Reporting to parents in NSW
The New South Wales Department of Education and Training has issued a bulletin to schools with updated information regarding the State's policy on reporting to parents.
The 2006 Victorian budget for school education is outlined in Ministerial media releases 30 May 2006. They detail spending on general school education, literacy and trade skills.
Northern Territory loses unspent $200,000 for Indigenous education
The Australian Government has reallocated $200,000 that was assigned to the Northern Territory Government for spending on Indigenous education programs last year. The Northern Territory branch of the Australian Education Union has called for an inquiry ‘to uncover the shortfalls in service delivery as a result of the underspend’, according to the Centralian Advocate: see ‘NT education loses unspent $200,000’, 30 May 2006, p 5.
Minister backs call to end Indigenous culture lessons
Australian Government Minister of Education and Training, Julie Bishop, has expressed sympathy with a proposal to remove Indigenous culture from the school curriculum. A report written by Gary Johns, and commissioned and released by the Menzies Research Centre, argues that teaching Aboriginal culture prevents Aboriginal children from progressing in their education. The report also urges governments to close schools in remote communities if they are not considered economically viable. The report suggests states that ‘Western education cannot and should not preserve Aboriginal culture … Too often, educators continue to defer to Aboriginal culture without recognising that Aboriginal culture is the problem … Can a welfare culture that has no work ethic be in a position to prepare its children for school?’ The Minister has said she will consider using the report to frame policy. See article in The Age, 30 May 2006. See also the response from Tasmanian Education Minister David Bartlett in Ministerial media release, 1 June 2006.
Principal defends WA curriculum amid ongoing debate
The Australian and The West Australian newspapers have continued a series of articles sharply critical of the proposed Outcomes Based Education curriculum in Western Australia. See ‘New literature course too political’, 1 June 2006 and ‘No good outcomes: WA’s upper school curriculum must be delayed’, p 13, 1 June 2006 in The Australian; and ‘Catholic schools must toe OBE line’, p 1, 1 June 2006, ‘We may opt out of system: elite schools’, p 10, 31 May 2006, ‘Catholic schools say stop OBE plan’, p 1, 31 May 2006 and ‘English teachers join uproar against OBE’, p 8, 30 May 2006 in the West Australian. However Peter Fitzgerald, principal of Donnybrook District High School, has reported ‘great success’ in running the OBE curriculum since 1996, arguing that the former curriculum lacked the flexibility to deal with students having special needs or abilities. He said that the OBE curriculum would also help meet the needs and interests of older students who undertake senior schooling without going on to tertiary study. See report in Donnybrook Bridgetown Mail, 30 May 2006.
Australian Government ministers challenge preschool over 'gay friendly' books
A preschool centre run by Marrackville Council in Sydney has been challenged by the Australian Government ministers for health and education for using children’s books that describe the everyday lives of families headed by same-sex couples. The books are from the Learn to Include series. The author Vicki Harding has said that the books are intended for children learning to read but are suitable for preschool children. See report in The Australian, 30 May 2006.
Adapting to 'Net Generation'
The University of Technology Sydney is hosting a lecture on 15 June on how resistance to e-learning might be overcome. ‘Using a virtual excursion into two digital worlds, one created by students, another by teachers, this free public lecture explores the possibility that confusion about how we learn impedes the uptake of new technologies in Education. Join us to provoke your thinking about what it means to learn. Refresh your ideas about curriculum, assessment, teaching and teacher and parent education.’ See details.