Welcome to EdSmart’s first monthly education news round-up, your curated view of what’s happening in education & EdTech each month across Australia, New Zealand & the UK.
Universities given two years to overhaul teaching degrees after education ministers’ meeting
Motivated by a realisation that standard teaching methods were not proving effective, Ross Fox, Director of Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn, retrained his 1,500-strong teaching workforce in the ‘science of learning’. This teaching method prioritises ‘direct, explicit instruction’ curated specifically for young learners, and also stipulates that classroom teachers ensure a ‘tight, disciplined’ learning environment. Initial findings based on NAPLAN scores of students taught using the science of learning have demonstrated incredibly promising results.
In a similar and related vein, ‘sweeping changes’ to the university curriculum for to-be teachers, detailed by four core content areas that follow a similar outline as the science of learning, are to be implemented Australia-wide in universities by 2025.
Schools AI framework to grant students access to ChatGPT
The Education Ministers AI in Schools Taskforce has released a draft framework that would allow Australian students to utilise generative AI tools for school tasks, including assessments, in hopes to guide ‘safe and ethical’ technology practices in schools.
Responding to the recent development of ChatGPT and other AI tools, the discussion of how to fairly and safely incorporate the use of generative AI technologies, which have arguably already been widely adopted by students, into Australian education has been pertinent.
Essentials dispositions for leading education systems
As part of their upcoming System Leadership Program, The Brown Collective has identified four essential dispositions endemic to educational systems that relevant stakeholders should consider to ensure effective educational results.
Schools are facing increasingly complex issues, propelled by a huge system shift due to COVID-19. Those responsible for making high-level decisions in education should be conscious of emerging themes and trajectories of decision influences.
‘A higher order project’: England’s school reform agenda streets ahead, expert says
Following Australia’s own realisation of much-needed education reform, 16 Australian education leaders have embarked on a study tour in England to learn how the country moved on from the science of learning and ‘is setting more ambitious targets around what its schools can achieve for society’. Contrary to Australia’s previous curriculum strategies, the English government have implemented reforms to education focusing on the importance of oracy, phonics, and knowledge-led learning.
Learnings from this study tour will inform the development of a refreshed and more coherent curriculum, as well as teaching frameworks for Australian schools and their teachers.
Principals facing teacher shortage say some regions in ‘staffing crisis’
Ahead of New Zealand schools opening for third term, principals nationwide have warned that teacher shortages in some areas are ‘the worst they have ever seen’. Auckland, Northland, and the West Coast of the South Island are being impacted most by dwindling teacher numbers, with students expected to stay home on occasion if no suitable teachers are available to supervise them – a situation that was faced a number of times in the previous school term.
Auckland’s Primary Principals’ Association & Auckland’s Secondary Principals’ Association both noted a high number of teachers leaving the regions, with a huge gap of vacancies left in their place.
Opinion: Would you sign a parenting code of conduct with your school?
Following a spate of incidents, a large multi-academy trust in the UK, Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust, has introduced a code of conduct for all parents to sign and abide by. With 48 schools in the trust, leadership at BWCET felt compelled to act due to increasingly poor behaviour from parents – from wearing pyjamas to the school gates to turning up at school drunk and threatening teachers.
Whilst it’s common for students to have a code of conduct, Grazia Senior Editor Rhiannon Evans questions the application of such standards to parents and the potential implications of enforcement – particularly in the midst of rising cost of living pressures.
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