back to article Can do better: Tech industry report on Australia's tech curriculum

Industry has reacted unkindly to Australia's decision to walk away from previous plans to teach digital technologies – including computation thinking – to all students from kindergarten until the fourth year of high school. A review of Australia's national curriculum, released yesterday, recommended that the recently-created …

  1. southen bastard


    What is the government good for?

    We don't make any thing anymore . We sell only raw materials car industry gone. And now no relavent education . That's it I'm afraid

  2. Diogenes

    Something had to give

    Whilst ElReg rightly concentrates on the Technology syllabus, PDHPE, (thats PhysEd) and CAPA(The Arts) and Geography have been sent back for more work as well. The Big 4 (MESH) also need major work done on them. This is most true at Primary level - more needs teaching than there are hours available and something has to give especially in light of the fact that under the Gonski Act (Education Reform Act 2013) - the former government gave us 4 targets (3 of which relate to retention & indigenous education) the first of which is to rank in the top 5 for reading and arithmetic for PISA.

    The technology assessor compared the proposed curriculum to curricula in countries that rank ahead of us (which at least the US, UK do not do) and the review report as whole said there needs to be more emphasis on teaching the basics of the 3Rs and more depth and fewer other subjects (The Arts were singled out as a "fewer" ). Now that ALL the curricula have been written & released everybody is trying to work out how to fit it all in.

    Primary schools these days tend to do work on cross-curriculum projects in which they knock of dot points for various syllabuses in a unit of work (say design a playground for the school - english vocab, maths - area & science - suitable materials ,PD - suitable equipment to target muscles and perhaps look at a historical playgrounds for history). There are exceptions which are taught discretely - such as music, foreign languages(now also compulsory) and sport. Then let's not forget visits by the various Foundations promoting cybersafety, non smoking, activity, mental heath, antibullying, road safety, police talks, anti grafitti, danger of ingrown toenails(sorry made that last one up) - it would be difficult to carve out time for another subject.

    As a HS ICT teacher I was worried that a poor introduction in primary and stage 4 would be counter productive as it would kill interest in computing as a subject in later school years(stages 5 &6) and then university.

  3. KrisMac

    Not entirely sure this is all as bad as is being made out...

    While I would like to see computation being taught earlier, I tend to agree that numeracy must come first. Discrete mathematics is the absolute foundation of our industry, which probably comes as a surprise to those who think that the only thing you need to know to be successful in IT these days is how to search Google or mash up a web site...

    To my way of thinking it is better to do a few things really well than to be mediocre across the board. Lets get the kids to the point of understanding what they are reading, and able to perform the most basic mathematical calculations without the need for a calculator to pave the way for more advanced studies in cryptography, algorithm development and algebra.

    Jumping in with both feet at primary school might suit the 1% of kids destined for Mensa, but the basic numeracy skills of the average Australian High School student are woefully inadequate at best and leave me worrying for our economic future..

    1. Diogenes

      Re: Not entirely sure this is all as bad as is being made out...

      Have an upvote sir.

      Reading the incoherent sentences my year 11 Software Design Class gave me in their short answer questions made me cry.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not entirely sure this is all as bad as is being made out...

      Amen Mr Mac. I've met incoming physics PhD students who think that rounding a number to 3SF and then to 2SF is the same as rounding it to 2SF the first time, and who can't tell me how many integers lie on the range [0...10]. I am not joking. Teach them high-school maths and English, and then teach it to the little buggers again until they pay attention.

  4. AndyDent

    Blaming both sides means you don't know what you're talking about

    Any time I see someone blame both teachers and the educational bureaucracy, I think, "well, that's someone who likes ranting and who understands nothing about education or learning."

    I'm not a teacher but my daughter is and I've worked for years alongside ex-teachers on an education product for teacher support.

    Firstly, Teachers have very little say in curriculum design, especially in this era of attempted nationalism.

    I also agree with some of the other comments already on this thread - you don't get students to learn how to use tools by having a separate curriculum. Improving the digital tools and and techniques available for use within other subjects is key to adoption and developing the attitude that using these tools is useful and natural.

  5. Colin Tree

    Liberals wrecking the country

    This is the result of the federal Liberal review by Donnley and Wiltshire (dickheads). There will now be intense lobbying and responses from independent systems and state government departments. I get this stuff at high volume from my squeeze who does Curriculum for independent schools.

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