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Curriculum shake-up begins after states pledge support

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Brett Henebery | 05 Mar 2015, 04:24 PM Agree 0
HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you believe the changes go far enough in ensuring a better education for students?
  • teachtash | 09 Mar 2015, 12:22 PM Agree 0
    I do not think the National Curriculum is broad enough. The compulsory Australian/Indigenous study and Asian Text study every year in English is narrow and arrogant. Students need to understand the world, not just their own and one other. I think it is important to cover, but the units for each year have become repetitive and tedious. Having students groan because you are introducing ANOTHER Australian Unit is not the response you want when trying to inspire. Considering we are now asked to create Australian Units for 4 years in a row, you can imagine how difficult it is to find a different angle and teach something new each and every year. Students are feeling like they are not learning anything new and this is unfortunate.
    My biggest gripe with the National Curriculum is that we have had to cut back the teaching of so many wonderful novels, films, poems and subject matter because half the year MUST be Australian and Asian focused. The whole point of teaching is to open the world to students and teach them the skills they need within the units. It is difficult to inspire, hold attention and motivate, when students feel they are doing the same thing over and over and have switched off before we begin.
    The way the Curriculum and strands are set out is inaccessible by the majority of people. Teachers must sit in groups and discuss each point, just to understand what it is saying. Parents have no hope of using it to help their children and it cannot be understood in any way by the very people it is designed to help. The irony of this does not need to be said. I have had Year 10 students wanting to take charge of their own learning and wish to learn more. The Google Australian Curriculum and give up within two minutes. Everything on the English Australian Curriculum focus is ridiculous to read. Most people I know tend to say that it is obvious it has been written by academics who wish to flex their verbosity and who have clearly not set foot in a classroom for some time. They have made sure that people must access help to even understand how to implement this and people are now making money on delivering workshops on comprehending the Australian Curriculum and the Strands. How does this not tell you that it needs to be thrown out with the academics who wrote it.
    A Curriculum should be understood by ALL who use it, including parents and students. Do not make people feel inferior by writing it in such as way that they begin by feeling insecure. How dare you do that? This is about Education and empowering people and yet you make people feel negative, marginalised and disempowered.
    Can I suggest you do not just modify it, but that you actually listen to real teachers? Do not just ask a few inner city teachers. Ask the Alice Springs Teachers, the Townsville Teachers, the Kalgoorlie Teachers and use language that would engage their students too. Let those students explore the world as well. Believe it or not, Indigenous children enjoy learning about the world and often are 'shamed' throughout the teaching of the Indigenous units. Why not ask us to include an indigenous text every year, instead of a whole unit. That way, it can be one of many that we explore in a unit, rather than having to find Indigenous and Australian texts every year for an entire unit.
    In all the years of teaching, I have to be honest and say that I have never been so embarrassed to deliver a program to students. It makes me cringe because I know I will hear groans instead of excitement, grunts instead of laughter, resistance instead of willingness. I was just hoping this was a trial that they would rectify once realising how stupid they had been. I do not think that will be happening though and I have a feeling we are going to be left teaching this mess for quite some time. I wonder how many students we stamp the light out for, instead of turning it on during the period we will be forced to implement this disaster. Years from now, a report will be done to show just how damaging this curriculum was to the minds of adolescents and how it destroyed enthusiasm for learning instead of fueling the fire.
    That is my opinion and I really do not care for the academic responses, I funnily enough seem to be one of the few that care about the responses of those in front of me - students.
  • JoeCitizen | 09 Mar 2015, 12:33 PM Agree 0
    Well said, TeachTash.
    "A Curriculum should be understood by ALL who use it, including parents and students. Do not make people feel inferior by writing it in such as way that they begin by feeling insecure" >> absolutely agree.
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