Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne will announce on Wednesday a far-reaching review into teacher training in a bid to make education degrees less ''faddish'' and ''ideological''.
Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven - a vocal opponent of minimum entry scores for teaching degrees - will chair an eight-member advisory panel to report to Mr Pyne by the middle of this year.
The review will examine university course content, teacher education methods and training opportunities with special emphasis on foreign languages, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Professor Craven's university has some of the nation's lowest entry scores for teaching degrees. He has previously said ''university cut-offs are as easy to rig as a bush picnic race meeting'' and blasted NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's call for all teaching students to have an ATAR of at least 70.
Mr Pyne said he believed teacher quality was the most important factor in improving student outcomes, ahead of a rigorous curriculum and school autonomy.
In an opinion piece for Fairfax Media, Mr Pyne writes: ''[T]here is the view the standards are too soft, few teacher courses are not accredited, what happens in the classroom remains unchanged and some universities resist demands for more stringent entry requirements or to change course contents.
''And there is evidence that our teacher education system is not up to scratch. We are not attracting the top students into teacher courses as we once did, courses are too theoretical, ideological and faddish, not based on the evidence of what works in teaching important subjects like literacy. Standards are too low at some education institutions - everyone passes.''
An independent consultant will also be engaged to conduct a benchmarking study of the world's best teacher education programs and compare them to Australia's.
The advisory panel also includes University of Melbourne Dean of Education Field Rickards, University of Wollongong Deputy Vice-Chancellor Eeva Leinonen, Grattan Institute school education program director Ben Jensen, and maths education expert Kim Beswick.
John Fleming, deputy principal at independent Victorian school Haileybury, is a passionate advocate of the teacher-focused ''explicit instruction model''. Trevor Fletcher, principal of the Eastern Fleurieu School in South Australia, is a former senior education bureaucrat.
Earlier this year Mr Pyne announced a review of the national curriculum.
The story Christopher Pyne turns spotlight on teacher training first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.