Report on school science released
A report on the status and quality of teaching and learning in science has been released. The report was prepared for the Australian Government by Denis Goodrum of the University of Canberra and Leonie Rennie from Curtin University of Technology. The report calls for national standards stipulating a minimum education level and knowledge for school science teachers; financial incentives to undertake professional learning during school holidays; a minimum of two hours science teaching per week in primary school, and three hours at secondary level; the development of a national bank of teaching resources for science; and a more coordinated action between Australian governments, school systems and the scientific community. See article in The Australian 7 September 2007.
Rural and remote broadband to be increased
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, has launched the new Broadband Development Network designed to help regional, rural and remote communities across Australia to enhance their understanding, access and use of broadband. See Minister's media release 30 August 2007.
Victorian Government revises school funding model
The Victorian Government has fine tuned its funding model for schools, following a routine independent review of the model by Professor Richard Teese and Dr Stephen Lamb of the University of Melbourne. Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike, has said the adjustment would take effect from next year. See Minister's media release 31 August 2007.
Leading academics query English syllabus in NSW
In Sydney a meeting of leading academics have criticised changes to the New South Wales curriculum. Senior lecturers in English education at the University of Sydney, Jacqueline Manuel and John Hughes, hosted the meeting, which expressed concerns that the quality of the English curriculum, and the richness of its coverage of English literature, is being compromised by a growing emphasis on basic literacy test skills. See report in the Sydney Morning Herald 1 September 2007.
Academics protest at lack of action over inquiries into teaching courses
Two senior teacher academics have protested that current and former Australian Governments have failed to act on recommendations of official inquiries into teacher education courses. See article in The Australian 5 September 2007.
Truancy on rise in Tasmania
The number of primary and secondary students not attending school is increasing, according to a report in the Hobart Mercury 5 September 2007.
Program asks older students to motivate younger ones to read
Sefton High School in New South Wales has introduced a 'Buddies and Books' program that pairs senior students with younger readers to boost reading skills. Under the program students from Years 10 and 11 volunteer as tutors to help with reading and comprehension skills. See article in Sydney Morning Herald 2 September 2007.
Debate over 'whole language' literacy continues
A report in The Australian 4 September 2007 has responded to an article in the International Journal of Progressive Education by two academics at the University of Western Sydney. The article, by Dr Susanne Gannon and Associate Professor Wayne Sawyer, criticised The Australian's role in debates over school students' literacy levels. See also Curriculum Leadership's abstract of the article in last week's edition of the journal.