Editor's note

When I was nearing my final year of high school, I had a meeting with my careers counsellor. He asked if I knew what I wanted to do with myself after school and I told him I was interested in teaching. He said given my good grades I should choose something with a higher ATAR, like journalism. Teaching is widely believed to be an important profession, but when it comes to our brightest students taking it up, it is consistently undervalued. And that includes by young people themselves.

A new survey by the Grattan Institute spoke to 950 young people with an ATAR over 80, and found while many were interested in teaching, they instead chose careers they thought were better paid and more of a challenge.

This is an issue for the future of education in this country, write Pete Goss and Julie Sonnemann. Here they outline why, and detail a plan to get our highest achievers into teaching.

Alexandra Hansen

Chief of Staff

Top story

Relative to other careers, bright students who were surveyed didn’t see teaching as coming with career challenges. www.shutterstock.com

Better pay and more challenge: here’s how to get our top students to become teachers

Peter Goss, Grattan Institute; Julie Sonnemann, Grattan Institute

Our top-scoring students aren't choosing to become teachers, and that has flow-on effects for the students who come after them.

Huge fires are raging across multiple regions of the Amazon Basin. Guaira Maia/ISA

The Amazon is on fire – here are 5 things you need to know

Danilo Ignacio de Urzedo, University of Sydney

The Amazon is burning at record levels, and land clearing is to blame. The good news: we already know what we need to do to stop it.

New attitudes show periods might finally be coming of age. July Prokopiv/Shutterstock

Does anyone have a pad? TV is finally dismantling the period taboo

Lara Owen, Monash University

A new advertising campaign for pads that features blood marks a moment when new attitudes to menstruation are gaining traction.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, is one example of doctors’ involvement on the political stage. Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons

How doctors convinced the world the planet was worth fighting for

James Dunk, University of Sydney

Doctors have long taken up global issues, from nuclear war to ozone depletion and climate change, and helped shift the course of history.

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