One of my major clients is the Australian Council of State School Organisations.
ACSSO is the national peak body for public education in Australia, comprising state- and territory-based affiliate organisations.
ACSSO keeps schools, teachers, principals, students and parents informed about issues, policy developments, legislation and new research on education.
When Prime Minister Howard stated that public schools in Australia did not place enough emphasis on teaching values to Australian students, ACSSO decided to canvass the schools in question and collate their views with examples of their practices that might refute the PM’s claim.
Values in Education is the result.
What was at first a small section of the main ACSSO site has grown to be a detailed exploration of how values are communicated in Australian schools. State schools submitted examples of how they teach values to their students, complete with photos, stories and links to their own school sites.
Once the traffic to this part of the website grew almost as heavy as to the main part of the ACSSO website, it was clear that this deserves a website of its own.
As well as the examples of what Australian public schools are doing to teach values to students, the site also features a series of Guest Columns, which are no more and no less than opinions expressed by people involved in education, that touch on values and how to communicate them to young people. There is necessarily a range of opinion: some conservative, some radical, some ratbag. It’s a good mix, and provides plenty of food for thought.
The site also offers a remarkable range of resources in relevant research and web links compiled by Rob McConchie, a former school principal and education research professional of considerable standing.
I suspect that this site will continue to grow and make a positive contribution to thinking about values in Australian schools.