Curriculum: Getting the Balance Right in Your School

from Len Proctor:

*ACEL/Microsoft *
*Online Conference May** **2007*

*The Australian Council for Educational Leaders and Microsoft are
combining to offer an ACEL/Microsoft online conference on ‘Curriculum:
Getting the Balance Right in Your School’ from 21-27 May 2007. *

*We invite educators, at all levels, and from all countries, to submit
papers and/or presentations for this e-vent by 1 May 2007. Those who
simply wish to participate in the 24/7 online discussions, to share
their ideas about these papers and presentations, and curriculum issues
in general, are also most welcome.*

*Register online for no cost at: http://www.cybertext.net.au/acel17.htm*


*Further information*

*Informative papers, website presentations, MP3 files and interactive
discussions will be available for 7 days on the internet (24 hours a
day). *The online conference will be active for seven days. We hope to
have a wide range of papers and presentations, sent to us by classroom
teachers, school leaders and education academics, to stimulate online
discussion and debate. Each day participants will have the opportunity
to discuss curriculum with education colleagues in Australia and around
the world.

*Prizes*

*Microsoft is kindly offering three **i-Mate JasJam PDAs as prizes **for
the best entries in the following categories:*

*1. The most creatively presented video, MP3 or website presentation on
the topic*

*2. The leading paper / presentation on the topic*

*3. The best paper / presentation on the topic by a practising classroom
teacher*

/* Prize winners will be announced on the online conference website on
Sunday 27 May./

*What should you write about?*

*Curriculum: Getting the Balance Right in Your School*

What really matters in curriculum today? Will today’s students be
prepared for the types of jobs they will encounter in the 21st century?
How can we help produce 21st century outcomes for every student?

A growing number of respected voices have sounded the alarm that
students are not being prepared to compete in an increasingly global
marketplace and that new curriculum models and structures must be
considered. There is widespread consensus that today’s students must be
able to think critically, solve problems and collaborate if they are to
succeed in work and live in the 21st century. But what do those closest
to our students think?

In response to this issue, ACEL and Microsoft are encouraging educators
to discuss the following questions with *colleagues and young people*
and participate in a week of active debate from May x to x. The
outcomes of this debate and the outstanding papers will be synthesized
and published for all participants to be used in further discussions in
their schools and in wider forums as participants wish.

* In your opinion, what skills, knowledge and attitudes are urgently
needed – *right now* – by young people in the compulsory years of
schooling?

* In your opinion, what skills, knowledge and attitudes do you think
are likely to be needed in – *the next five to 10 years -* by
young people in the compulsory years of schooling?

* *Who* should be responsible for curriculum change – *and why
them*? Should the driving force of curriculum change come from a
particular level of government, politicians, education
bureaucrats, parents, the local community or district, academics,
superintendents, principals, individual classroom teachers or
students?

* What are your thoughts on how curriculum change should *ideally*
*proceed*? Please suggest how the model of change that you have
to work with could be improved.

* What are the strengths of the curriculum you are using in your
classroom, school and/or system? And what are the weaknesses? Can
you explain this from the perspective of your classroom?

* Are there any aspects of the curriculum in another classroom,
school, district, system or country that you admire and would like
to see implemented in your classroom?

* As an individual teacher, what can you personally do to
improve/reconstruct or even transform a curriculum that is
mandated by your school, system or government? Do you think
teachers should have this role – why or why not? What happens when
students, parents, teaching professionals (and even their leaders)
aren’t enthused by – or don‘t even like – the mandated curriculum?

* If you suddenly had complete authority for the curriculum in your
school, district, system or country, what changes would you make
*right now*, and what would you like to phase in more gradually?

* Have you observed any obstacles to positive curriculum change – do
you have any ideas on how these could be overcome?

*How to submit an essay-style paper*

Essay-style papers from 1,000 to 3,000 words are invited.
Essay-style papers for possible publication should be emailed directly
to the Online Conference Manager, Ms Debra Brydon, at:
*brydon@cybertext.net.au < mailto:brydon@cybertext.net.au>** *by* **1 May
2007*. Papers should be provided either as plain email text messages or
as attached Word documents (not html). Papers should not include any
formatting, such as columns or boxes. Text can include italics and/or
bold but should not use capitalisation, coloured text or underlining for
extra emphasis. The use of tables, graphs and footnotes should be
avoided altogether, with the relevant information being fully explained
as text. The titles of papers should be kept reasonably short (eight
words or less) and should seek to provide readers with a clear
indication of the paper’s content.

*You are encouraged to email one ‘head and shoulders’ photo of yourself
for publication with the paper.* This must be _attached separately_ as a
JPEG file and not embedded within the text file. If there is more than
one writer, please arrange for one photo of both/all of you to be
taken. *Acronyms (and aren’t there so many in education !) should
always be spelled out in full* the first time they are mentioned in your
paper, for the benefit of interstate and overseas participants.

Links to other useful websites are welcome, so please do include these
in your paper.

*All papers should include an ‘About the Author’ paragraph of
approximately 100 words at the end.* This should include your title
(e.g., Mr, Ms, Dr, etc.), your full name and your current professional
position/location/school. Where you have co-written the paper with
another educator, information about both of you should be included,
including both of your email addresses. Postal addresses should also be
provided for the purposes of future correspondence, although these will
not be published on the online conference website.

For further information on submitting a paper to the online conference,
please contact the Online Conference Manager,
Debra Brydon*.** **If
possible, please confirm that you, or you and your colleagues (as a team
of writers), are able to provide a paper by the deadline or are
considering submitting one.*

*How to submit a website*
*Educators are also invited to develop their own websites, or school
websites, that address the topic. *Please ensure that the website is
able to remain ‘live’ until the conference ends (and preferably longer,
if that is possible). When you have completed your website presentation,
email the URL to the Online Conference Manager, along with a paragraph
introducing your website presentation and containing your name, school
and its location. *Websites can include videos or any other appropriate
multimedia. *

*How to submit an audio file*

Those with access to appropriate MP3 technology are invited to liaise
with CyberText with a view to sending suitable MP3 files for possible
mounting on the online conference website. The following guidelines apply:

Mono

32kbps

Sample rate 22.05kHz

MPEG-2

Layer 3 (MP3)

Please contact Online Conference Manager, Ms Debra Brydon, if you
require any further technical advice, at: brydon@cybertext.net.au
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