Learning the Maori language online
The new website www.maorilanguage.net is designed to teach people the basics of the Maori language through online video lessons.
New Zealand Secretary for Education announces retirement
New Zealand's Secretary for Education, Howard Fancy, has announced that he will be leaving his position at the end of October, by which time he will have been the Department’s chief executive for more than ten years. See Ministerial media release 3 March 2006.
New technical colleges created by Victorian Government
The Victorian Government is building four Technical Education Centres to offer pre-apprenticeship and first-year apprenticeship training to students in Years 10 to 12. The move revives elements of the 'tech school' model 17 years after it was abandoned in the State. However the new centres will differ from the old colleges through closer links to TAFEs, other schools and industry. See article in The Age 8 March 2006.
Teaching history in South Australia
The History Council of South Australia is advocating that History be taught as a dedicated subject by teachers who have undertaken tertiary study in the discipline. The Council argues the need to teach South Australian history in particular, including a focus on pre-settlement history and understanding Indigenous culture. See article by Alison Mackinnon, president of the History Council of South Australia in the Adelaide Advertiser, 7 March 2006.
Classrooms welcome the world
The national Cultural Infusion program, established in Victoria in 2003, was extended to South Australia last year to offer 'grassroots' cultural experiences in school education. Artists and cultural leaders visited more than 18,000 primary and secondary students last year, in 135 performances which complement schoolwork in languages, society and environment, drama, arts and history. International and local artists are involved, including 14 based in South Australia.
Queensland Catholic schools adopt inquiry based learning model
Catholic schools in Brisbane are taking a new approach to teaching Science, Technology and SOSE, through their STS initiative. STS uses a student-centred and inquiry-based approach to teaching. See article in The Courier Mail 7 March 2006.
New ICT program for girls
The new More Bytes: Girls in IT program aims to provide additional opportunities for girls to become involved with the use of information technology. The program targets girls in Years 8 to 10, and aims to increase the number of girls studying IT at secondary schools and university. See media release from Swinburne University 13 February 2006.
Trees for education on the Tiwi Islands
As a commitment to improving educational outcomes for their children, Tiwi Islanders are selling off some of the island's stock of trees to fund a new school, Tiwi Private College. The College is due to open next year and will teach land management and environmental science alongside the normal curriculum. See article in The Koori Mail 1 March 2006, p31.
Parties' education policies in Tasmania reviewed
The Launceston Examiner 7 March 2006 has reviewed the school education policies of the Liberal, Labor and Green parties in the lead-up to the State's elections. See articles p17 (purchase text from publisher).
Fitness tests for Queensland school children
A Queensland Government review of physical education in schools may lead to a compulsory physical activity component in the curriculum. Queensland children will take part in tests to assess their fitness. The Government aims to extend physical activity programs beyond competitive sports, to encourage a wider range of children to take in and enjoy physical exercise. See article in The Courier Mail, 9 March 2006.
New Indigenous languages course in New South Wales
The Koori Centre at the University of Sydney has launched a Master of Indigenous Languages Education. The program is the only one of its kind and will be available to Indigenous students who have a four year teaching qualification or acceptable equivalent qualifications. The move follows the inclusion of Aboriginal language in education in New South Wales, where it can be studied from first school entry through to Higher School Certificate. See article in The National Indigenous Times 9 March 2006, p40.
Teacher shortage hits hard in rural Western Australia
Some high schools in Western Australia are hiring 'untrained teachers or people teaching outside their subject area', according to a newpaper report. A 2005 survey by the Australian Secondary Principals Assocation found that 34 per cent of the State's graduates with less than three years experience were given at least one class outside their subject area, a two per cent increase on 2003 figures. The State Government has offered scholarships of $40,000 to final year teaching students in maths, science, design and technology, home economics and languages, for new teacher graduates prepared to work for two to three years in a rural public school. See article in The West Australian 9 March 2006, p11 (fee-based online access available).
Fiction and poetry upgraded in VCE
Year 11 Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) students are to study a minimum of four rather than three texts, according to an updated study design from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). The revised design also specifies that students must read at least one 'imaginative print text' such as a novel, short stories or poetry in each half-year of the two year VCE course. The four text minimum will remain for Year 12 students. The move follows the VCAA's earlier proposals to reduce the minimum number of texts to be studied at Years 11 and 12, which was criticised as 'English Lite'. See article in The Age, 8 March 2006.