A missed opportunity to equip students for the 21st century 

The Science Teachers Association of NSW face the Parliamentary Committee Inquiring into the NSW Curriculum Review today with a strong message to the Government – this is a missed opportunity to equip students for the 21st century.  

Margaret Shepherd, President of the Science Teachers Association NSW says “Professor Masters recommended an ambitious game changing strategy for NSW Education and the Government has thwarted it” 

In a Position Paper released today, coinciding with their appearance before the Parliamentary Education Committee, the Science Teachers Association NSW noted the Government’s truncated timeframe and inability to grasp the vision set by Professor Masters will leave our NSW students floundering in an antiquated system that does little to support the skills required to provide a strong foundation for their future.  

“The truncated timeframe of four years, rather than the ten recommended by Professor Masters, means that there is insufficient time for the Government to develop appropriate modelling of the visionary recommendations posed by Professor Masters, undertake the necessary consultation with the teaching community to ensure success of the reform and to develop a curriculum that is internationally competitive.” said Ms Shepherd.  

Professor Masters’ recommendations suggests embedding a rigour in our NSW education system for all students that would see deep understanding of content knowledge, the development of 21 Century skills and the ability to apply these in context.  

Ms Shepherd said “The argument for differentiated learning is sound and supported extensively in literature and the key principles of untimed syllabuses and deep learning provide a framework to support high achievement and a safety net for students falling behind.” 

“Delivered and resourced properly this could be a win-win reform for all students. A reform of this scale is an ambitious plan that requires thoughtful introduction and investment over a number of years.” she said. 

“Whilst there is a strong need and urgency for change, this ‘urgency’ doesn’t mean rushing the reform implementation through, rather it means there is a strong imperative for considered and long-term change in curriculum that should sit above party politics” 

The full position paper developed by a consultative committee of our membership is available here