Prime Minister John Howard has argued that History has 'gone missing' in the nation's schools. Speaking yesterday at the presentation of the first $100,000 Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History, he said that 'vast numbers of students had no exposure to a coherent and sequential understanding of our national story. As a Government, we want to turn this around, working ideally in co-operation with the states and territories. That said, I will use the prime ministerial bully pulpit and any other Commonwealth levers, as appropriate, to ensure our schools deliver what Australian parents want.' See report in The Australian 21 June 2007.
South Australia's Minister for Education and the University of South Australia have agreed to develop and trial a campus for secondary students in Adelaide's CBD. Selected international students from Adelaide High School will complete university foundation programs at the campus in 2008 and 2009. (See article in Education NEWS June 2007, p.13. See also University of South Australia media release, 18 May 2007.)
The Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowships (ELTF) are an initiative of the Australian Government to help Australian language teachers improve their language proficiency and cultural knowledge through intensive, short-term language and culture study programmes. See media release from the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, 18 June 2007.
Financial support for local projects designed to promote healthy living and eating amongst at-risk groups is available through the Healthy Active Australia program. Schools and community groups are invited to apply for grants of between $10,000 and $200,000. Applications close 26 June 2007. A competition is also open to primary schools. (See article in Education Review 13 June 2007, p.2)
Educators can now upload and view videos from other educators on TeacherTube. Videos may cover how to teach a specific concept or certain learning objectives, or offer professional development. The site is free of charge and allows users to share videos publicly or with selected members, search videos and join video groups. (See article in ClassroomNews June 2007, p18).
A University of South Australia study finds that today's 10-15 year olds are averaging 30 minutes less sleep each night today than they did 20 years ago. Sleep deprivation limits students' abilities to function in class, while data correlations with another study suggest that changes in sleep patterns may contribute to weight increase. (See University of South Australia media release, 28 May 2007.)
Recently relaunched, the KidsLife website aims to offer reliable information and advice to help parents make positive decisions about their children. The site is provided by the Australian Scholarships Group, and covers topics such as getting children to school on time, role models and teaching life skills.
New Zealand Education Minister, Steve Maharey, has welcomed two new Ministry of Education reports on student attendance that show improvements in many key areas. The Report on Student Engagement 2006 highlights that secondary suspensions have fallen by 8% between 2005 and 2006, and by 20% since 2000. Fewer than 1% of students were suspended last year, and 91% of these were one-off cases. The report also shows that half of our schools did not use stand-downs last year, although that rate has risen slightly. Fewer than 3% of the total student population was involved, and nearly 80% were one off cases, showing that students learnt from the experience and didn't repeat it. The full version of the report, Attendance, Absence and Truancy in New Zealand schools in 2006, has also been published, a summary having already been released in December. See Ministerial media statement 14 June 2007
The New Zealand Education Minister, Steve Maharey, has announced the latest phase of the Mission On campaign, which requires schools to promote healthy food and nutrition for students, and sell only healthy options in schools. See Ministerial media release 11 June 2007.
Teachers at Western Australia’s public schools will receive a training and resource package to help prevent and manage violent incidents. Launching the Keeping Our Workplace Safe package, State Education and Training Minister, Mark McGowan, said the aim was to better equip schools and teachers to deal with incidents involving violence directed against staff by parents, outsiders and students. See Minister's media release 20 June 2007 and report in The Australian 18 June 2007