The Crazy Things That Some Schools Do!

Is it April Fool’s day? Of course it isn’t. So why am I reading ridiculous headlines like this?  Melbourne schools ban playground games because of lack of resilience The report stated that schools were banning Tiggy because kids would just give up when they were tagged, and quoted the Victorian Principals Association president Gabrielle Leigh […]

Read More

Why do so many teachers leave the profession?

This is my latest #talkingpoints video. It’s designed to act as a stimulus for discussion in your school. What’s the attrition rate in your school? Is it something that is ever discussed? For more reading on this, check out this article I wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald last year, as well as this one (not […]

Read More

My Reaction to Naming & Shaming Young Offenders

In reaction to the Queensland Government’s move to name & shame young offenders as young as ten, I wrote this piece for the ABC. Being seen to be tough on crime is Politics 101. It’s a guaranteed vote-winner. It creates good copy for the tabloids, and “naming and shaming” is the bread and butter of any self-respecting […]

Read More

The Great Australian Education Debate

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

Read More

Is ADHD an “Aussie” thing?

On Sunday, I tweeted a link to this article by Marilyn Wedge about rates of ADHD in different countries. Distilling the essence of this article, I subsequently wrote this for my regular column in the Generation Next blog. In the US, at least 9% of schoolchildren are on medication for ADHD. In Australia it is estimated that […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

What if we listened to kids?

This was originally written for my regular column in the Generation Next Newsletter Last Friday I spent the day at the Student Wellbeing Action Network (SWAN) Symposium co-hosted by Wellbeing Australia and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY). The day brought together policy makers, researchers, practitioners, teachers and – most importantly for me – students to […]

Read More

Gonski, Barry O’Farrell and the Case of the Missing iPod

Imagine for a second you had an iPod. Ok, it shouldn’t be that hard to imagine.  What if last year, your dad Barry – again use some imagination if need be – decided that you didn’t need an iPod. In fact he couldn’t believe that you’d been trusted with such technology in the first place, and took […]

Read More

What impact do parents have?

Originally written for Generation Next I finally got around to reading Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner. It’s been since about 2005, and has been on my list of “to-reads” but it always seemed to get pushed to the side for another title. Anyway, for those who haven’t heard of it, the book is […]

Read More

The Class Size Myths – Which do you believe?

Over the Australian Summer I finally decided to read John Hattie’s Visible Learning for Teachers. Hattie’s theories on education are backed up by countless research papers and evidence. In the never-ending quest to improve teaching (and teachers) Hattie is as revered by politicians and system leaders around the world as he is viewed with suspicion […]

Read More