WFE? MOOC – Week 5 Assessment

Reflective Task for week 5. I am a little ahead of schedule but I think that I often need to finish the assessment items of a particular learning task while I have a good head of steam – and a little time on my hands.

  • In an ideal world, how do you think education should be organised?

I think that education is a community good that should be fundamentally the responsibility of the government. But in a federation with three tiers of government this raises a particularly important question – which government. I tend to believe that subsidiarity is an important consideration for choice of government (the key decisions about what is important for communities should be made as close to those communities as is possible). So for questions regarding education I think that it should be the schools within their relevant communities who decide the detail of what is taught to students. Too often, especially in a federal governmental structure, the body that provides the funding also attaches a specific set of criteria for “success”. These criteria often prioritise the economic importance of bench-marked skills, the portability of disciplinary content learning and a uniform curricular (especially at the national level where a national curriculum has recently been introduced). This comes at the cost of the social and community building skills which would make students successful members of their local communities. If people cannot be successful within their local community it is unlikely that they will be able to contribute on the national or international level.

  • What priorities do you think it should reflect? and who should be responsible for ensuring that it is of a good quality?

I agree with Sandra Leaton Gray when she says that early learning should be a target. Currently within Australia there is an unusual rhetoric that prioretises parental engagement in the workforce as the primary reason for providing childcare to preschool children. This is interesting because an equally strong argument could be made for every preschool child within a community being entitled to early education provided through child care centres. However, this has not been adopted by Australian political leaders  agreed with by community groups.

  • Is there anything from the padlet wall that has informed your position?

There was no single article on the padlet wall that I found informed my position rather I found the duplication of themes represented in the padlet wall reinforced my agreement with Sandra Leaton Grey, and Professor Stephen J Ball. The duplication of the importance of education to economics, the need to standardise and the need to quantify “quality” education appear to be global political concerns which are changing the nature of “education” without necessarily considering the impact that this rhetoric will have on local education delivery.

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