Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dr Constable and the national curriculum

Dr Constable, our state education minister has been conspicuously absent from public education debates with the exception of this week when I read her reply regarding national curriculum impact on WA in The West newspaper.

It was a measured response that outlined the three years of implementation time being allowed, the need for an extended implementation (an extra year) in WA due to the variation between NSW, Vic syllabus and the current WA OBE based curriculum. She also raised issues with year 7 primary vs yr 7 high school, student entry ages in preschool/kindergarten, the lack of specialist teachers in primary and the need for training above normal 'PD' allocations requiring the sourcing of an additional budget for WA.

WA, with a smaller population and different educational requirements, will always have varied results and requirements to the eastern states. Competing with the Eastern seaboard is not statistically possible under the current measuring system.

It was encouraging to see an education minister that at least understood some of the issues faced by national curriculum and someone willing to make an attempt to avoid a head long rush into it. The challenge will be to address some of these issues and prevent these issues being swept under the table along with the children of Western Australia.

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