Industrial action against My School
The AEU's plans to boycott the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests, in opposition to the My School website, have continued to attract intense discussion this week. See transcript of interview with Australian Minister for Education Julia Gillard, 28 April 2010. See also reports on 28 April, 29 April and 30 April on ABC News; article in The Australian 30 April; and article in The Herald Sun also 30 April 2010.
Geography teachers discuss national curriculum
A forum on the forthcoming national geography curriculum was held this week in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). See articles in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age all 27 April 2010.
Indigenous literacy and numeracy concerns
A recent analysis of NAPLAN data indicates that Indigenous students continue to score poorly on literacy and numeracy tests. See article in The Sydney Morning Herald 28 April 2010, as well as article in ABC News, article in The Age, and opinion piece in The Australian, all 29 April 2010.
Personal learning plans in SA
Senior secondary students in South Australia have used social media to express objections to the Personal Learning Plan component of the new South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). The SACE board has said that student feedback will be considered when the Personal Learning Plan is reviewed next year. See article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow) 28 April 2010.
Discussion continues around Tasmania Tomorrow reforms
The incoming Tasmanian Government is considering its approach to the Tasmania Tomorrow reforms to post-compulsory education. See report and related report from ABC News, article in The Mercury and article in The Examiner, all 30 April 2010.
More schools apply for independent status in WA
More than 130 primary, secondary and district high schools and education support centres have applied for Independent Public School status from 2011. The state's Independent Public School initiative gives greater autonomy to schools while still providing the support and benefits of the public school system. See statement by Education Minister Liz Constable 28 April 2010.
New primary maths program trialled in Queensland
Teachers from 29 Queensland state primary schools are being instructed in a new method of teaching mathematics as part of the Teaching Inclusive Mathematics Education program run by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The project is funded by the Queensland Government. The maths teaching program will be trialled at interested schools over the next three years, with the focus on Prep to Year 3 this year, Years 4–7 next year and Years 8–9 in 2012. See QUT news item 24 March 2010.
Learn or earn schemes may deepen disengagement, expert warns
Education expert Kitty te Riele has warned that Australian governments' concern to increase school retention through the 'learn or earn' schemes could entrench negative attitudes toward education among disengaged students. See report on ABC News 30 April 2010.
Private schools receive disproportionate funding for special needs students
An analysis of funding for special needs students in New South Wales has compared per capita allocations for students in government and non-government schools. See article in The Sydney Morning Herald 28 April 2010.
Homework offers no benefit for young children: expert
Education and literacy expert Barbara Nielsen has said that homework offers no academic benefit for young children. Instead, primary school-aged children should be engaged in activities that foster social skills and encourage physical activity. See article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow) 24 April 2010.
Name change for Victorian Association of TESOL and Multicultural Education
The Victorian Association of TESOL and Multicultural Education (VATME) has changed its name to VicTESOL. New contact details are available from the Association website.
Transition to university crucial for students from struggling schools
A New Zealand study has found that having a supportive family environment, having time to plan and prepare, as well as having access to study skills programs can help students from struggling schools make a more successful transition to university. See The University of Auckland news item 25 March 2010. The full report from the study is also available online.
Study: excessive state control over English curriculum can be detrimental
An international study has found that state control over the teaching and testing of English around the world is having a restricting effect on both pupils and teachers. The study authors argue that teachers and students should be given more control over what is taught and assessed, and how. See University of Cambridge news item 2 April 2010.