Six years ago I wrote over the “Big Five” challenges for Australian schooling on the way to more quality and fairness. Since then, results of large-scale international surveys such as PISA and TIMSS have shown that equity (especially in a pandemic) is still an issue in our education system – a system that, as I argued in my paper, Teacher Recently column still not the kind of equal opportunity that is the goal of all just and inclusive societies.
It is clear that change is necessary, but even with good intentions on all fronts, it is difficult to make meaningful changes in education. As I wrote in 2015, a political response is often to achieve quick wins and make adjustments to the margins where change appears possible, rather than addressing the real, often seemingly persistent problems at their roots. There is no single “silver bullet” here, but rather a series of contributing and interrelated challenges that are addressed separately but at the same time, leading to more equitable outcomes for all students.
In a special ACER webinar series of five webinars from February to May 2021, practitioners, researchers and policy makers will revisit these five challenges and ask what progress has been made with each one and what needs to happen next.
Two sessions will examine the question of reversing the long-term disadvantage of students at different points in the educational lifespan. How do we make sure kids get off to a good start? Providing high quality and targeted early childhood education and care (ECEC) that meets the individual needs of each child is essential. And how do we reduce the “long tail” of underachievement for those students whose disadvantaged start accompanies them through their academic years? Given similar findings in countries like the UK and New Zealand, do cultural factors play a role?
A third webinar will focus on how the status of the teaching profession can be upgraded to attract the most capable school leavers to courses, similar to high performing school systems like Singapore, Hong Kong and Finland. A fourth session will look at reducing the disparities between schools evident in PISA data – disparities that similar countries have successfully reduced.
But our first session on Thursday, February 25th, is dedicated to an exciting and dynamic topic: How can we better equip students for life in the 21st century? Our 15-year-olds’ ability to apply what they have learned to everyday problems has declined over the long term, and fewer Australian students are choosing advanced math and science. Both trends are problematic in a world that requires sophisticated handling of sophisticated information about complex social and ecological challenges. As Dr. ACER’s Paul Weldon noted, today’s students are likely to find jobs that are impossible to even imagine. How do we prepare them for this?
Identifying the knowledge, skills, and traits required to participate successfully in modern life, and then teaching them in the most effective way possible, are constant challenges. Fortunately, Dr. Claire Scoular from ACER and Professorial Fellow Dr. University of Melbourne’s Esther Care well placed to answer next steps question. Dr. Scoular has worked extensively in the area of general (or 21st century) skills and was the lead researcher in the development of ACER’s general performance appraisal framework. Dr. Care’s work with the Brookings Institution resulted in her researching general skills in various classrooms around the world. Both are committed to improving the way we teach and assessing the types of knowledge, skills, and traits that today’s students will need to fully participate in tomorrow’s society.
You can read more about the Big Five challenges in Australian education as I saw them in 2015 here:
Take part in our Big Five Challenges in Education in a Changed World webinar series to have your say on how you can meet these challenges and create real change in Australian education to improve outcomes for all students.
Sumber : https://www.teachermagazine.com/au_en/articles/big-five-challenges-in-school-education-what-progress-have-we-made