This article from The Australian Higher Ed High Wired section this morning:
An alternative to the ATAR is being piloted in 34 schools across Australia. Students “choose an area of interest in year 11 and do a weekly internship, write a senior thesis, exhibit work at the end of year 12 and write an 80-page autobiography”. The alternative assessment was devised by Big Picture, an international non-profit. According to Fairfax, Big Picture has reached initial agreements with seven universities including ANU and Newcastle, “which have accepted five students on the basis of their portfolios for the first time this year, into biomedical science, business law, education, physiotherapy and Asian studies degrees”. The program requires schools overhaul their curriculums from Year 7 onwards.
The SMH article quotes Professor John Fischetti, Dean of Education at the University of Newcastle as saying
the university was trialling the program as an alternative entry pathway, but it would likely “continue indefinitely because of the success we sense through the small pilot. Our thinking is that they’ll be better prepared [for university], and the students we have met certainly are,” Professor Fischetti said.
Now wouldn’t it be great to have a school of our own to test this out in…