Syllabus will take teachers time
THE Queensland Teachers’ Union has warned that Bundaberg teachers will need time to get used to the draft national curriculum released by the Federal Government yesterday.
QTU Wide Bay organiser Greg Purches said teachers he had spoken to thought a national curriculum was a logical progression, but still had not had time to digest the proposed plan.
“This is a huge change and if it is going to be implemented correctly, it will mean a lot more training for teachers,” he said.
The federal government plans to have the syllabus operating in all Australian schools next year, with 150 schools to trial the program this year.
The 242-page draft document outlines what knowledge is to be taught in English, maths, science and history, from prep to Year 10.
St Luke’s Anglican School head of middle school and curriculum Nick Johnstone was pleased to see history feature heavily in the curriculum, but did have some apprehensions.
“My only area of concern is how it will be assessed and how it will be reported on, because at this stage there is no plan for that,” he said.
Mr Johnstone said he did not think the current proposal was a big change but was interested to see how a nationwide syllabus would be implemented for Years 11 and 12.
Rockhampton Diocesan Director of Catholic Education Leesa Jeffcoat said Catholic Education would be looking closely at the draft plan and would need time to peruse the draft before making a comment.
Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said he welcomed the greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills, but thought the direction taken in history and science was questionable.
“In many instances, the new curriculum seems to focus on political correctness rather than giving our kids a fundamental, practical education. I think students need to have a thorough grounding in our own nation’s history before being inundated with theories of multiculturalism,” he said.
State education minister Geoff Wilson supported the shift to a national plan and said the government had taken steps to ensure teachers were confident about the move.
Mr Wilson said literacy and numeracy coaches were currently helping staff develop their skills, and 100 specialist science teachers were doing the same.
Parents and teachers can view and comment on the draft curriculum online until May 23. View it at www.australiancurriculum.edu.au.