Tuesday, June 21, 2005

some problems with education in victoria?

I thought I'd post my list of problems written for the VIT ideas session mentioned in the post below. This was just a quick attempt and there are obviously many holes - why not add to it if you can? You will note that not all are phrased as problems, some are statements and the like - the point was to get down some issues for discussion.
  • A pervasive climate of managerialism and outcomes ideology!
  • Conditions of work for teachers that do not help create environments where people can innovate or are encouraged to do their best, work smarter, pursue further education or higher degrees etc
  • The age old problem of academic succes, social power, privilege and disadvantage (read Richard Teese for an Australian perspective)
  • Professional Development tied to School and Regional outcomes or goals rather than to specific teacher needs and interests
  • School Funding models that privilege schools with younger staff and seem to disadvantage those with older staff
  • The development of large scale state curriculum with minimal consultation of teachers and with short implementation timelines
  • Pressure on Principals to be business managers/CEOs rather than educators thus working to alienate them from their students and staff
  • The tensions in calls for more state/standardised assessment of student learning (AIM tests etc.) alongside of the call for more responsive, innovative, and 'deep' learning/teaching (e.g. VELS, 'innovation and excellence' rhetoric, 'thinking curriculum')
  • The Government Schools 'Workplace agreement' (re: problems in teaching alotments, extra duties, school based consultation etc.)
  • The current weaknesses and lack of support for teacher ed and University-school partnerships
  • Tensions in new VELS curriculum and the subject discipline requirements of VCE and Uni entrance
  • The increased push for National Curriculum and National Examinations ie centralised education bureaucracy, assessment and curriculum development
  • Dwindling government support for government schools
  • The role of subject associations in policy and curriculum development
  • Simplistic and reductive assumptions/connections between teacher professional development/learning and student achievement
  • Professional accreditation for beginning teachers or hurdle jumping?
  • How to attract and retain young/new teachers to the profession?

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