Australia’s school curriculum should be overhauled to focus more on individualised learning rather than year-level or age, a report by businessman David Gonski has outlined.
The review into Australia’s education system is the second of its kind and was publicly released in Sydney today.
In the Through Growth to Achievement report, Mr Gonski blames Australia’s “declining academic performance” on its “industrial model of school education that reflects a 20th century aspiration to deliver mass education to all children.”
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“Since 2000, Australian student outcomes have declined in key subjects such as reading, science and mathematics,” the report says.
“There is also a wide range of educational outcomes in the same classroom or school, with the most advanced students in a year typically five to six years ahead of the least advanced students.”
“Such disparity in learning outcomes is at odds with the goal of equity in education for all students.”
As a result, the review panel is urging the Australian education system to move from a year-based curriculum for students to more of a personalised curriculum regardless of year or age.
They’re also suggesting teachers be given “practical support by creating an online, formative assessment tool to help diagnose a student’s current level of knowledge, skill and understanding” as well as a greater focus on literacy and numeracy in early education.
An inquiry into the teaching and assessment for students in grades 11 and 12 has also been recommended.
“Delivering the maximum individual learning growth for every student every year is the key to
reversing the decline in Australia’s education outcomes,” the report states.
“The greater the number of students who realise their full learning potential, the greater the cumulative lift will be in our overall national performance.”
The Federal Government has accepted all 23 recommendations listed in the report, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging state governments to throw their support behind them too.