A new report from education researchers Edunity shows that Australian teachers are making significant changes to the way they teach and how classes are organised to meet the growing need for a new set of skills for the knowledge economy.

The report, titled Teaching in the Knowledge Economy highlights

• the overwhelming majority of respondents (93%) feel that they need to change the way they teach to meet changing workforce expectations
• a lack of self confidence in this area – no teachers reported feeling that they were ‘leading the way’, though some felt their school as a whole could be considered in this way.
• Problem based learning approaches were identified as an effective means of linking classroom learning and real life.

Teachers identified soft skills like collaboration, self direction, communication and empathy as being key to negotiating a shifting future containing multiple careers and job pathways.

But this knowledge is tempered by limitations in the way these skills can be effectively taught and assessed, in an environment of NAPLAN, PISA and tertiary entrance rankings.

The findings confirm that teachers need more support, in terms of time allocation, useful resources and professional development and more flexibility in assessment to maximise outcomes for their students.

Edunity’s Kathryn McGrath says, “the teachers we spoke to are acutely aware that they need to change the way they teach, and many are doing just that. But there are numerous challenges – in resourcing, in meeting the needs of struggling students, and in finding an effective framework to guide these changes.”

Contact: Kathryn McGrath, Edunity

0414 570 362 or Tweet to @kathmgrath

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