The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has provided a statement as a contribution to the Federal Government’s review of the Australian Curriculum. In this edition, Curriculum and Leadership Journal publishes a cover letter to the statement, provided by Professor Barry McGaw AO, Chair ACARA Board. 'The school curriculum expresses a nation’s aspirations for its next generations. The curriculum must strike a balance between developing young people’s understanding of their national history and culture and preparing them for a future that is increasingly global and largely unpredictable. What constitutes essential school learning will always be contested because behind it is a debate about what knowledge is of most worth. Curriculum stirs the passions – and that is a good thing. Curriculum is never completed. It is never perfect and should always be a work in progress. As responsible citizens, we are obliged to provide our future generations with the best possible learning opportunities and outcomes. ACARA is mandated to set high expectations for what is taught to students in schools throughout the country... We have not yet seen the true benefits of a national curriculum but we are confident that young people and the nation will be better off as a result of the work done by tens of thousands during the last few years. We can be rest assured that quality education is not a distant dream for our children.'
Quality teaching is vital for student learning, and high-quality initial teacher education is vital to the creation of a high-quality teaching workforce. The Initial Teacher Education: Data Report 2013, released by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), provides a collation of 2011 data on initial teacher education. The report provides information about the demographic characteristics of applicants, their prior academic achievement, mechanisms to assess and admit applicants, the extent to which principals and existing teachers are satisfied with the programs, and the employment rates of graduates from initial teacher education courses. The article is based on extracts from the report. AITSL is currently developing the next report, covering data from 2012; this is due for release later in 2014.
The practice of lesson study offers ways to enhance initial teacher education, by developing the pedagogical skills and the self-confidence of both trainees and experienced teachers – Cambridge Journal of Education.