ACARA’s Senior Moment

ACARA, it seems, has embarked upon a review of the senior curriculum. They just forgot to tell anyone.

OK, that’s not quite true. The Terms of Reference, embedded below, provide for certain groups to be represented at information-providing fora for the various subjects, with a subsequent “consultation” of unspecified nature. And to be fair, having learned at least one thing from the debacle of the F-10 curriculum review, ACARA has invited mathematician organisations to participate in such a forum. The mathematicians’ input will presumably be swamped by that of the maths ed people and the education bureaucrats, and then ARACA’s “working group” will go off to do whatever they please, but at least a few mathematicians will be in the vicinity.

The general public, however, has not been invited to participate in the review, and seemingly has not even been informed of the review’s existence. Although the senior curriculum process supposedly began in 2023, there is still no notification of the review on ACARA’s curriculum page, or on ACARA’s curriculum review page, or on ACARA’s senior curriculum page, or anywhere we could see. Transparency, thy name is not ACARA.

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Education Pundits, and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Earlier this week, Ben Jensen‘s Learning First released a report on Australia’s science curriculum. Their report was strong, with a clear and simple message: the science curriculum has too little science, too incoherently presented. The reporting on Learning First’s research was very good. The punditry was not. Continue reading “Education Pundits, and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

The Australian Curriculum Sucks. Who Knew?

Well, um, we knew. As did anyone who cared to look. Now, it seems, Australia’s education reporters know. In the last couple of days the Australian Curriculum has been getting a proper pounding from the Guardian, the Age/SMH, the AFR sticking both boots in, and the Australian sticking three boots in (Murdoch, paywalled). Continue reading “The Australian Curriculum Sucks. Who Knew?”

New Cur 31: The Poverty of No Expectations

This is our final post on the Australian Curriculum.* We’ll try to keep it short. We shall make the simple point that it does not matter what the curriculum purports to cover since there is not also included a clear indication of the extent and depth of what the teacher is expected to teach and, thus, what the student is expected to learn. Continue reading “New Cur 31: The Poverty of No Expectations”

New Cur 30: The Complete Pain Words

WRITING STYLE

I am not a good writer. Primarily, I use the monkey-typewriter method: if you rewrite a sentence sufficiently many times then you’ll eventually wind up with something at least serviceable. Then, if you rewrite a paragraph sufficiently many times … And so on. It is not a very efficient method. Continue reading “New Cur 30: The Complete Pain Words”

More Digital Tools

The Federal Department of Education has just come out with a commissioned report: Research into Best Practice Models for the use of digital technologies in mathematics teaching and learning. There are four summary videos (no separate links) and one-pager summaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), and the report itself. We’ve watched the videos and read the summaries and skimmed the Report, and we can’t be bothered. We can’t even bother WitCHing it. Readers may be interested, however, and may wish to comment.

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