The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has released the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography paper and the draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages paper for public consultation. See statement from Australian Minister for School Education Peter Garrett, 1 February 2011. See also article 2 February and article 1 February 2011 on languages education, both in The Sydney Morning Herald.
A presentation detailing the structure and design of My School version 2 is available on the ACARA website. The presentation, which does not include 2010 data, provides a guide to the new elements of the site. The ACARA website advises that My School version 2 will be launched in early 2011. See also article 2 February 2011 in The Age, which predicts delays to the launch of the new version.
SchoolAid has nominated Thursday 17 February as Floods Relief Appeal Day. SchoolAid is a national schools-based philanthropy network empowering children to help peers facing a crisis. Its website provides access to free teaching resources to assist with educating students about disasters and how they can make a difference.
The Victorian government plans to encourage secondary schools to specialise in areas such as maths and science where skilled labour is in short supply. The Government is also supporting business involvement in specialist schools. See article in The Age 24 January 2011.
Author and experienced teacher Chris Wheat has written an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald 2 February 2011. He reflects on current issues in teaching, including the role of research in informing classroom practice.
The number of hours that Australian school students spend at school is high by international standards, according to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 January 2011. The long hours, partly generated by extra-curricular activities, have prompted warnings by some commentators that children are becoming over-burdened.
The South Australian government is offering disengaged long-term teachers a financial incentive to leave the profession. The Teacher Renewal Program offers a transition to retirement or another career. See article in The Advertiser 29 January 2011.
An article in The Age 29 January 2011 reports that a high percentage of teachers at Victorian government schools are expected to take classes for which they do not have subject qualifications.
A campaign to support libraries has won large-scale support on Twitter, using the #savelibraries hashtag. See article in The Guardian 17 January 2011.
A new maths teaching method has been trialled by 70 teachers from 29 Queensland public primary schools. The trial of the TIME – Teaching Inclusive Mathematics Education program, funded by the Queensland government, will be extended over the next three years. See media release 3 November 2010 from Queensland University of Technology.