The Australian school year has barely begun and already attention has been diverted into debates over the national curriculum and teaching degrees. What is interesting is that these both seem to be debates over general vs specific.
Should a national curriculum be teaching specific knowledge and should teaching degrees be generalist? Certainly the ability to communicate clearly, express ideas imaginatively and problem solve are critical skills in today’s world but that’s like saying that a surgeon only requires these skills to operate. We know that isn’t true.
I don’t believe the issues raised by Minister Pyne and Vice Chancellor Spence are the issues that we should be debating. Whether it’s the curriculum or a teaching degree, it has to be a both/and proposition. Education is after all, the interplay between theory and practice, reflection and action, specific and general, academic and vocational.
I believe teachers need to be generalists and specialists just…
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