Thursday, March 18, 2010

Introduction to a dialogue on learning

Hi Folks,
For some time I have been frustrated by the low level of debate in Australia about education and training. Ironically this comes at a time where we are experiencing unprecedented policy and programme change activity. At every level major reforms are being enacted.

Early childlhood has its first Commonwealth Minister and national initiatives.

In schools the incoming national curriculum and national assessment processes and creation of the australian curriculum and assessment authority (ACARA) and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership;school buildings and 'digital education revolutions'; the myschool comparative school performance website; social inclusion initiatives; asian languages programmes and so on.

In the training sector we have a new competitive model driven by Skilling Australia and the new regulatory authority with more reform to come whilst many of the reforms proposed in the Bradley Review will lead to new funding regulation and competitive drivers in higher education in the next few years.

Of course on top of all that the expectations of learners grow daily for a media rich,experiential and personalised approach to teaching and learning.

An extraordinary agenda,quite overwhelming to many educators in classrooms and lecture theatres. However I would be rather part of it than have to endure the educational desert experienced prior to it!

Nonetheless the public debate on these issues appears to have been captured by politicians salivating about 'getting back to basics' and media shock jocks who think that constructivism is a communist plot by chardonnay drinking ex-hippys aiming to keep the masses at bay.

Dialogueonlearning is intended as a medium for considered debate on the key issues facing this country and in an international context. I will allow most post responses apart from the usual cranks. I love contrary views as long as there is some substance behind them. I also hope that this dialogue can lead to collaborations by interested parties to develop new policy and strategy in education and training.

Over the next 3 months I will discuss the politics of curriculum; the future of vocational training; the future of public school education and how to support teachers through this epoch of change.

Lets see how it goes. I will endeavour to respond to any comments within 48hours although this is sometimes difficult when I am travelling
BTW I dont drink chardonnay