DEEWR, July 2012
The 2011 National Assessment Program in ICT (NAP – ICT) Literacy Report provides a comprehensive picture of how Australian students are performing in the digital age. NAP – ICT Literacy Assessment commenced in 2005 and samples of year 6 and year 10 students participate in this assessment. Teachers, schools and governments can now compare the progress of student results from ICT tests which year 6 and year 10 students took in 2005, 2008 and 2011. Students undertaking the NAP – ICT Literacy Assessment are tested on their ability to appropriately access, manage, integrate and evaluate information, develop new understandings and communicate with others in order to participate effectively in society. The report evaluates the assessment that took place in 649 Australian schools in 2011 and compares samples of how more than 5,700 year 6 and 5,300 year 10 students are performing. Among year 6 students there has been considerable improvement since 2005, with the percentage of year 6 students attaining the Proficient Standard increasing from 49 per cent in 2005 to 62 per cent in 2011. Among year 10 students there was no significant improvement, with 65 per cent of year 10 students in 2011 reaching or exceeding the year 10 Proficient Standard compared to 61 per cent in 2005. Adapted from DEEWR statement, linked to the full report online.
Subject HeadingsTechnological literacy
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
DEEWR, April 2012
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in partnership with RMIT University has conducted a longitudinal study investigating the subjective wellbeing of young people participating in the National Partnerships Youth Connections Program. The report presents findings from the second wave of data collected between March 2011 and January 2012. Adapted from Executive Summary. The report is available online. See also comment 11 July from the Australian Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett.
OECD, June 2012
This case study describes the policy-making process in Australia leading to the public release of information on every school in Australia through the My School website. Policy lessons are described to provide insight for OECD member countries which may be grappling with similar issues in developing school accountability systems, particularly those working within federal-state contexts. While some of the lessons from this policy development and implementation process relate specifically to Australia's circumstances, there are general policy prescriptions of broader interest to other countries seeking to improve school education through measurement and reporting of key factors of school operations and performance. From publisher's description. The full report may be purchased online. See also statement from Australian Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, 28 June 2012.
Australian Education Union, May 2012
Devolution in the context of education goes under many names. They include school/site-based decision making/management; school/site-based autonomy; self-managing schools; autonomy for local schools; and decentralised/site-based management. Essentially devolution concerns the distribution of power and funding between governments and schools and structural changes in the governance, management and financing of schools. Internationally there are significant differences in how it operates but there is general consensus among advocates of such initiatives that they will improve school effectiveness and student learning outcomes by producing better educational decision-making; improving school management and leadership; improving quality of teaching; leading to a more responsive curriculum; and producing more efficient use of resources. However, there is no evidence that devolution in its myriad forms has in itself led to improved student achievement. Adapted from report, which is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducational innovations
The Centre for Independent Studies, June 2012
Indigenous Education 2012 examines 'the real reasons why government education policies are failing' in Indigenous and mainstream schools. The report critiques the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on programs 'that are not only unsuccessful but also take time and attention away from the classroom teaching essential for literacy and numeracy'. The authors suggest that principals need greater autonomy over staffing and budgets, including the option to refuse counterproductive programs and instead receive equivalent funds for improved classroom teaching. The report also examines Indigenous participation in vocational and university education, and 'government's creation of counterfeit jobs to soak up the Indigenous students who finish school illiterate and innumerate'. From publisher's description. The full report is available online. See also comment 3 July on The Conversation website, and article 27 June 2012 in The West Australian.
Subject HeadingsEducational planning
A comprehensive system should address these purposes in a coherent way and provide support for supervision and professional learning, identify teachers who need additional assistance and – in some cases – a change of career, and recognise expert teachers who can contribute to the learning of their peers. This report outlines an integrated approach that connects these goals to a teaching-career continuum and a professional development system that supports effectiveness for all teachers at every stage of their careers. From Executive summary. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsProfessional development
Teaching and learning
United States of America (USA)
Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensing and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and the Early Grades
New America Foundation, March 2011
The New America Foundation examines the state of preparation programs for public school teachers who work with children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, and third grades. Our analysis shows that preparation, licensure and hiring systems are not currently designed to produce and place teachers in these classrooms who are equipped to ensure that children get a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that will help them succeed in school and in life. From report, which is available online.
Subject HeadingsEarly childhood education
United States of America (USA)