Monday, September 15, 2008

Educational Goals for Young Australians

Education Ministers (MCEETYA) are seeking input on the new National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians for the next ten years. The new Declaration will follow the 1999 Adelaide Declaration and the 20 year old 1989 Hobart Declaration
of "agreed goals for schooling in the twenty-first century."

So how do we see education now and what might be the goals that take us forward to around 2020? In this period of rapid change what do we even know about the world in 2020? And what will students need to prepare them for the workplaces and communities of 2030?

The draft Declaration lists some of the "major changes" since the Hobart declaration.

  • global integration and interdependence
  • shifts in geopolitical power
  • technological change
  • complex environmental pressures
  • rapid change in the way we use ICTs

For individuals and the nation to succeed in this new century the draft declaration proposes three educational goals founded on the principles of equity and excellence.

  • Successful learners...
  • Confident individuals...
  • Active and informed citizens...

A 7 point "Commitment to Action" shows how Australians might take "collective responsibility for personalised learning" that gives every young Australian the support they require to achieve high-quality educational outcomes.

Opportunity for feedback on the draft closes 3rd October 2008.

So, what feedback might we give from an 'holistic and integral education' perspective?

There is a great deal to be positive about...

The draft highlights the importance of every individual's "intellectual, physical, social, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and well-being" which is also foundational for holistic and integral education.

The language has changed from 'schooling' in previous declarations to a focus on 'education' with 'personalised learning' which is also a key element of holistic and integral education which recognises and values each unique individual.

The draft places "young Australians at the centre" and recognises the "central role of teachers" and the "collective responsibility" of the whole community. It has a "strong focus on literacy and numeracy" and "developing an understanding of history and culture and the key principles of science; knowledge of spiritual, moral and aesthetic dimensions of life; and competence in ... the creative arts."

In short it uses a more complex 'both/and' language rather than simplistic 'either/or' thinking that has been characteristic of some educational documents in the past...

Next post - How might the draft be improved? Any ideas?


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