This new book, based on the findings of a year long research project, offers a clear strategy through the uncertainty and controversy surrounding the current education agenda. The message that emerges from the research is that piecemeal reforms to schooling will not provide solutions to the widening gaps in education that limit opportunities for many young Australians. The Introduction is available to download as a pdf from APO.
Debates about teacher quality, funding and a national curriculum are important, but potentially miss a major point: new partnerships between schools, parents, systems, communities, business, government, philanthropy – a whole range of networks – will be vital to addressing inequity in Australian schooling. Beyond the Classroom calls for new models of schooling that recognise that the future of young people is the responsibility of the whole community and that young people can take an active – if not leading – role in shaping their future beyond the school gates.
The book describes how we can build upon networks that already exist in Australia and best-practice internationally, as well as proposing new and innovative approaches to improve schooling and strengthen communities. "Schools and their communities need to look sideways. They need to form alliances with their neighbourhood schools and the wider educational and non-educational organisations and agencies across their local regions. In this way equity – the needs of all students – can be placed upon the agenda" said Professor Jack Keating, Thought Leadership Fellow with the Foundation for Young Australians.
Beyond the Classroom: Building new school networks, by Rosalyn Black, Senior Research Manager at the Foundation for Young Australians, is published by The Australian Council for Educational Research. A copy of the book can be purchased from http://shop.acer.edu.au/