The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is to make further revisions to the proposed national curriculum, according to an article in The Age 15 October 2010. The article states that the revisions will reduce the level of difficulty of maths, make science less content-heavy, increase emphasis on Asian history and post-war history, and reduce the volume of content across the curriculum. See also article in The Sydney Morning Herald also 15 October 2010.
Proposed revisions to the My School website have been presented to a meeting of education ministers this week. The proposed revisions amend the criteria used to categorise schools, and alter requirements of independent schools relating to disclosure of information about funding. The revisions also include technical changes making it more difficult to prepare ranked lists of schools based on My School data. See article in The Age 14 October and article in The Sydney Morning Herald 15 October 2010. See also article in The Australian 15 October 2010 on the funding of independent schools.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced curriculum writers to assist in the development of the Australian Curriculum: Geography. Expressions of Interest close Friday 29 October 2010. Further details about the positions and the application process are available from ACARA.
In NSW, a decline in the number of students undertaking challenging maths at Higher School Certificate (HSC) level has been halted. However, the proportion of HSC students taking any form of maths continues to decline. The figures are discussed in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald 12 October 2010, which describes responses from the NSW Board of Studies and the Mathematical Association of NSW.
Nominations are now open for the 2010 ACS Judith Leeson Award for Excellence in Careers Teaching. The Award, sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, is open to teachers in all primary and secondary government, independent, Catholic and other denominational schools in Australia, delivering a career or life/work education program. Teacher or career advisers from both primary and secondary schools are eligible. The nomination period ends 5pm 15 November 2010. Finalists for the award will be provided with airfares, accommodation and registration for their attendance at the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) Conference to be held in Cairns in April 2011. The winners' schools will each receive $5000 with the runners-up each receiving $3000 for their schools. See further information on the nomination process from the Australian Careers Service.
Picture books are 'fading' in the USA, according to an article in The New York Times 7 October 2010. The decline in sales is attributed to parents' growing concern to push the academic development of children in kindergarten and Grade 1, as well as the impact of the economic downturn.
An article in Edutopia 29 September 2010 discusses 'the five features of science inquiry'.
An article in Mashable 29 September 2010 makes the case for the use of social media in schools, noting the growth of social media, its capacity to engage students and the potential to establish safe online environments for students. Mashable is an online news service covering the social and digital media. See also article 6 August and article 27 August 2010 in earlier editions of Curriculum Leadership.