Do we get Engagement Wrong in School?

I’m really pleased to say that in 2014 I’ll be writing a regular column, School of Thought, for the Australian Teacher Magazine. My first column for 2014 is now up! I say engagement is overused because I witness, all too often, schools confusing conformity for engagement. Measures such as attendance, grades, homework, and adherence to uniform […]

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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. […]

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Shouldn’t every class be an Opportunity Class?

75 public schools and a large number of independent schools in NSW have an Opportunity Class. They specifically cater for “academically gifted and talented children in Years 5 and 6.” The NSWDEC states that: [Opportunity Classes] provide intellectual stimulation and an educationally rich environment. Am I missing something? Is that to suggest other – let’s call […]

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Is Pyne Taking the PISA?

Yesterday the OECD released the 2012 results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). You’ve heard of the “Education Race?” Well this is the Education World Cup. As Angel Gurria, the OECD General Secretary puts it, PISA has become the world’s premier yardstick for evaluating the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems. Unlike […]

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Adaptability the Key to Success

Globalisation and the impact of technology means that, in many ways, the world of today is barely recognisable to that of twenty or thirty years ago. This is particularly true of the workplace. We’ve long been aware of the concept of offshoring the work force, although many of us still equate this to blue-collar work […]

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Behind the Scenes of my Latest Piece in the Age

As soon as I downloaded David Price’s book Open: How We’ll Live, Work & Learn in the Future  I thought, “There’s a story here!” In short, Price suggests that globalisation and technology has impacted the world’s workforce and economies in ways that, for the most part, education has failed to grasp. For the piece I had […]

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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 […]

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Hey kids – Stop talking like that!

I bet there’s certain things kids say that grate on you. I bet there are slang terms that, quite simply, you don’t understand. Every now and then you’ll come across a helpful list of the latest “kids speak” like this one. Go on, read it. It’s brilliant. I’ll bet if you think back, there were […]

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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 […]

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When teachers say they’ve not heard of Sir Ken

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a room full of Australian teachers if they’d heard of Sir Ken Robinson.  One person tentatively raised their hand – and even then, he didn’t seem too sure. I was seriously taken aback, not least because I use Sir Ken’s name in some of my promotional material! Dan […]

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