Conferences / Events
Panel session

Sharing your voices: achieving equity and engagement for all students

A significant goal of the organisers of the 2009 ACSA conference Curriculum: a national conversation was that the voice of the profession, as represented by the conference delegates, was captured. One way that this was achieved was through use of Zing technology during the panel session Achieving Engagement and Equity for all Students. The nearly 300 conference delegates worked simultaneously in groups using keyboards to answer one of the following questions. This is what they said:

Question 1: What sort of professional culture and skills do teachers need to help all students achieve well?

Some consistent themes came through in response to this question. One of the main themes was the need for ongoing professional development and learning with teachers wanting to be identified as learners themselves. This related closely to the desire for professional collaboration and teamwork, engendering whole school approaches.

Delegates consistently stressed the need for community collaboration and engagement. Many commented on the need for greater cultural awareness, sensitivity and empathy. The need to put the students at the centre was a consistent theme.

To read the full list of delegate responses click here.

Question 2: What are the challenges of a national curriculum for equity and engagement?

Once again the delegates expressed consistent messages in responding to this question. They stressed the importance of a national curriculum that is not too prescriptive or content driven, ensuring it is flexible enough to enable classroom teachers to deliver personalised and localised curriculum that can meet the needs of individual students. Concern was raised that a national curriculum could promote generalised and reductionist notions, which was counter to the achievement of equity for all students. The importance of a curriculum flexible enough to allow schools to engage with and respond to their local communities was stressed.

Resourcing was also seen as a challenge by many delegates. They felt more teachers, professional development and curriculum resources were needed to ensure greater equity and engagement. Other issues addressed were the need for equity in assessment and reporting and the need for more time to develop, consult and implement the new curriculum to ensure greater engagement and equity.

To read the full list of delegate responses click here.