section: Education

  • EDUCATION

    Rhetoric rules in Gillard Gonski announcement

    • Chris Middleton
    • 12 September 2012
    5 Comments

    The Prime Minister's credibility in announcing an education policy response before reaching agreement with the states may be questioned. Without the states, the implementation of Gonski is impossible. This was illustrated graphically by the NSW Government's announcement of funding cuts to Catholic and independent schools.

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  • EDUCATION

    Holistic cures for school snobbery

    • Ellena Savage
    • 31 August 2012
    2 Comments

    Once, my mother reprimanded a young student whom she taught at an expensive private school. The boy replied that his dad could 'buy and sell' her. As easy as it would be to conclude that private schools breed poor behaviour, rude children are just that — class has little to do with it.

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  • EDUCATION

    Villains of Australian education funding

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 24 August 2012
    6 Comments

    Teacher organisations have advocated for one sector rather than opposing the whole flawed structure. Catholic bishops have insisted on public subsidies for avowedly exclusive schools. Governments have adopted policies which have entrenched a socially counter-productive organisation of a major public institution. How many more generations has this scheme of things got left to run?

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  • EDUCATION

    Battle for the 21st century classroom

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 12 July 2012
    15 Comments

    The classroom — one teacher, one group of students, usually of the same age, one rectangular space, door closed — is the great survivor of schooling. It has been depicted as a contest between 'teacher-centred' and 'student-centred' pedagogies. But in the age of technology there is a new contender for dominance in the classroom.

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  • EDUCATION

    50 years since Australia's 'most poisonous debate'

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 July 2012
    10 Comments

    Labor speechwriter Graham Freudenberg observed that ‘the oldest, deepest, most poisonous debate in Australia has been about government aid to church schools’. The most dramatic episode in the history of church state relations in Australia was the Goulburn schools strike, which took place 50 years ago this month.

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  • EDUCATION

    Teachers are wrong about performance pay

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 June 2012
    19 Comments

    The Victorian Government plans to introduce performance pay for teachers. The teachers' union has objected on the grounds that teachers are special. Its argument is faulty. Performance pay is not wrong for teachers because they are special, but because it is wrong for everybody.

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  • EDUCATION

    Teaching students to fend for themselves

    • Dilan Thampapillai
    • 24 May 2012
    12 Comments

    The lawsuit launched by a student against her former high school for failing to get her into her preferred university reveals how far we have drifted from notions of student responsibility. Teachers do need to be supportive, but they are not the single most important determinant in student outcomes.

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  • EDUCATION

    Thought under threat at Australia's universities

    • Paul Collins
    • 23 May 2012
    27 Comments

    The Australian National University vice-chancellor's proposal to asset-strip Canberra's School of Music prompted the biggest university demonstration in 30 years. ANU isn't the only uni in financial stress, thanks to successive governments' under-funding of tertiary education and user-pays attitude.

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  • EDUCATION

    No easy cure for 'cost disease' in Australian schools

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 07 May 2012
    13 Comments

    The Productivity Commission Schools Workforce report released on Friday does contain evidence of the dire state of productivity in Australian schools, but it is largely neutered. It's as if the Commission was anxious to avoid stating too plainly a disease for which it can suggest only palliatives.

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  • EDUCATION

    Schools confront the globalisation of superficiality

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 27 April 2012
    20 Comments

    In 2010, Kevin Rudd asked Fr Adolfo Nicolas SJ, the international leader of the Jesuits, what he believed to be the major challenges facing western society. Nicolas replied 'the globalisation of superficiality'. Educating for depth and discernment is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers today.

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  • EDUCATION

    Better results from a classless education system

    • Michael Furtado
    • 16 March 2012
    15 Comments

    Given that Catholic and independent schools tend to produce better results than government schools, one would expect to be able to demonstrate that the non-government sector adds more value to a student's education. The evidence does not bear this out.

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  • EDUCATION

    Gonski's reductionist view of education

    • Chris Middleton
    • 24 February 2012
    9 Comments

    The report's argument that a base level of funding be established might lead to a lowest common denominator approach to determining what is an 'efficient' education, in both the state and private systems. Creativity, diversity and experimentation may be hindered in such a regime.

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