The meeting was prompted by a report in The Weekend Australian last week revealing ACARA had launched its own review of the curriculum, with a focus on so-called 21st-century skills, also known as general capabilities, which range from critical and creative thinking to "mindfulness", "gratitude" and "resilience"."Parents don't send their kids to school to be taught the latest fashionable trends in education," Mr Tehan writes in The Weekend Australian today. "And parents would be rightly concerned if they thought schools were moving away from the essentials and focusing on topics like 'mindfulness' and 'resilience'. Such a move would be a big mistake." ACARA recently appointed the Boston-based Centre for Curriculum Redesign to help design a new maths curriculum. CCR's chairman, Charles Fadel, is considered to be the founder of the 21st-century skills movement, writing several books on the topic.
Mr Fadel conducted a speaking tour in Australia late last year, encouraging educators to consider removing some disciplines from the curriculum to make way for skills training in areas such as personal finance, robotics, wellness and how to distinguish "fake news".ACARA boss Robert Randall says the work with the CCR will "inform any future refinement of the existing Australian curriculum in mathematics" and guide improvements to its curriculum design and development process.
The NSW Teachers Federation has condemned the arrangement.ACARA's recently retired chairman, Steven Schwartz, and its former curriculum director, Fiona Mueller, oppose the shift in focus to general capabilities. Dr Schwartz called it as an "educational fad".
Mr Tehan said it was appropriate for ACARA to look to worldleading research and participate in projects such as the OECD's Education 2030, but "the Australian curriculum will be written by Australians for Australians"."Let me be clear: we will not be dictated to by the OECD," he said.
"This government will never commit Australia to a pan-national education project . We cannot keep shifting the goalposts on teachers and expect students to alter the foundation of their education.
From: Weekend Australian, Australia by Rebecca Urban22 Sep 2018
|Tags: curriculum Government|