Covering the Basics

Mt Ousley is a school of learning, where it just happens that technology is used a lot. We are not, however, a technology school, nor do we ever wish to be recognised as such.

Sometimes I am asked if we still cover the basics, given that we tend to use iPads and laptops a fair bit. The answer is emphatically yes, of course we do!

So where is the evidence?

Fact number 1: In Kindergarten, since the introduction of the L3 framework (Language, Learning & Literacy) several years ago, the percentage of students exiting Kindergarten with high levels of reading competency has continued to increase every year. These results are externally validated by the Department of Education.

Fact number 2: Our NAPLAN trend results have improved in every aspect of literacy over recent years.

Fact number 3: Our NAPLAN results that measure student growth from Year 3 to Year 5 are among the state's highest.

Fact number 4: Anecdotal data gathered from class assessments suggests increased levels of achievement across the board.

Fact number 5: Rigorous departmental accountability measures exist to ensure that every teacher covers mandatory curriculum requirements, including traditional aspects of literacy and numeracy such as spelling, handwriting and number.

Sadly, one of the biggest hurdles we face is that many people presume to know a great deal about educational best practice, simply because they at some time went to school. But every facet of our lives has changed in the most unbelievable ways, so why wouldn't education undergo radical change too? Educational research guides us in the practices we choose to implement, in the same way that research guides the practices of every other profession.

Imagine if doctors still prescribed the same treatments as they did 30 years ago. Would we still go to them?

Imagine if financial advisers still gave the same advice as they did even 10 years ago. Would we trust them?

And imagine if we still built houses from asbestos based materials as we did 50 years ago. Would we think that that was okay?

Of course not. The delivery of education has changed significantly in a relatively short period of time and this merely reflects the changing nature of our society. Education should not and will not ever remain static, because if it did, it would very quickly become redundant and irrelevant.

So, do classrooms look completely different to how we remember classrooms as children ourselves? Absolutely! But with classrooms full of technology, do we still cover the basics of literacy and numeracy? Just look at the evidence.

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