• Teaching

    Smash Those Boxes (And Maybe Pee On Them A Little)

    Reading, and absolutely loving, Harlan Coben’s novel ‘Six Years’. It’s a mystery story that feels genuinely new. But there was one passage, on page 44, that made me feel like shouting ‘hallelujah!’. See, the protagonist is a uni lecturer… and this is what he says: I focused on the student…

  • Teaching

    Teach For {Your Corporate Masters}

    Good, if long, article about Teach For America. http://www.salon.com/2013/02/17/the_hidden_curriculum_of_teach_for_america_partner It might be worth noting that the author seems to use ‘liberal’ to mean something close to ‘libertarian’, rather than its more usual modern US usage. Why are we spending millions replicating this failed experiment in Australia?

  • Teaching

    A Call To Arms

    An excellent letter from a retiring US teacher to college professors: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/09/a-warning-to-college-profs-from-a-high-school-teacher/ The context is different but the issues are very similar here: excessive testing is breaking education.

  • Open - Teaching

    An Open (Science Teaching) Forum

    I was struck by an idea while riding in this morning1. I was thinking about MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses – clickety for more info). Suzie has just joined one from Berkeley, an introduction to statistics, and I’m doing some writing about connectivism, the underlying theory. At the same time,…

  • Teaching

    Teaching The Ones Who Turn Up

    There are 125 students in my Primary Science Education course. This morning’s lecture would have been lucky to have 50 students attending it. The faces were familiar – the faithful few are faithful. This is a relatively recent phenomenon in the past couple of weeks – most of the semester…

  • Science Stuff - Teaching

    Science: The New Crusades

    OK, it’s not quite on the scale of the famous Billy Graham crusades in Melbourne in the 50s, which packed out the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but An Evening With Brian Cox in Melbourne sold 1800 tickets in one evening yesterday. The fact that women tend to think he’s dreamy (pic…

  • Science Stuff - Teaching

    Phj34r teh Mighty Ducks!!!1!

    I’m not posting this in relation to creationism and evolution, nor homosexuality and homophobia, although it touches on all those issues. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/10/13/the-ducks-are-gonna-get-you/ It’s about science education… which is what I do. Students don’t have to ‘believe in’ evolution: but they do have to understand it. And, honestly, they are in…

  • Teaching

    Utterly Antithetical

    Here’s a bit from this report by Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley: In his new book on Finnish Educational Reform, Finland’s greatest educational expert and former World Bank specialist, Pasi Sahlberg, refers to this pervasive new Second Way strategy as the Global Educational Reform Movement (GERM) (Sahlberg, 2011). The GERM…

  • Teaching

    Fixing Education: The View From A Student’s Desk

    The title of this article in Forbes magazine might be a bit overblown (and you might have to endure an ad to read the article), but Nikhil Goyal is talking a lot of sense: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericaswallow/2012/09/05/american-education-system-nikhil-goyal/ It would be awesome if the fact that he’s a student got a bit of…

  • Teaching

    The ‘Invisible Backpack’

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/the-invisible-backpack-and-why-it-makes-the-education-gap-hard-to-close-20120908-25lcv.html Have to admit, the response of the principal (and I suspect many of the parents) in the exclusive private school is a huge part of the problem with Australia’s education system – which has been internationally characterised as ‘high quality, low equity’. ‘Equity’ is about opportunities rather than outcomes:…

  • Politics - Teaching

    Giving a Gonski 2

    I’ve been promising a more detailed response to Monday’s announcements from the government in response to the Gonski report into school funding – so I guess this is that. One of the first points is that the government hasn’t, as yet, really responded to the Gonski report… rather, it has…

  • Teaching

    Giving a Gonski

    7 am This will be an evolving post throughout the day. The Prime Minister is set to deliver the government’s response to the Gonski review of school funding that it set up. The headline findings of the review were that school education needs an additional 5 billion dollars a year,…

  • Teaching

    Superb Article on Teacher Quality

    Read, inwardly digest, and share! More carrots than sticks, or at the very least some kind of balance, please… and even more so, a recognition that teachers are a huge part of the solution… demonising them at every turn is about as counterproductive a move as it’s possible to imagine.…

  • Teaching

    Teachers and Teaching

    (d’oh! had this one as a draft but no web access in Townsville a couple of weeks ago, and so just discovered it in the Draft box and realised I’d never published it. Hope the content is still interesting) I’ve been away from home this week conducting a research study…