keywords: Curriculum

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Building gender equality from the playground up

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 23 October 2015
    15 Comments

    Sissies are on their way out on British playgrounds. Guidelines produced by the Institute of Physics for the Department of Education recommend that teachers strongly discourage sexist language at school. While internet forums are replete with admonitions from members of the public furious at the erosion of so-called free speech, the guidelines are a welcome tool in the long and exhausting fight for female equality, and Australia would do well to consider adopting such procedures too.

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  • Francis, theological education and the public square

    • Jenny Te Paa
    • 09 October 2015
    16 Comments

    Thank you Francis, for although you have not spoken at any length about theological education per se — any more than you have spoken about the status of women per se — in spite of these somewhat startling omissions, this indigenous lay woman theological educator feels no less inspired, comforted, reassured, blessed, beyond imagining by your gentle, wise, insistent and prophetic urgings.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Does religion in schools go beyond branding?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Religious schools have emphasised the transmission of faith and an ethical way of life through a network of relationships, symbols and processes. But this is now being tested, with the dominant view that values and faith are a private matter best hosted inside the family. The operative goals of schools become the academic and economic advancement of individuals, with religious classes and rituals little more than decoration and rhetorical branding.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    There's hope for mediocre women

    • Ellena Savage
    • 19 June 2015
    13 Comments

    I have a friend who tells me she loves seeing what she terms 'mediocre women' at the top of their fields, especially in public, because it shows that feminism is working. Some women have made a success of themselves as men have always done, through acquiring privilege and seizing opportunities with a sense of entitlement, rather than by the myths of brilliance and sacrifice. I like this perspective. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Education with higher expectations

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 May 2015
    7 Comments

    Tony Abbott's evocation of 'the tyranny of low expectations' invites more general reflection on education and public life. I believe that the Australian approach to education does indeed impose a tyranny of low expectations in the sense that the expectations are defined by economic achievement and its attendant wealth and status, and the goal for schools is success in enabling students to participate economically.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sleazy private lives should not affect our judgment of professionals

    • Paul Begley
    • 26 November 2014
    9 Comments

    It's easy to be swayed in our assessment of people's professional competency by whether we find their private opinions and behaviour to our liking. Individuals like Sydney University Professor of English Barry Spurr and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper have had their reputations as professionals trashed even though their performance in their job has been rated highly. 

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Flawed thinking that allows us to abuse animals

    • Valerie Wangnet
    • 24 September 2014
    14 Comments

    In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates used the term 'hysteria' to account for emotional instability and mental illness in women. This is a diagnosis that survived up until the first sparks of the women's suffrage movement in mid–19th century. In the case of food animals, we are told that they cannot think, suffer or feel pain.

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  • EDUCATION

    Audit Commission's Gonski landmines

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 06 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Commission of Audit has planted so many landmines across the political landscape that two have been scarcely noticed. One is planted directly under Gonski, the other under the federal role in schooling. Christopher Pyne's brazen effort to get rid of Gonski served only to show that he is not to be trusted. Abbott must be wondering whether this minister could carry the day with the kind of scheme recommended by the Commission.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fawlty thinking about the aftermyth of war

    • Ray Cassin
    • 29 January 2014
    15 Comments

    'Don't mention the war!' admonishes John Cleese as the hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the classic television comedy series Fawlty Towers. With a string of war-related anniversaries to take place over the next four years, beginning this year with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we may soon find ourselves sharing Fawlty's sentiments.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia is neither Christian nor atheist

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 January 2014
    34 Comments

    The Greens have called for the dropping of the Lord's Prayer from the opening of each day's sitting of federal parliament. Because Australia is not a Christian country, they are right to question the exclusive use of a Christian prayer. But any change should reflect a multi-faith society, not a no-faith society.

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2013: End of the education revolution

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 15 January 2014

    The backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Indonesia gives a Gonski

    • Pat Walsh
    • 24 July 2013
    3 Comments

    Like Australia's Gonski reforms, Indonesia's initiatives are designed to give its economy a competitive edge by upgrading its human resources. But the changes also have the potential to radically transform Indonesia in other ways. Future generations who have been encouraged to think for themselves, to question and to criticise will be very different citizens to their forbears.

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