"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Money, money, money.. = success?

There has been a lot of hype, twitter chatter and many bloggers writing about the Gonski reforms and the impact they will have on students. There has been an explosion of commentating on the fact that universities are facing a $2 billion funding cut. There seems to be very little evidence on exactly what this money will practically look like. So how can we measure improvement apart from Naplan? If we throw bucket loads of money at childhood education will that mean they will be creating smarter and more capable adults that are able to contribute to society in a meaningful way? I'm not sure that the success of students now can be measured as they become adults and contributing members of society or should I say contributing future tax payers. It seems to me that highly skilled teachers will go a long way to helping students success and that cutting funding to higher education seems to be a kick in the knees in solve the problem.

Dan Haesler suggests,
"How do you suppose we train these better  teachers if we starve the universities of cash?
Maybe we could just put an instructional video up on YouTube. That should do it. That’s 21st Century teaching after all isn’t it?
We want better teachers! Pfft.
We need better politicians!"

Education should be viewed in a holistic way. There still needs to be affordable adult education for those students who fall through the cracks at school. Cutting Tafe funding was already going to make it difficult for the adult education industry but cutting university funding is also just as problematic. University fees also can't be so high that students will struggle to pay them back or be so high they can't afford to complete the degree they require to be part of the skilled workforce that we all aspire to.  This system seems so broken it's a wonder it can ever be fixed. With all the money that is being thrown around I really wonder if at a grass roots level that it will make a difference? Only time will tell. 

Blogs and conversations are important in the debate and silence on the issue doesn't help robust debate. If politicians want to hear what teachers think then we need to get out in social media and in the face of people who are making these decisions. There are many people in society who do support the work of teachers and it is important that we advocate for our students and our profession. 

So whether or not you support Gonski it remains to be seen if lots of money will fix a broken system and students really are better prepared to be contributing members of society when they reach adulthood.  

A mid week blog..
Until Saturday,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your blog, people like you make TAFE great!
    An interesting question you ask about how else to measure apart from NAPLAN. the experience in Finland is interesting because there focus is on delivering quality, not trying to measure. As an incidental they just happen to achieve remarkable results when they do the European tests to measure outcomes. I look forward to reading more of your posts.