National Partnership Agreement on Improving Teacher Quality: Performance Report for 2012
COAG Reform Council, July 2013
The COAG Reform Council has released the final report on the $550 million National Partnership on Improving Teacher Quality, with governments meeting or making progress in all but one of the 122 milestones. Milestones were in the areas of: improved pay dispersion to reward quality teaching; improved reward structures for teachers and leaders who work in disadvantaged, Indigenous, rural/remote and hard-to-staff schools; improved in-school support for teachers and school leaders, particularly in disadvantaged, rural/remote and hard-to-staff schools; increased school-based decision-making about recruitment, staffing mix and budget; continual improvement program for all teachers, and indigenous teachers' and school leaders' engagement with community members. Adapted from COAG media release.
Subject HeadingsEducation policy
Teaching and learning
Effectiveness of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy: Interim Report
Senate, June 2013
On 15 May 2013 the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee for inquiry and report: the effectiveness of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Key issues in the report are: whether NAPLAN is achieving its objectives; unintended consequences; publication of results on the My School website; international best practice for standardised testing; and potential improvements to the NAPLAN program. Adapted from report, which is available online.
The Myth of Markets in School Education
Grattan Institute, July 2013
The report is the first analysis of a 20-year policy in some Australian school systems to give schools more autonomy and to try to increase competition among them. These systems have led the world and influenced many countries but the evidence of an increase in student performance through market-based and pro-autonomy policies is not there. One problem is that not enough schools have local competitors that have the capacity to take on new students, are good performers, and are affordable. Even when parents have good information about differences between schools, the good ones don't grow and bad ones don't shrink. And the link between school autonomy and high performance is weak. From publisher's description, linked to the full report online.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
Focusing on the Learner: Charting a Way Forward for Australian Education
MGSE, July 2013
This green paper calls for major change in Australia's education policies. It argues that some key items on the current policy agenda will not improve Australian student outcomes: they include school autonomy, test-based accountability and promotion of school choice. Among the paper's recommendations is the suggestion that Commonwealth Supported Places in teacher education are matched to national supply and demand data, as in professions like medicine. The paper argues this would free funds to invest in higher-quality teacher education at no extra cost. The paper identifies three key challenges facing Australia's education system: children entering school below the expected level of capability, top students' underperformance, and the gap between the highest and lowest performers, which is among the OECD's highest. These challenges must be addressed by focusing on what happens in the classroom and empowering teachers. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsTeaching and learning
Successful Science Education Practices: Exploring What, Why and How They Worked
This book has been designed to help preservice and beginning teachers of science to access contemporary educational research. It discusses the teaching of chemistry, biology, astronomy and physics in the primary years, with a focus on new technology tools. It also covers topics of particular relevance to the new teacher of science, such as the need to provide different types of feedback; the value of developing a supportive network of colleagues; planning for science teaching; the types and contribution of models in science teaching; ways to utilise demonstrations; and ways to challenge learners' existing scientific conceptions. Adapted from publisher's description.
Key Learning AreasScience
Subject HeadingsInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)
The Same Thing Over and Over: How School Reformers Get Stuck in Yesterday's Ideas
Harvard University Press, 2010
Since the 19th century, schooling has been dominated by the one-teacher–one-classroom model, the professional full-time teacher, age-defined grades, the nine-month calendar, and top-down administrative control. This form of schooling was established for a time when school was designed to teach students to read, write and do arithmetic, and only an elite went to high school, let alone higher studies. The author suggests that uniformity gets in the way of quality, and calls for much wider variety of schools, to meet a greater range of needs for different kinds of talents, needed by a vastly more complex and demanding society. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsEducational planning