Another day. Another review announced.

If we ignore it will it go away?

‘NSW school curriculum set for a massive overhaul’

I think someone forgot to do their research and interview some actual teachers on this, or even take time to look at the detail in the current documents.

We already have a world-class future-focused curriculum (yes, I know, the current curriculum is a bit overcrowded, and yes, Maths is a bit dumbed-down in places, but it’s generally very good when compared to other OECD nations)

Why the overhaul?

Our curriculum is constantly being changed and improved apart from this review. We haven’t even finished implementing the last changes yet? For example, in NSW the new Science and Technology syllabus is still fresh paint with compulsory teaching from next year.

Why would you review something that is so new?

My advice? Ignore this review. They won’t likely make recommendation until early 2020. Then another four years of writing, with another three years allowed for schools to implement. And throw in a possible change of government and the review’s recommendations may just end up on a shelf somewhere. Or just as possible, the new curriculum could end up looking a lot like the current one. Or maybe you’ll be retired from teaching by then?

Expect to hear a few more sensationalist “back to basics” and “overhaul” slogans, rants and headlines from politicians and media over the next little while.

But ignore it all. Keep on teaching. It will go away.

Have a blissful week!

James Phelps

Read the article below.

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NSW school curriculum set for massive overhaul

The state’s entire education curriculum is to undergo its first overhaul in almost 30 years.

The review, spanning kindergarten to year 12, will attempt to declutter the current system, but Fairfax Media understands there will be a big focus on the primary years to give teachers more time to spend on literacy and numeracy.

NSW syllabuses for subjects such as maths, English and science are regularly updated, but the review will look mainly at so-called informal subjects that have been added ad-hoc over the years, such as driver safety and online security.

The review will consider updating classroom technology, put a sharper focus on Australian creativity and innovation, and clarify teaching of ‘‘general capabilities’’ – the learning skills emphasised in the recent Gonski report that students will need for a 21st century job market.

“The world has changed rapidly since the last comprehensive review in 1989 and we must ensure the curriculum is as strong as it can be,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

The announcement of the first review since 1989 comes two weeks after the release of the Gonski report into excellence in education, which said it was time to move beyond the so-called "industrial model" of teaching.

It called for a fundamental rethinking of how Australia educates children, saying the system has failed a generation of students as the country’s position keeps tumbling down OECD rankings.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said the review would implement the findings of the report.

“We want to ensure our students have every opportunity with the skills needed for jobs of the future,” he said. “This includes greater focus on the basics including English, maths and the sciences.

“This is a once-in-a-generation chance to examine, declutter and improve the NSW curriculum to make it simpler to understand and teach.”

Fairfax Media understands a review of the entire curriculum would seek ways to better embed the so-called informal subjects, which have been added on ad-hoc over the years, into core learning areas.

The review will also look at the role of new technologies and teaching methods in delivering the curriculum, an area that has been the subject of much debate since the release of the Gonski report.

One of the technologies mentioned in the report was a new type of assessment tool that could regularly test and diagnose student ability, prompting Mr Stokes to question the relevance of the standardised, 10-year-old NAPLAN test, which students across the country will sit this week.

The report also argued that the traditional “privatised” teaching model – one teacher, one classroom, 30 students – needs to be re-thought in order to give more attention to the children at the top and bottom of the class.

Mr Stokes said the review would also ensure Australian perspectives – literature, scientific discoveries, key historic events - are included in the curriculum.

“For Australia to continue to mature, we must first have pride in what has made us great,” he said. “The tyranny of distance once meant we had to invent, improvise and do things for ourselves.

“It’s time to look at how we can best support students to develop that mindset and those skills in the modern world.”

The NSW Education Standards Authority would engage Professor Geoff Masters from the Australian Council for Education Research to lead the review.

He said the review would look at implementation issues and look for ways to declutter and simplify the curriculum.

“This review is a timely opportunity to demonstrate how the national reform agenda can be successfully tailored to the specific needs and context of a high performing state education system.

“This is how Commonwealth/state collaboration should work,” he said.