Curriculum task!

To aid differentiation, questions extracted from the body of course material are presented in plain text, while questions raised in ‘Inquiry questions’ and ‘Discussion’ sections are italicised.


  • How can I make school fairer for my students?
  • Drawing upon the philospohy of education we consider the purpose/s of schooling in contemporary Australia, as they currently stand, are schools fit for purpose?
  • What roles do schools play in the formation of society?
  • Who benefits from schools?
  • Why do we get reoccurring and persistent patterns of underachievement?
  • How do some of the experiences of students in Bridgeport connect to the larger problems common to Australian schools?
  • What social justice/equity issues can you find evidence of in Bridgeport?
  • For what purpose/s were systems of mass schooling established?
  • How has this changed? What is/are the purpose/s of mass schooling in the present age?

The School

  • For what purpose/s were systems of mass schooling established?
  • How has this changed? What is/are the purpose/s of mass schooling in the present age?
  • What sort of education do Australian children need to thrive and compete in this global world?
  • What was the job of the teacher, historically?
  • Have the needs and purposes of the schooling system changed?
  • Are we meeting the needs of our current students?
  • When you pass a school how do you know that it is a school (besides the signage)?
  • What are the common elements to schools, both in Australia and overseas?
  • Are these common elements necessary for learning?

The Teacher

  • What do I understand a “Teacher” to be?
  • How do I develop my professional identity as a teacher?
  • Consider popular cultural depictions of teachers, how are they depicted (Hopeless, sadistic, mean, angry, out-of-touch, inspiring, charismatic, heroic, etc…)?
  • Are these characterisations true to life?
  • Is the schooling system adequately represented by such portrayals? Why/Why not?
  • Do you think teaching is a respected profession, on par with medicine or law, or do you think it is misunderstood?
  • What judgements have you made about the case of the naked teachers? Were these judgements ethical or moral?
  • How many laws are teachers currently goverened by?
  • What role/responsiblity does each of these government departments (BOSTES, AITSL, ACARA, NSW DEC, My School, The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) have regarding teaching in NSW?
  • Are teachers professionals?
  • How do you see the teaching profession?
  • How do others see it?
  • Do the professional standards help or hinder teachers in their quest to be considered professionals?
  • What do you consider to be the factors that make up teachers’ professional identities?
  • How do we ensure that the ethical dimension of teachers’ professionality is not neglected?

Let’s talk about Theory

  • What is sociological theory?
  • How can I use sociological theory to help me in my teaching practice?
  • Do that schools operate as meritocracies?
  • When we see persist patterns of underachievement in schools how can we use social (or sociological) theory to help us explain these patterns, and to change this?

Social Justice

  • Within the Australian schooling context, what are the equity and social justice issues?
  • How do these issues connect to Bridgeport?
  • How does Chris Lilley use the characters of summer heights high to demonstrate the classed and gendered aspects of these characters?
  • How do these issues play out in schools?
  • In Australia, we like to consider ourselves prepared to give others a “fair go”. But is this really the case in the education system?
  • What are the equity and social justice issues in the Australian school system?
  • Should we “Give a Gonski” or should Gonski be Gone-ski?
  • What evidence is there in the information regarding Bridgeport that some of the equity issues identified in Australia at large operate at this site?

School Change

  • How does change occur in schools?
  • How do I become a change agent? (In my school, or my KLA/department/faculty, or just in my classroom?)
  • How will you know when change has occurred?
  • What is your baseline?
  • How do I collect baseline data and change data?
  • What is best practice in the area that I want to change?
  • What do you need to investigate (or research) to bring about the change that you are planning for?

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