The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the NSW Curriculum Review Interim Report.
ATSE’s initial submission to the Review stressed the importance of sound science, mathematics, and digital technology as core subjects for all school students, while advocating for the need and value of strengthening engineering concepts within the curriculum, as embodied in the Technologies national curriculum learning area.
We also advocated for increased and systematised in‐service professional development for teachers in STEM subjects and disciplines at all levels of the curriculum, and the need for more teacher recruitment of bachelor graduates of STEM subjects into initial teacher education programs for secondary teachers.
A year on from that submission, these needs are becoming more urgent, especially after seeing the continuing downward trends in average performance in reading, mathematics and science, in the Australian results of the 2018 PISA survey. We suspect that the decrease in the mean is due mostly to the lengthening of the tail: a higher proportion of school students are achieving less than their predecessors.