Archive for January, 2011

Yes Julia, Take Heed

Nice article by Adele Horin in the Sydney Morning Herald today,

Where true school reform occurs.

Adele clearly thinks Australia’s PM Julia Gillard should be looking to learn from Canada’s education system rather then turning to Joel Klien from New York. I agree. I don’t see anything to recommend the NY system. Seems to be punitive and based on a deficit model.

What is NOT mentioned about the Canadian system is that they FULLY FUND Catholic and other non-government schools not just the public schools. Adele has a little dig about our government’s current funding model – and yes, no-one wants to see our public school system run down. Unacceptable.

I also agree that we can learn a lot from the Canadian education system particularly in areas such as building teacher capacity.

What I also find interesting about Adele’s article is the inevitable mentioning of the PISA test and in particular Finland’s consistently top performance over the years. It needs to be pointed out that they largely have a homogeneous population which is mainly middle -class and not as ethnically as rich or diverse as Australia’s. Also there was some question that a few years back about whether or not the indigenous population were included in the testing.

However they are doing some great things, mainly equal access to quality early childhood services, later starting of formal schooling (not 5 years like here…or is it 4 years??? Maybe 4.5.???) and a lack of  a testing regime across the schooling years. School-based assessment is preferred.

Lesson to be learned there.



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