This blog has been inactive for a while because I have been living in the Netherlands since January and have not felt the need to comment on Australian education matters from afar. I was lucky enough to secure a position in an international school in March and have enjoyed working at the school ever since. It’s been an enjoyable experience. Europe is a special place and international school children are quite unique (in a good way, of course). Alas, I will return to Australia in January and happily re-enter an Australian classroom to teach Australian kids. This will also likely flag my return to regular writing.
My experience has reaffirmed much of my personal beliefs and educational philosophy. I will continue to advocate strongly for better phonics teaching, strong teacher-led instruction, improved behaviour and a more rigorous, knowledge-based curriculum for the betterment of all children. I’ve seen the positive effects all four have had while teaching away, and I look forward to further promoting improvements in these areas, as well as improving my own application of them.
I still feel the need to voice my opinion on Australian education. It’s a fun hobby, but it is also important teachers talk/debate/discuss/reason about what’s happening. Australian education seems even more confused following the release of Gonski 2.0.. A directionless and platitudinous report, it left everyone scratching their heads wondering what the point of the endeavour was in the first place. Recent debates and discussions (here and here) indicate that people within the world of Australian education still, and perhaps forever will, have very different ideas on how education should look and what it should achieve in our society. I am all the time (and especially since working in a highly autonomous school overseas) leaning more and more towards letting people decide the direction they take on a local level – schools and teachers making decisions in consultation with each other and their community – rather than giving wind to pompous reports and fancy institutes. The only way we can achieve this is by seizing the narrative, putting our ideas into action, and turning away from the will of the powers that be while still listening carefully to criticism.