1. General Background2. Politics and the Goals of the Education System3. The Formal System of Education4. Administrative and Supervisory Structure and Operation5. Educational Finance6. Supplying Personnel for the Education System7. Curriculum Development and Teaching Methodology8. The System of Examinations, Promotions,and Certifications9. Educational Assessment, Evaluation, andResearch10. Major ReformAUSTRALIA
• AUSTRALIA is a large island continent located close toSoutheast Asia and the South Pacific.• The land mass totals 7.7 million square kilometers.• In 1990, the population was 17 million. As of 24 April 2012 at05:24:18 PM (Canberra time), the resident population ofAustralia is projected to be: 22,886,339. This projection isbased on the estimated resident population at 30 September2011 of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.• Large-scale immigration has slowly changed the ethnic mixand produced a more culturally diverse society.• Middle East and Southeast Asia have beenprominent sources of immigrants.• English is the language of virtually allactivities.
The dominant role of governments in financing andadministering education means that the education policies ofthe major political parties are of considerable importance:• The party of social democratic inclination (the Labor Party) ismore likely to emphasize equitable access, the need forcompensatory programs, and the importance of teacher andparent involvement in decision-making.• The Liberal and National parties tend toplace more weight on the need to maintainacademic standards, parental choice ofschool, and vocationally relevant curricula.AUSTRALIA
In the compulsory years of schooling the major emphasis tendsto be on fostering individual development and generalsocialization. At the upper – secondary and tertiarylevels, broader economic and social goals tend to becomesignificant.AUSTRALIA
Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Education• Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 15 (16 in Tasmania)and between these ages there is virtually 100 percentattendance at school.• Most children, start primary school at age of 5 but majority of4-year olds attend kindergarten, normally part-time, beforecommencing primary school.• A large number of 3-year olds attend a kindergarten or otherpreschool center, but programs are usuallynot subsidized and parents pay full fees.• Primary education lasts for either six orseven years, depending on the stateconcerned.AUSTRALIA
• The school day normally contains about 5 hours in primaryand 5.5 hours in secondary and has 200 days in a school year.• Secondary education is available for either five or six yearsdepending upon the length of primary education in the state.• Students normally commence secondary school at about age12.• The secondary school completion rate is higher for girls thanboys, largely because more boys than girls leave school toenter an apprenticeship.• The tertiary sector comprises colleges of technical andfurther education (TAFE) and universities.• The TAFE colleges provide a wide variety ofcourses including pre-employmentprograms, and liberal adult education.This is the most accessible part of thetertiary sector. AUSTRALIA
Special Education• Special education programs are provided for students withphysical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities. Theseschools, which are almost all located in the governmentsector, are staffed on an average student-teacher ratio ofabout 5 to 1. There was a decline on the proportion ofstudents in special schools in 1980s when there was anemphasis on integrating disabled students intomainstream schools and classes.AUSTRALIA
Vocational, Technical, and Business Education• The difficult economic conditions of the 1980s focusedattention on the provision of vocational, technical andbusiness education.• A major difficulty in this area is that one of the principalavenues of vocational training, apprenticeships, is highlysusceptible to general economic conditions. There is noexplicit policy as to which students should receive vocationaltraining.• General government policy is to re-emphasizethe importance of vocational educationand to recognize its increasing convergencewith general education.AUSTRALIA
Adult and Nonformal Education• Adult participation in formal education is increasing.• Enrollments in the nonformal sector are, by theirnature, more difficult to estimate.• Nonformal education is provided through a variety ofagencies and institutions.• Nonformal education is also provided by a large number ofneighborhood learning centers, ethnic groups, and thoseinvolved in adult literacy programs.• Job training is emerging as an area ofconsiderable importance in nonformaleducation.AUSTRALIA
• Education is the responsibility of the individual states andterritories. State education departments recruit and appointthe teachers in government schools; supplybuildings, equipment and materials; and provide somelimited discretionary funding for use by schools.• Private schools are an important feature of the educationsystem. Almost all private schools have some religiousaffiliations, most commonly with the CatholicChurch. Private schools are largely free fromgovernment direction, aside from having tomeet prescribed minimum educationalstandards for registration and fundingpurposes.
• State and federal governments supply more than 90% of thefunds for education.• The broad division of governmental responsibility is that thestates fund government schools and TAFE, and the federalgovernment finances private schools, higher education andstudent financial support.• Private funding of education is mostly in the form of tuitionfees paid to private schools.• All private schools also receive some direct governmentfunding.• Full-time secondary and higher educationstudents are eligible for financial assistancethrough means tested allowances providedon a noncompetitive basis.
• Nearly 200,000 (full-time equivalent) teachers wereemployed in schools in 1990. A further 45,000 peopleworked in nonteaching positions. About 93,000 teacherswere employed in primary schools, 102,000 in secondaryschools and 4,000 in special schools. Some 60% of schoolteachers are female. However, men are more likely thanwomen to occupy senior administrative positions in schools.• The normal length of initial training for secondary teachers isnow four years of higher education. This generally comprisesa three-year degree in a major disciplinefollowed by a one-year diploma of education.• Government teachers usually serve a 1 oror 2-year probationary period beforebecoming eligible for permanent employment.AUSTRALIA
• Private school teachers are normally employed directly by theschool concerned although, like government schoolteachers, their salaries and conditions are determined byindustrial tribunals.• Governments have supported the introduction of a newclassification of teacher, commonly termed “Advanced SkillsTeacher.”• These teachers, who are selected on the basis of theirqualifications and demonstrated competence, receive slightlyhigher salaries for taking responsibility for arange of professional duties includingcurriculum development and the inductionof beginning teachers.AUSTRALIA
• There is no common school curriculum across the country.• The general pattern is that central authorities specify broadcurricular guidelines and schools have considerableautonomy in deciding curriculum detail and teachingmethodology.• All students are exposed to a curriculum that provided somecoverage of reading, writing, mathematics, science, socialstudies, humanities, the expressive andperforming arts, physical education, and lessfrequently, a foreign language.AUSTRALIA
• The federal government is keen to encourage more foreign-language teaching in schools, especially the languages ofAustralia’s major trading partners in Asia.• A major development was the adoption by the state andfederal education ministers of a set ten broad goals forschooling in Australia.• The goals include development of students’ knowledge andskills in literacy, numeracy, computing, languagesother than English, the creative arts andenvironmental understanding.AUSTRALIA
• In most schools students are automatically promotedbetween year levels according to age.• The first normal certificate is generally received at year 10based on internal school assessment.• All states award a certificate based on successful completionof year 12.• There is increasing use of criterion-based rather than norm-referenced assessment.• These developments are a response to theperceived need for year 12 programs to bebroadened beyond a concentration onpreparation for higher education.
• Several states have commissioned the Australian Council forEducational Research (ACER) to assess student achievementin the basic areas of literacy and numeracy, and other stateshave initiated their own testing programs.• A landmark in this respect was the 1990 publication of thefirst national report on schooling.• At the higher education level a major change in researchpolicy was evident in the establishment of theAustralian Research Council (ARC) in 1989.• This federal initiative has sought to alter the“research culture” of higher education…
• The dramatic rise in the proportion of young people whocompleted secondary education. This has stimulated far-reaching changes in curricula, assessment, and schoolstructures.• The need for teaching career to be restructured to attract andretain able people has also been high on the reform agenda.• The need for education to assist the Australianeconomy to become more internationallycompetitive.AUSTRALIA
• Finding the resources to support the continued expansion ofsenior-secondary and tertiary education.• Teachers will need to acquire new skills and knowledge toassist their students anticipate and control the pace ofchange.• The development of rewarding structures for teachers andacademics is likely to be a major problem.• The difficulties of providing effective programsto scattered populations will remain.• Program development to help redress social,gender, and economic inequalities willcontinue to be a challenge.AUSTRALIA