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Overcrowding concerns on the agenda

Overcrowding concerns on the agenda

CONCERNS upper primary school teachers and students could be expected to cover 16 different subjects will be among issues discussed when the Queensland Catholic Education Commission meets with the Australian Curriculum review panel in Brisbane on March 17.

QCEC executive director Mike Byrne said potential “overcrowding” of the curriculum as Phase 2 and 3 subjects are rolled out is of concern.

He said the review should carefully consider how the sheer volume of content proposed might impact on teaching and learning.

“Our concerns relate mainly to the primary years, but particularly upper primary, where teachers and students could be expected to cover 16 different subjects,” he said.

“We are calling for the review to examine the content descriptions and achievement standards in these subjects and assess how essential they are.”

Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced in early January that two outspoken critics of the curriculum – former teacher and Coalition adviser Kevin Donnelly and academic Ken Wiltshire – would lead the review, which is due to report back by midyear.

At the time, Mr Pyne said he was concerned about Australian students’ declining results in international tests, and that there had been criticism of the national curriculum over a “lengthy period of time”.

Both Mr Donnelly and Mr Wiltshire will be at Monday’s meeting with QCEC  representatives, expected to last about an hour.

Mr Byrne said the Queensland Catholic sector supported a measured approach to the curriculum review process.

“The Australian Curriculum has been developed through a process of expert input and wide consultation.

“Teachers have also put a great deal of work into implementing Phase 1 of the curriculum (English, mathematics, science and history) over the past three years.

“We support a robust, balanced and apolitical curriculum that will effectively prepare young Australians for the future.

“However, we believe that major changes to the Phase 1 subjects would be a significant and unnecessary impost on teachers and school resources,” Mike Byrne said.

Written by: Staff writers
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