Catholic education representatives have participated in the Albanese Government’s inquiry into the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the education system. Source: NCEC.
The National Catholic Education Commission’s (NCEC) director of strategy Anna Howarth and Catholic Schools NSW’s director of education policy Danielle Cronin last week gave evidence to the inquiry of the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training.
Ms Howarth said Catholic education recognised the broad range of strengths and benefits that generative AI can bring to improve school and education outcomes.
“Generative AI is changing the education landscape at pace and in powerful ways,” Ms Howarth said.
“Catholic schools, in the main, have adopted a cautiously optimistic approach to these new technologies, recognising their potential educational and professional benefits.
“There are many excellent examples of Catholic schools and systems embracing the power of AI to innovate their teaching, learning and administrative practices. However, Catholic education is also alert to the risks, not just in the areas of privacy, security, student safety and academic integrity but also in terms of the existential risks to human relationships, human connection and human creativity.”
Ms Cronin told the inquiry that “schools and school systems – particularly in the Catholic sector – are taking a planned, considered approach to not only providing more equitable access to high-quality AI tools in schools but ensuring teachers and families are well supported to make good decisions and to guide students’ use”.
Ms Cronin said while there is talk that generative AI will transform schooling as we know it, “we’re not there yet”.