COAG Reform Council, November 2011
Education 2010: Comparing Performance Across Australia is the third annual report on the performance of governments under the National Education Agreement. Reading and numeracy is improving, mainly in systems with lower NAPLAN performance. Progress for Indigenous students is mixed. The performance of low-SES students in NAPLAN is better in some states and territories than others. Australia is on track to meet COAG's target to lift year 12 attainment, but post-school engagement has not improved over the past decade. Internationally, Australia performs well but the country's relative scores have declined over time. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
The results of the 2010 National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship testing program have been released. The tests are taken every three years by a statistically-significant sample of Australian year 6 and year 10 students. The findings for 2010 show that the level of civic knowledge and understanding of year 10 students has been steadily improving since the introduction of the testing program in 2004, while year 6 results remain stable. See MCEECDYA statement. See also article in the Advertiser (AdelaideNow) 15 November 2011.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
Productivity Commission, 24 November 2011
A draft report released by the Productivity Commission finds that governments in Australia have initiated a substantial reform agenda to target issues such as teacher shortages, educational disadvantage, and the quality of the school workforce, including inadequate management of teacher performance. While it is generally too early to assess the impacts of these reforms, a small number of additional measures are warranted to build on the reforms and address some problematic initiatives. The Commission's proposals include exploring more explicit use of higher pay to attract teachers for hard-to-staff subjects and schools, and deferring the full-scale introduction of a national performance bonus scheme for teachers, implementing small-scale trials of performance pay instead. Adapted from publisher's description. See article in Canberra Times and article in The Australian both 18 November 2011.
Subject HeadingsTeaching profession
In November 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a National Partnership on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE), to help provide universal access to preschool programs by 2013 and to continue improvements in service quality. The key outcome sought for the NP ECE is that in the year before formal schooling all children have access to an affordable, quality preschool program. This is the first Annual Report of the four-year evaluation of the NP ECE. The data informing this report is drawn from the 2009 period. The report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEarly childhood education
IEAA, November 2011
Making a Difference details the global context, history, development and outcomes of international education in Australia. The contributors discuss the benefits of international education, the role of government and of private enterprise, innovative approaches to marketing and to student support, offshore teaching, the evolving regulatory environment and future prospects. The text is interwoven with student perspectives and market country profiles. From publisher's description. See also statement by Chris Evans, Australian Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations.
Subject HeadingsInternational education
The author suggests ways for teachers to use maths workshops in the K–3 classroom, as a means to develop students' abilities to collaborate with peers and also to learn independently. Students focus on number sense and the big ideas of mathematics. Teachers guide the conversations of small groups of students, mediating talk and thinking as students share problem-solving strategies, discuss how maths works, and move toward more effective and efficient approaches and greater mathematical understanding. Adapted from distributor's description.
Key Learning AreasMathematics
Subject HeadingsPrimary education
Slow Off the Mark: Elementary School Teachers and the Crisis in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education
Center for American Progress, May 2011
The report focuses on the selection and preparation of primary school teachers in the USA, and the relationship of those processes to the quality of primary student's learning in the STEM subject areas. The report argues that the workforce pipeline fails to ensure that teachers have the appropriate knowledge of and disposition toward math-intensive subjects and toward mathematics itself. Prospective teachers can typically obtain a licence to teach elementary school without taking a rigorous college-level STEM class such as calculus, statistics, or chemistry, and without demonstrating a solid grasp of mathematics knowledge, scientific knowledge, or the nature of scientific inquiry. Adapted from the report. The full report is available online.
Key Learning AreasTechnology
Subject HeadingsScience teaching
Teaching and learning
United States of America (USA)