But this is controversial. Many teachers argue that because children are so different, there is no one-size-fits-all approach; textbooks are widely frowned upon. They also say that the notion of resources provided infringes on their professional freedom; it’s like being told how to teach.
“Of the 5,000 teachers we surveyed last year, 92% said they didn’t have enough time to prepare for effective classroom teaching.”
Jordana Hunter, Educational Program Director, Grattan Institute
Jensen said that view was shared by a vocal minority. The resources would not be mandatory, and many teachers are asking for advice. “They don’t know what to do and they have to work it out in a time frame that makes it hard to make good decisions,” he said. “[The issue] is not controversial outside of Australia,” Jensen said. “It got mixed up with the autonomy debate.”
Jordana Hunter, director of the education program at the Grattan Institute, a think tank, also called for increased investment in high-quality teaching resources to help teachers who are floundering under unsustainable workloads.
“Of the 5,000 teachers we surveyed last year, 92% said they didn’t have enough time to prepare for effective classroom teaching and 86% said they didn’t have enough time to plan high-quality lessons,” she said.
“High-quality lesson videos would be especially helpful for new teachers and those teaching a subject they are not qualified in. Planning lessons on your own is incredibly complex and time-consuming.
Crippling workloads are a key flashpoint in an industrial relations battle between teachers and the government in New South Wales. Teachers went on strike on Wednesday, demanding a pay rise and two additional hours of planning time per week.
Some teachers have taken matters into their own hands. During the pandemic, Ballarat Clarendon College’s head of staff, Reid Smith, watched UK teachers – aware of the wide variety of remote learning – develop a platform where they could upload videos and resources from guaranteed quality.
The Oak National Academy attracted support from a charity and then from the British government. The resources have been viewed over 150 million times.
Smith and a colleague decided to launch something similar in Australia. It’s called OCHRE and has pilot funding from the Australian Education Research Organisation, as well as sponsorship from tech company Atlassian.
Smith does not intend to impose anything on teachers. They can choose to use chunks or nothing at all. “But if you start teaching, you don’t have a social or professional network, or if you don’t have the expertise that others have access to…we try to provide that sharing,” he said. -he declares.
“The element that is different from Twinkl[an online resource marketplace]or Teachers Pay Teachers is that it is checked.
Hunter said families and teachers would have benefited from Ocher’s resources during the pandemic.
“Investing in a comprehensive bank of high-quality lesson videos in key learning areas is one of the simplest things governments can do to build the resilience of our education system to withstand future disruption,” she said.
Matt Garrett, primary teacher at Northholm Grammar in Sydney, uses OCHER resources. “I think all teachers appreciate resources that help them,” he said. “The more tools we receive to help us in our work, the better we can contribute to the edification of our children.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which runs the national curriculum, said states and territories were responsible for implementing the document in their schools.
Resources made available to teachers included videos of effective teaching practices.
“There are also work samples, which are examples of student work that provide assessment guidance for teachers, curriculum links, teaching and learning tools, and links to relevant reports and research available on our website. Over time, ACARA will update these resources to support the new program.
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