There is no shortage of challenges in school education. Some of the biggest challenges we face can appear frustratingly intractable. Despite reform efforts, regular government reviews and ongoing calls for change, progress in addressing our most significant challenges is often slow and solutions continue to elude us. In this paper Professor Geoff Masters discusses five significant challenges facing school education.
- Equipping students for the 21st Century, including by increasing reading, mathematical and scientific literacy levels;
- Reducing disparities between Australia's schools, particularly along socioeconomic lines, by ensuring that every student has access to an excellent school and excellent teaching;
- Reducing the ‘long tail’ of underachieving students who fall behind year-level curriculum expectations and thus fail to meet minimum international standards;
- Getting all children off to a good start, by reducing the number of children who begin school with low levels of school readiness and so are at risk of ongoing low achievement;
- Raising the professional status of teaching, by increasing the number of highly able school leavers entering teaching.