My School? Whose School? What’s on the table for Public Education in Australia?
A Report arising from a Policy Forum, Deakin University 7-8 May 2010
The School of Education and the Centre for Research on Educational Futures and Innovation at Deakin University successfully sponsored a Policy Forum on the 7-8 May in order to debate aspects of the Rudd Government’s ‘Education Revolution’, including the National Curriculum, NAPLAN, and the My School website.
Attending over the two days were multiple stakeholders in education: student, teacher and parent organizations, Indigenous community members, educational researchers, as well as representatives from all school sectors and statutory authorities for teacher registration, curriculum and assessment. Participants came from Victoria and other states.
The opening keynote by Alan Reid prompted vigorous discussion about the wider purposes of education with significant agreement emerging between attendees on a number of points.
Education, it was agreed, was a public as well as a private good.
On the second day, participants engaged in focus group discussions in order to engage further with the keynote and panel presentations. Several key points emerged from the forum that cast a critical light on the ‘Education Revolution’.
A truly democratic curriculum should be developed in a truly democratic spirit. The Deakin Forum brought people together to engage in the kind of informed public debate that is necessary if Australia is ever to implement a truly inclusive curriculum characterized by intellectual rigor and imaginative vision.