Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Students Need Freedom of Learning not Gonski

I always had trouble with Gonski. The latest arguments and disagreements about Gonski 2.0 brought my feelings back again. The trouble I have is not just about the discussions about the funding per student and there was no information about how to utilize this funding.

Everything in the past turbulent weeks seemed to be concentrated on the Gonski plan to provide a school with specific amounts of dollars per student.
That’s it!

But that’s not it … where were the discussions about teacher quality; far more and better professional development of teachers; ongoing preparation for the digital classroom with technology training; less students per classroom; integration of subject areas; and what’s dear to my heart collaborative learning.

My real problem with Gonski is that fundamental philosophy of needs-based funding. This has the aim of providing equal opportunity for every student. Underlying this must be a belief that given the same opportunity all students will end up at the same place. 

This is clearly nonsense. One bad teacher in one year will wreck all that.

Who got brain-washed through all this government bickering and one-upmanship? Who addressed those fundamentals concerned to the fact that students are not, nor will ever be, the same even with similar monetary commitments.

It’s not about that. It’s about freedom of learning. Streaming. We want the brightest students totally independent of age to learn at their capacity. Not with the learning restrictions that education systems place on them.

We need learning to be aligned to the student ... not imposed on them in age-groups.
Have we not learned anything as teachers and education authorities and thought-leaders over the past 100 years. Well some of us probably did but we have no power to change anything unless we're a community.

Australia will now continue to slip down the international comparison tables … guaranteed!

Fortunately there’s the digital education classroom available now and the world is becoming one mega-classroom. No need for Gonski there.