Tag : standardized testing

Are the smartest kids also the saddest?

Late last year, the OECD published the latest of their PISA tables. Predictably, many went into meltdown, whether it was due to their country’s position on the table, their respective government’s reaction to the results or those who detest standardised testing. But as this article shows, the tests are not all about numeracy and literacy. As part of the tests, students were asked to agree or disagree with the statement: I feel happy at school. The responses to this statement […]

Continue Reading

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? Why should we teach our students then? Why do we assess kids in manner we do? Why are we comparing our students to kids (particularly in Asia) who […]

Continue Reading

Improving Academic Performance – Through Exercise

Some of you will be aware that in 2012 I will be contributed to Generation Next’s Weekly Newsletter and Blog. This is my piece from this week’s newsletter. The link between physical activity and improved physical and mental health has long been established. However there is a growing body of research that suggests that increased physical activity levels in students also leads to improved academic performance. In this research review by John Ratey and Jacob Sattelmair from the University of […]

Continue Reading

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 it gets, not only from the Education sector, but the public in general. Please let me know what you think! In other news… My colleague, […]

Continue Reading

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 US. Every year standardised tests come under the microscope. Everyone with an opinion (educated or otherwise) throws in their two cents… So here’s mine (you […]

Continue Reading

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 audience. My School 2.0 is an example of another disappointing sequel. It still relies on NAPLAN scores to sustain its plot, but this time funding […]

Continue Reading

How Should We Measure The Effectiveness of a School?

Consider the following students… Christopher* is a Year 12 student who is on course for a top ATAR. He is likely to be the Dux of the School. However, Christopher has always had issues socializing, and suffers anxiety. It is not clear how he will function outside the structure of a small high school. David has been in the bottom sets his whole school career. His teachers constantly recognize the fact that he appears to be working to the best […]

Continue Reading