money.

The article by The Australian and the report by Today Tonight both show how the use of statistics can be abused to have the desired effect on news stories.

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