The business of improving schooling

I’m impressed that Michael Chaney from the Business Council of Australia is appealing to our governments for better schooling and better pay for teachers.One of the greatest challenges today is creating education systems and practices that are appropriate for a knowledge age.  This demands a re-imagining of schooling.It is always attractive to present simple strategies for solving complex problems: differential pay for teachers, widespread measuring and ranking of students etc.  But the consequences of both may be less appealing.The teachers that our students need and whom the BCA and the rest of us want must demonstrate certain qualities if they are to be truly effective in schools of today and tomororow.This involves working collaboratively within a sharply focussed learning community and being committed to continuous professional learning.  As Richard Elmore observes,  the challenge is about building a ‘highly-professional education system’- raising the standards in line with the demands of the knowledge age.Good salaries will help to attract the brightest people to the profession. But, more importantly, they will get their greatest rewards when they belong to a profession which is esteemed by the community.A focus on the teaching profession as a whole, on instructional (learning and teaching)leadership of the highest order, and on an expanding, intelligent, national conversation on what schools can yet become, will highlight the complexity of educational reform.  This is the pre-requisite for any simple solutions to have any chance of success.


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