The Great Australian Education Debate

My somewhat cynical, tongue-in-cheek, superficial (call it what you want) take on the education debate in Australia.

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Buying into NAPLAN Stress

I wrote this for my weekly Generation Next column. According to Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, “Stuffed toys that help children deal with ‘difficult emotions’ are being spruiked as a means to ‘assist with the stress of NAPLAN.’” As an aside, it does seem ironic that the PR firm pushing these toys is called Evil Twin. Now, I understand that […]

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Are we testing the wrong things?

This is my latest article in the Generation Next Newsletter… As the Fairfax media reports that more parents than ever were withdrawing their kids from the annual NAPLAN tests I wonder if these tests are even assessing the right things in school. Now I realize the importance of literacy and numeracy – of course I […]

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How Australia Can Win The Education Race

As part of the Australian Government’s response to the Gonski Report, this week Julia Gillard will announce she wants to see Australia ranked in the Top 5 of educational systems by the year 2025. By pure chance I’ve written my top tips to ensure we improve education standards. You can read a less Aussie-centric tip […]

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Why, why why… don’t we ask the right questions?

Those involved with education reform  in Australia, the UK and US seem to focus on what we should teach students, when we should teach our students & how we should teach, assess and compare our students with their international counterparts. To me, it appears that those leading educational change* neglect the most important questions of all. Why should we teach our students that? […]

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No Grades Day

Last year I set my senior PDHPE class a little task, then involved them reading up on the latest recovery strategies used by the top rugby league players. “Is it in the syllabus?” they asked. “No,” I replied, “This is brand new stuff.” Out of 20 students, how many looked at the stimulus material provided […]

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My Latest Sydney Morning Herald Article

Page 17 of today’s edition of the Sydney Morning Herald carries an article I wrote regarding the development of the new Australian Curriculum. Read it online here Entitled “Old Ways Curb Young” Minds and featuring comment from Daniel Pink, Richard Gerver, Brian Caldwell and Professor Robyn Ewing, I will  be interested to see what reaction […]

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Testing Times for NAPLAN

For the benefit of my overseas readers, all Australian school students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are assessed using national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy. These are known as NAPLAN tests. They are the equivalent to the SATs in the UK or the NEAPs in the […]

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Just another disappointing sequel

My latest article has been picked up by Online Opinion. Just another disappointing sequel  With perhaps the exception of The Godfather Part II and The Empire Strikes Back, sequels rarely receive comparative critical acclaim as their predecessors. Sequels often offer little to enhance the story, in many cases only serving to confuse or infuriate the […]

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