It was clear from his outline ahead of the conference, that he was going to stand in the street. “Who are the combatants in this latest revolution? Will children, democracy and creativity be the first casualties.”
This exploded mid-way when he dared to say. “Your government hates teachers and kids”.
He was talking about National Curriculum, and the lack of evidence in any other country that National Curriculum has had any positive effect in the outcomes for students.
Recently, Professor Cathie Holden, of Britain’s University of Exeter, urged the writers of the Australian national curriculum not to make the mistakes that her country is now fixing. She says that by focusing too narrowly on history, Australia’s curriculum risks failing to address big-picture education in fields such as civics and citizenship, global education, sustainability and economics.
The Melbourne Declaration states that ”Australia values the central role of education in building a democratic, equitable and just society that is prosperous, cohesive and culturally diverse, and that values Australia’s indigenous cultures as a key part of the nation’s history, present and future”. It recognises that ”schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians”.
So why then, given the 500 or so people at ACEC – did the Victorian Minister opening the event not stay around for a single session? Is that why the opening speaker completely misread the audience and what they actually do and where they do it.
Why did no Ministers or envoys attend from any other state? – And why, given this is the most tech-savvy crowd that Australia can muster – did no one from the new National Curriculum Authority bother to show up to learn, or explain their mad-dog plan.
What Gary was telling teachers was clear. National Curriculum, lack of PD to transition, a focus on infrastucture and public websites to rank performance will lead to worse conditions for teachers and students. These new public powers will lead to ‘dark times’ he said. In Savannah USA, and entire workforce was fired – because it was a failing school. In the UK, schools that fail, have simply been closed.
In NSW, Erskine Park High School is seeing higher enrollment post mySchools. It looks online like it is a stunning performer in it’s demographically shaped area. In fact the boosted results come from the fact it is the only school in the area with an OC class (opportunity/gifted and talented).
If ACCE, which represents the ‘best of educational computing teachers’ cannot hold the attention of a single government educational minister it leads me to wonder just who will?
I find it disgusting that NO-ONE from government attended a single session.
How dare a minister stand on stage, address people with no understanding, then leave. Even worse, why would you even invite them if they are not prepared to engage with the very people who give them office.
Gary is right on the money on this topic for me. We need to demand real evidence, real facts and real money to support those in most need – children.