Recently I posted an entry relating to the Labour Government’s Education Revolution and the responsibility that falls on the shoulders of those writing the new National Curriculum.
Today’s decision by the Independents to side with Labour means that the Revolution will continue for another 3 years at least…
The Macquarie Australian Encyclopaedic Dictionary defines a Revolution as; “(n) 1. a complete overthrow of an established government or political system. 2. a complete or marked change in something.”
So far under the banner of an Educational Revolution; Labour has built new School Halls, Libraries and Covered Outdoor Learning Areas. Nothing about revolutionising education there… same old stuff going on, just in nicer surrounds.
As reported in The Age in August, as part of the second wave of the Education Revolution the Labour government will look to roll our salary bonuses to the top 10% of teachers in Australia. So now we will pay bonuses to teachers who excel at delivering the same old stuff.
The roll out of the National Curriculum has been touted as revolutionising education in Australia.
But surely it only serves to reinforce the antiquated hierarchy of subjects that were the foundation blocks of education during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. Maths and English first; the arts and health/physical education much later. This model of education was developed to meet the needs of Universities about 200 years ago. Does this model of education really suit the needs of the 21st Century Student?
But at the very least can we please agree to stop using the term “Revolution” until we have an education system that;
i) Serves to highlight, reinforce and develop the strengths and passions of students.
ii) Ensures an ATAR/HSC/School Cert result is not the only distillation of a student’s educational experience by which career paths or further study options are open or closed.
iii) Is built around a system that places as much value on an arts student as an academic student.
iv) Rewards creativity rather than restricts it.
Then we may actually see a complete or marked change in education.