Australia’s new schooling boss has promised to inject some common sense and pragmatism into the polarising debate about the direction of education. Source: The Australian.
In his first major interview since he took over as chief executive of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority in February, David de Carvalho warned of the dangers of taking “shortcuts” at the expense of evidence-based learning.
Mr de Carvalho, who was chief executive officer of the National Catholic Education Commission from 1998 to 2003, has held a range of high level policy roles in education, health and social policy.
He said he had heard all about the evils of industrial-model schooling, how robots are going to take our jobs and education was “no longer about facts and figures” because “Google knows everything”.
“Sure, you can get information from the web but you don’t get knowledge from the web,” Mr de Carvalho said. “Part of the culture of public discourse today is that in order to cut through … people go for shortcuts, for cliches. I’m not sure it’s all that helpful.
“My general approach in complex education debates, which often unfortunately collapse into people taking entrenched positions via Twitter, is to attempt to build bridges between sides, as opposed to taking sides.”
Mr de Carvalho’s remit at ACARA is broad, with the authority responsible for the national curriculum, schooling data, including My Schools, and assessments such as the increasingly maligned NAPLAN test.
He is keen to focus on the curriculum, which he believes is “vitally important” if Australia is to improve its position on international education rankings. Last year’s Gonski report urged an overhaul of the curriculum and Education Minister Dan Tehan has called for the curriculum to be “decluttered” and “simplified”.
Let’s get real on schools: new education boss (The Australian)