Monday, 20 February 2012

C2Cs and through the looking glass

Curious.  That's how it felt as a teacher in a Queensland State School last year as the new Australian Curriculum came closer and closer.  Curious because, for one thing, the Australian Curriculum is Australian in name only.  So far, Queensland is the only State ready and willing to start teaching to the Australian Curriculum in 2012. 

When I say 'ready and willing', I mean of course the politicians and bureaucrats.  The people that actually have to teach the curriculum, that is, the teachers, were certainly not ready.

...and Curiouser.  The Education Department, on orders from the Director General, hired a crack team of top notch teachers and started creating sample work units, assessment items and so on, to assist the teachers in their work.  Great!  Good idea.  Except that it was never clear if the sample units were just examples, or were mandatory for all schools across the state.  So most of us just sat on our hands and waited.

Down the Rabbit Hole
The sample units came out a lot later than originally planned.  Some work for term 1 2012 was only released on the last day of term 4, in 2011.  Too late to really plan with your colleagues, organise equipment, and so on.  And definitely no clear idea of the year ahead.  And to be honest, the units of work were not exactly cutting edge material.  Only a few weeks in and a lot of teachers and schools have already started to shelve the C2Cs, or to start looking themselves at how the Australian Curriculum could be delivered best for their own students in their own schools - work that should have started a year ago.

Teachers across the world are working hard to integrate IT into schools, in ways that are engaging for students, and model real world use of IT.  Queensland has teachers the equal of any in the world in the use of IT, and EQ in general is ahead of the game there.  There are some fantastic models that we use in our classrooms that could have been used to collaboratively develop good quality units, for much less money, using expertise from across the state, from teachers currently in the classroom - not from an office somewhere in Brisbane, by people often with perhaps no understanding of the broad and diverse needs of our schools and students.  I'm hoping to share some these models and ideas, and I'm hoping others will here as well.

So feel free to add in your two bits.  Share ideas, share frustrations, and we'll see if we can survive until Christmas.