Victoria’s strong record on class sizes, Year 12 retention and literacy and numeracy is continuing, according to the Department of Education’s 2006–07 Annual Report, recently tabled in State Parliament. See Minister's media release 31 October 2007.
Teacher educators who promote interesting and challenging tasks in maths may be devaluing the benefits of learning basic mathematical facts by memorisation, according to an article in The Australian 2 October 2007. The article reports on a findings of a study by Anne Scott of the Australian Catholic University, persented to a conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.
A national survey of 6700 teachers has been undertaken by the Australian Research Group on behalf of State Government teaching agencies in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The survey found that 84 per cent of teachers were 'enthusiastic about teaching', according to a report in The Age 29 October 2007. The research that found that most teachers place a high value on training for teaching students with social, emotional and communicative disabilities. They also value professional development but were concerned about finding time to access programs.
Queensland Education and Training Minister Rod Welford has announced that 2008 is The Year of Physical Activity in the State. The Department will create a dedicated website with tips on how students, parents and teachers can incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives at school, home and work. The Department is also developing a range of activities and events to be held throughout Queensland for students, parents, schools and the community. Events being planned include conferences that will provide professional development opportunities for teachers in south-east and regional Queensland. See Minister's media release 30 October 2007
In a joint statement, the Education Ministers of the Northern Territory and South Australia have confirmed that from 2011 the Northern Territory will adopt South Australia’s future SACE as the basis for a Northern Territory Certificate of Education, the formal qualification students will attain on completing their secondary schooling. See media statement from Jane Lomax-Smith, South Australian Minister for Education and Children's Services, 1 November 2007, and media statement by Paul Henderson, Northern Territory Minister for Employment, Education and training, 31 October 2007.
Professor Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom of Duke University USA has worked with high school teachers to develop materials on drug-related topics as a means of engaging students in biology and chemistry classes. See Duke University media release 27 September 2007.
In Uganda an organisation of science teachers in low resource schools has opened the www.moslafa.com website to promote information sharing among its members. See report in The Monitor (Kampala) 9 October 2007.
The Tasmanian Government has introduced a new early years resource, Making Connections, that provides practical advice, guidance and checklists helpful in the development of new and existing partnerships between schools and child care services. Making Connections provides tips on factors to consider in establishing a new child care centre on a school site, and the steps that need to be taken to develop a child care service. It contains a list of useful contacts and websites to help principals and child care directors build stronger partnerships with their communities. Making Connections will be sent to Principals and child care services. It will also be made available on the Department of Education’s early years website. See media statement 22 October 2007 by the State Minister for Education, David Bartlett.
The University of Queensland's Executive Dean of Arts, Richard Fotheringham, has criticised the extent and direction of postgraduate studies undertaken by teachers, declaring that too few teachers pursue further study in the discipline of education itself. Professor Fotheringham is a former head of the Queensland Board of Senior Secondary School Studies. He has expressed the view that 'the lack of contact teachers had with current thinking in their discipline was responsible for fads such as whole language and critical literacy taking hold in Australian schools', according to an article in The Australian 1 November 2007.
A survey on the state of school library media centres in the USA found that 'although school libraries are connected as never before, overall they fall short in many ways, especially on the elementary school level', according to a report in eSchoolnews 18 September 2007 (registration required). The survey was conducted by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
A new telerehabilitation system allowing speech pathologists to treat children in rural and remote areas via the Internet is showing promising preliminary results. The system has been designed by the University of Queensland's Telerehabilitation Research Unit.
The Royal Women's Hospital Secondary School Work Experience Program provides one-week placements to students in Years 10-12. Nursing and Midwifery work experience programs are available and there may also be opportunities in Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Research, Dietetics and Administration/Clerical departments.
The legal implications of bullying, performance pay, religious clothing and security were discussed at the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association Conference in Queensland in September. See the conference website for a description of topics and speakers and other information.