The Australian federal government has released a draft of the newly written National Curriculum for Technologies through ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority). If approved, this curriculum will go through a validation process prior to being published in late 2013, and will be ready for teaching in the states and territories in 2014 (http://www.acara.edu.au/technologies.html).
The Digital Technologies section of the draft Curriculum for Technologies is a massive step in the right direction. If enacted, it will equip Australian students with the skills they need; not just to become competent consumers of technology, but to design and create our shared technological future.
We believe that:
- Students should be taught how to create technology, rather than simply consume it.
- Students should learn to use and develop technology to solve real-world problems.
- Students should be encouraged to think entrepreneurially and strive to lead Australia into international esteem.
The draft Curriculum has made these outcomes closer than ever before for Australian students. It focuses on the strengthening of computational thinking, logic and problem-solving capability to build capacity for the future and to apply to a wide range of situations. Computer science skills and concepts will be introduced earlier in schools, where every Australian student will learn to design and implement simple visual programs in Year 3-4, and learn a general purpose programming language in Year 7-8. If these changes are adopted, it will be to the immense benefit of our education system and the future of Australia's children.
We need your support as parents, teachers, entrepreneurs, technology creators and consumers to ensure that this curriculum receives the support it deserves. The NCSS and USITAA (University of Sydney Alumni Association) will be submitting feedback to ACARA through the formal submission process. By signing this petition, you voice your support of our feedback, the main points of which are:
- We strongly support every Australian student being taught a general purpose programming language in Years 7-8
- We strongly support every Australian student being taught a programming language in years 5-6 (including visual programming languages like Scratch)
- We strongly support the teaching of algorithmic and computational thinking in early primary years
- We strongly recommend removing project management from the syllabus completely, and instead including syllabus points on entrepreneurial thinking.
If you care about the future of this country and the direction that education in our schools heads, then please make a formal submission by Friday the 10th of May. Making a submission is pretty easy, as they accept email. All you need to do is sign up on the ACARA website and submit a cover sheet with your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need your voice to tell ACARA that Australian kids deserve the best in technology education!
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)