Last week, the Prime Minister announced a national agenda on school history (linked inevitably to funding agreements), which would make Australian history compulsory for Years 9 and 10 students.
Historically, schooling was the responsibilty of teachers and the profession at large. These days, it has moved out of the classroom and into the political arena. It seems that we now develop strategic education policy direction by focus group! This trend ignores the need to ask some critical and difficult questions about schooling in todays world.
No-one would argue against spending more on education but how will today’s students and history judge us if we continue investing in and perfecting an industrial model of schooling?
It would be refreshing if debate focussed on asking the right questions such as are schools meeting the learning, social and technological needs of today’s students?
There’s no doubt that schooling is complex and it’s made even more so by competing political agendas, greater accountabilities and of course, the digital revolution. Nonetheless, its core value has and will always be around quality learning in whatever shape or form that may take.
It’s easy to promise more education funding but there are often too many strings attached. Governments, educators and administrators need to work together in addressing how young people learn in today’s world and what processes best leverage learning outcomes for our young people.