National Curriculum Board preparing for 2009
The National Curriculum Board (NCB) is preparing a new position paper on national curriculum development. The paper will be released in October for a three-month feedback period. The Board is also preparing framing papers in which it will outline the broad structure it proposes for curriculum in English, mathematics, the sciences and history. The Board will draw on curriculum experts, teachers and professional organisations from each learning area in drafting the documents. Supporting this process in the subject area of English will be Professor Peter Freebody; in mathematics, Professor Peter Sullivan; in the sciences, Professor Denis Goodrum; and in history, Professor Stuart Macintyre. Drafts of the framing papers will be presented for discussion at national forums 13–17 October. The Board will release the framing papers in mid-November for feedback until the end of February 2009. Adapted from NCB statement.
New report on teacher pay
A new report recommending performance-based pay for teachers has been prepared for the Australian Government. The report, Rewarding Quality Teaching, is described in an article in The Australian 18 September 2008. The article also refers to other proposals on teacher pay from the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Education Union, a bonus scheme operating in Western Australia and the standards of accomplishment and leadership developed by the NSW Institute of Teachers, which allow for the allocation of additional pay to teachers accredited as accomplished.
2008 ACS Judith Leeson Award for Excellence in Career Teaching
Sponsored by Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the ACS Judith Leeson Award will soon be open for primary and secondary teachers involved in delivering a career education program. Nominations must be made by principals and open 1 October, closing 17 November. Questions can be directed to Cameron Picton or Emily Garretto, 03 9207 9600. More information is available from the ACS website.
National Call to Action Cyber Friendly Symposium
The Child Health Promotion Research Centre at Edith Cowan University and the Centre for Strategic Education are to hold a Symposium on cyber bullying. It will include opinions from young people on how adults can take effective action to address bullying online. The Symposium will take place in Perth on Thursday 23 October. Early bird registration closes Tuesday 30 September.
Review of NSW English syllabus generates debate
The Board of Studies in New South Wales is reviewing the English syllabus at primary and secondary levels, following a call by the State's former Education Minister, John Della Bosca, for more study of Australian literature in the State's schools. See article 18 September 2008 and earlier article 17 September 2008, both in The Australian, which describe contributions to discussion around these issues from the English Teachers Association of New South Wales, the Australian Society of Authors and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.
New support for struggling students in SA
South Australia's Education Minister, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, has announced a series of measures, about to get underway in public schools, to lift the literacy and numeracy skills of the State's children. Intervention plans will be developed and enacted for every student who did not meet the national standard. Their parents will be requested to attend a meeting to discuss follow-up action. Literacy and numeracy workshops will be held later this year for principals, school curriculum leaders and key teachers to help with the interpretation of results and support the review of whole-school literacy and numeracy improvement strategies. New Performance Analysis and Reporting Officers will be appointed to each of the state’s regional education offices next year to train schools to analyse test data and help every school to enhance its approach to improving literacy and numeracy. The State’s 32 most disadvantaged schools will be provided with a literacy coach for teachers and a leadership coach for principals as part of a $4m two-year trial starting next year, funded by the Australian Government. In addition, university academics are developing new professional programs for teachers on ways to improve the literacy skills of Year 9 students. See Minister's media statement 12 September 2008.
New regional structure in DECS SA
The Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) in
Controversy over creationism in Britain
In Britain the Royal Society's Director of Education, Michael Reiss, has resigned following controversy over his comments on how to approach the issue of creationism in the school science classroom. See statement from the Royal Society 16 September 2008 and report in New Scientist 17 September 2008.
TV junk food marketing found to target children
University of Sydney researchers have found that advertisements for junk food that use competitions and give-aways are far more common during popular children's programs than during popular adult programs. See media release from the University of Sydney 10 September 2008.