The 2008 Conference of Curriculum Corporation was held in Melbourne this week. The Conference was an opportunity for in-depth discussion of issues surrounding the national curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and other major themes in school education. See transcript of the opening address by Australian Government Minister of Education Julia Gillard, and the report on her speech in the Sydney Morning Herald 10 November 2008. See also commentary by Dahle Suggett, Deputy Secretary, Office for Policy, Research and Innovation, DEECD, in Australian Teacher Magazine 6 November 2008, report in The Age 12 November 2008, and summary of the public forum ‘C21st Learning: A conversation for the whole community’ in the abstracts section of this edition of Curriculum Leadership.
An article in The Australian 14 November 2008 describes a letter to the Australian Government from New South Wales Education Minister Verity Firth, which states that draft curriculums released by the interim National Curriculum Board for English, history and the sciences represent 'substantial progress in designing the highest quality national curriculum'.
South Australia’s Year 10 students will learn life, personal and work skills in a new compulsory subject to be introduced next year as part of the new South Australian Certificate of Education. The Personal Learning Plan – the first subject to be taught under the new SACE – has been approved for introduction in all schools from the start of 2009. The SACE Board has accredited the subject’s content after successful trials in 40 schools last year and in all Catholic, Independent and Government schools across the State this year. The first Stage 1 (Year 11) subjects under the new SACE will be introduced in Government, Catholic and Independent schools in 2010, followed by Stage 2 (Year 12) subjects in 2011. The Personal Learning Plan will help set the agenda for each student’s journey towards achieving their SACE and beyond. The Personal Learning Plan subject outline is available online at www.ssabsa.sa.edu.au. See Minister's media statement 3 November 2008 and also the feature article in this edition of Curriculum Leadership.
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has congratulated recipients of this year's Scholarships for Career Advisers. Study scholarships worth $5,000 each will provide support for recipients to undertake post-graduate studies and upgrade their career adviser skills and qualifications. See Minister's media statement 13 November 2008, which includes a link to the list of award recipients.
A new interactive resource for students in Years 9–12 is now available. Your Money $tarter – Insurance and Super: A financial literacy resource for secondary schools has now been sent out to Australian secondary schools. The resource is published by Curriculum Corporation on behalf of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). Schools can access the interactive tools supporting the resource through their State and Territory digital portals via ASIC’s FIDO website http://www.fido.gov.au/yourmoneystarter. See also article on financial literacy in Curriculum Leadership, 17 October 2008.
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced up to $22m in conditional funding to ensure that all ABC Learning child care centres remain open and are providing care until 31 December 2008. See Minister's media statement 7 November 2008 and report in the Sydney Morning Herald 14 November 2008.
An editorial in Educational Horizons Vol 10, No 3, 2008 covers some upcoming festivals that schools may want to consider incorporating in their end-of-year celebrations. Indigenous festivals, Matariki (Maori New Year), Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Eid-ul-Fitr, Diwali, Kwanzaa and the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival, Têt-Trung-Thu, are briefly described. For a list of festivals throughout the year, visit http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/a-diverse-australia/calendar-australia/.