2008 National Values Education Forum
The 2008 National Values Education Forum will be held in the ACT on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 May. Keynote addresses, presentations and workshops will address issues that include the implementation of the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools; an update on the Values Education Program; how to involve student voices in values education; and research findings of the Program since 2005. The deadline for registrations is 12 May 2008.
Productivity Places Program
Acting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and Employment Participation Minister, Brendan O’Connor, today released a discussion paper on the Productivity Places Program. The paper has been developed to provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to provide feedback to the Australian Government about the proposed architecture and implementation arrangements for 450,000 additional training places. Feedback is invited from stakeholders on the issues raised in the paper.
Charter for the Australian Teaching Profession
A Charter for the Australian Teaching Profession has been launched by Teaching Australia in a series of events in every capital city. The Charter is a symbolic statement for the teaching profession setting out the high ideals and values underpinning the daily work of
Australian governments discuss infrastructure needs for computer rollout
A report in The Australian 1 April 2008 describes ongoing discussion between Australian governments regarding infrstructure needed to support the Australian Government's plans to upgrade ICT facilities in schools.
Paper analyses housing and population patterns in Melbourne
Melbourne’s population surge, a recently published paper from Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research, examines trends in Melbourne’s population and housing, identifying patterns that may have implications for schools’ locations, enrolment, community relationships and road safety concerns. The paper predicts that population will continue to grow rapidly due to the recent decline in birth rates and immigration policies designed to attract skilled workers to Australia. However, the paper predicts that Sydney will remain larger than Melbourne. Self-contained housing will continue to expand in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, with more cars, road travel and traffic congestion as residents drive to dispersed locations in pursuit of work or recreation. Inner and middle suburbs will see continued expansion in the number of units, which will tend to remove trees and erode suburbs’ ambience. The Melbourne 2030 development plan calls for population growth in existing suburbs that have high levels of public amenities; however, residents in these areas are resisting such development due to fears of congestion and loss of their suburb’s character. In most cases older people are not quitting family homes for smaller accommodation. Among younger generations, especially the 35-44 age group, there is intense competition for houses in areas with highly-rated schools and other desired amenities, with only the highly-paid able to afford them. The authors call for more efforts to create cohered communities in the new outer suburbs, with opportunities for paid work and recreation close to home.
Report released on Queensland's Year 12 results
Comprehensive data has been released summarising the academic and vocational achievements of 2007 Queensland Year 12 students. State Minister for Education and Training, Rod Welford, said that there was a substantial rise in the number of VET qualifications awarded, with an increase of 26.7 per cent on the previous year. The number of students who did not receive either an OP Year 12 completion certificate or a VET qualification decreased by 10.8 per cent. The data gives information about schools including the percentage of students with an OP 1–15, the number in school-based apprenticeships or traineeships and the number of vocational qualifications awarded. See minister's statement April 1, 2008 and reports from the Queensland Studies Authority.
APPA launches funding paper
The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA), which represents 7,200 Catholic, Government and Independent principals, has launched its 2009–2012 Quadrennial Funding Paper to the Australian Government. See APPA media statement 16 March 2008.
Comprehension for Deep Thinking Workshop with Diane Snowball, Melbourne
Internationally renowned educationalist Diane Snowball will outline new ideas in the teaching of reading comprehension through the use of the ‘Think Aloud’ strategy. The presentation will cover six comprehension strategies proven to make students better readers. This professional development opportunity will take place on Tuesday 22 April, commencing at 4:15pm with food and wine and concluding at 6:00pm. The event marks the launch of the Teaching Comprehension resource and will be held at the Victorian University of Technology (VUT) conference centre, 12th Floor, 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne. To register complete the online registration form.
Search begins for principals to lead SA’s new schools
The South Australian Government is seeking outstanding principals to lead six new schools. The schools are being built as part of the $216 million Education Works initiative and present a new approach to education, bringing together different age levels in a one location. Positions at Playford North Birth to Year 7 and Munno Para West Birth to Year 12 schools will be the first filled. Local, national and international applicants will be invited when they are advertised from April. See media release from State Minister for Education and Children's Services, Jane Lomax-Smith, 28 March 2008.
Experts sought for SACE Board
Eleven expert board members are sought to lead the introduction of South Australia’s new senior secondary certificate. This $54.5 million update of the South Australian Certificate of Education aims to make it more relevant to students, employers and the community. The new board will replace the current Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA) and will be operational as of 1 July 2008, and will work closely with schools, teachers, training providers and universities, employers, unions and other groups involved with young people. The first students to graduate with the new SACE will be Year 12, 2011. See media release by Jane Lomax-Smith, Minister for Education and Children's Services, 29 March 2008.
Growing opposition to academy schools in England
In England, the Government could face strike action in every school earmarked to become an academy as union opposition to privately sponsored schools increases. See report in the Guardian 26 March 2008.
'Crab-bucket culture' considered on US discussion board
Educationalist Daniel Duke argues that too many schools in the USA have a 'crab-bucket culture', in which 'the crabs keep their fellow crabs from escaping the bucket' – resisting school improvement efforts by making it difficult for the others who wish to change. The discussion is hosted on Inservice, a community blog from the USA's Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Some comments on the discussion thread support the argument, while one contributor remontrates against 'the so-called crabs being called names for trying to keep what works from being ruined'. In Australia a wide range of discussion boards are hosted by the Education Network Australia (EdNA).