Board of Studies (1993 – 2001) and Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (2001 – 2006)
In 2001 a review of the two-year VCE course brought some changes. The major change is that a key writing assignment during Year 12, the so-called CAT 1 was replaced with a series of eight strictly defined tasks or Outcomes in Year 11 and six tasks in Year 12. They were to be completed under test conditions and assessed by the classroom teacher.
In addition the new VCE Course Design defined the thematic approach to VCE studies more narrowly into three main themes:
Slovenian Speaking Communities
The Changing Society
Within the broad area of the themes, teachers develop their own units or select from sample topics and sub-topics those that suit them or their students, or according to materials they have available. They have to cover all three themes in their course.
“Slovenian VCE Study Design 2001” contains a great deal of detail on the new requirements, a sample topic outline and a list of suggested topics under three main themes. In addition it contains an extensive list of up-to-date textbooks, reference books and dictionaries, as well as a bibliography of background material. Cited are also suitable websites and Slovenian publications that might serve as references for exploration of the main themes.
The study design was completed in accordance with the guidelines and requirements of the re-named Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), by Aleksandra and Sandi Ceferin in November 2001.
All the information on the VCE Course Design and the extensive list of references, structured and categorised for easy access, is available on the website www.Thezaurus.com.
1.5.0 Curriculum and Standards Framework (CSF) for Languages Other Than English (LOTE) and Slovenian Language
Impact of the VCE reform on VSL
Parallel to the VCE reform inaugurated with VISE Group 2 subjects and the following review process, a great deal of re-thinking went into pre-VCE primary and secondary school levels 1 to 10. Some of the discussion regarding effective teaching and assessment practices was conducted Australia wide.
As a result the Victorian School of Languages (VSL) undertook major changes in its approach to language curriculum. This included implementing a common standard and approach to teaching across all languages and centres.
The task was undertaken by Gil Freeman, the Principal appointed to head the school in 1990. An innovative educator with interest in LOTE curriculum issues, he began gathering around him a talented staff of Area Managers, Senior Teachers and language teachers in the state school system. Some, like Aleksandra Ceferin had been LOTE Consultants, VCE Course Developers and Curriculum Coordinators. Others had been Supervisors, VSL Centre Administrators, Curriculum and Language Coordinators. A number had a specific ethnic background. For all, this was an exciting period, during which the school was at the leading edge in the teaching of LOTE in the state of Victoria.
Professional development of teachers became an issue of primary importance. VSL languages normally taught within the Victorian school system had a sufficient number of qualified teachers. Languages new to Australia had some teachers qualified in their own country. When these were not available well-educated individuals were appointed to teach the classes.
Teachers qualified in a different country often taught in a traditional way. Some did not have much English and it was difficult to integrate them into the system. As a whole, the system operated well, despite the many language groups and dispersal throughout twenty-eight centres. The backbone was of course the Centre itself, and the fact that each language group integrated and linked the students, the parents and the teachers with a common language and cultural background as a bond.
With the advent of the new VCE curriculum and assessment requirements, teachers of different backgrounds had to be brought more closely into the Australian educational system. Under the leadership of Gil Freeman, ably assisted by Curriculum Assistant Principal Elizabeth Kleinhenz and the Area Managers, a systematic and intensive approach to professional development of teaching staff was undertaken. It was to bring them into the latest and best common teaching and assessment practices of the Victorian education system.