Teaching and Learning
The future of our Education System has certainly been thrust into the limelight in recent times with the David Gonski's work receiving plenty of attention. David Gonski, a leading public figure in business and philanthropy, was commissioned by the Federal Government 12 months ago to develop a report outlining his thoughts on the future direction of Education.
The report discusses "transforming the school system to assess and reward personal progress, not just standard academic benchmarks. It challenges the Commonwealth, States and Territories to ditch their 'industrial model of schooling' in favour of a more modern and individual approach (Kozoil, M., The Age, 29/4/18).
The report goes on to discuss the need for students to focus on continuous improvement including more advanced students being 'pushed or stretched' to achieve learning levels beyond their years. Other features of the report include greater professional development and collaboration opportunities for teachers, a more flexible senior curriculum to meet the future career aspirations of students, and developing further ways of assessing and monitoring individual student progress.
We are already measuring and reporting on student growth in the classroom. To measure, monitor and report on student progress using a Cyclical Assessment and Reporting Model makes sense. Importantly, we want our students to be well equipped with the necessary skills and content knowledge in order to access the quickly evolving employment and study options of the future. 21st Century Skill Development (Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication and Creativity) for example is vital and if the changes suggested by the Gonski Report are more widely adopted, then it can be argued that greater opportunities can be created for these sorts of skills to be developed.
Pleasingly, the Gonski Report says that 'teachers deserve greater recognition and higher esteem' - these comments are welcomed by all those who teach. The report has certainly got people talking about the future of our Education System and we will continue to watch with interest the public's reaction to Gonski's report.