In a speech to the Brookings Institution in the USA, the Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has expressed concerns at the poor academic performance of disadvantaged students, and also at static or declining achievement among the most strongly performing level of students. See report in the Brisbane Times 22 June 2009.
The Catholic Education Office Melbourne is to receive an $860,000 grant from the Australian Research Council to continue research into the successful Literacy Assessment Project (LAP) in Catholic schools. See report by CathNews 24 June 2009, article in The Age 22 June 2009 and background article in Curriculum Leadership 15 August 2008.
Western Australia is to roll out the successful intervention and prevention program Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) to an additional 100 schools. The program has been found to reduce aggressive behaviour in students aged 5 to 12. See media release 23 June 2009 from Elizabeth Constable, Western Australian Minister for Education.
This week there have been a number of media reports about the implementation of the Australian Governments' funding program for school infrastructure. See commentary on The Canberra Times website 22 June 2009; and article 24 June 2009, earlier related article and commentary, 23 June 2009, all in The Australian. See also media statement from the Australian Education Union 18 June 2009.
This week there has been further commentary and discussion regarding government policy on school performance reporting. See report on ABC News 25 June 2009 and commentary in On Line Opinion 24 June 2009.
Australian Government policy on funding of independent schools is discussed in an article 20 June 2009, opinion piece 24 June 2009, and further opinion piece 25 June 2009 in The Sydney Morning Herald.
While Asian-language learning in Australia has focused on Chinese and Japanese, the relative ease with which Indonesian can be learnt makes it an attractive alternative, according to Professor Jamie Mackie. See opinion piece in The Australian 24 June 2009.
An article in the Herald Sun 23 June 2009 has queried the suitability of corporate involvement in schools.
An article 24 June 2009 and earlier article 23 June 2009 in The Age describe plans for school mergers and redevelopment in Victoria. See also article on Tasmanian school mergers in The Australian 22 June 2009.
Melbourne University's Dean of Education, Field Rickards, has called for teacher training to be funded as a 'clinical' profession like nursing, which provides more funding for practical placements. See article in The Australian 23 June 2009.
The Association of Women Educators (AWE) has produced new guidelines, readings and professional learning and teaching resources on a range of issues related to gender and education. See the AWE website for further details. The new resources have been developed as part of the Leading Social Change project, funded by the Australian Government through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program.
The 2009 Learning Technologies conference will focus on new web-based technologies that have allowed educators to create, connect and collaborate with learners, colleagues and experts.