How To Pass a Test: Is this the direction of Australian education today?" by Lynne Edwards was launched by Narelle Hargreaves OAM at Paperchain Bookstore in Canberra this-evening. This is a small volume of 133 pages, on a large topic: where is Australian school education headed and where should it go instead?
The book argues that national NAPLAN testing is having a detrimental effect on the quality of education in Australian schools, with teachers being forced to teach to the test. Lynne argues that teachers are undervalued, underpaid and overworked. She looks to the Finnish system for possible solutions.
This is a book which students contemplating a career in teaching should read, along with parents and politicians dabbling with education policy. There are no easy answers, but I suggest that teachers should look at how nurses have improved their professional status (and pay). Perhaps rather than all that unpaid overtime teachers do, marking work and preparing lessons, teachers should enroll in part-time postgraduate studies and demand better pay (or leave the profession for a job where they will be better paid).
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