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Preschool attendance has been shown to improve literacy and numeracy for Indigenous children. AAP/Neda Vanovac

Early childhood education is key to closing the gaps

The Closing the Gap report shows a mix of successes and failures, but early childhood education holds the key to significant progress.
The world’s driest areas are tipped to get even drier, with potentially worrying implications for soil productivity.

If the world’s soils keep drying out that’s bad news for microbes (and people)

The world's 'drylands' – already home to 38% of the world's people – are set to dry out even more. And that could harm the soil microbes that keep soils healthy and help crops to grow.
Those with learning or other disabilities need someone to back them up in the legal system to avoid injustices. Making a Murderer/Netflix

What Making a Murderer tells us about disability and disadvantage in criminal law

The most shocking moments of the true crime documentary Making a Murderer depict two police officers gently coaxing a softly spoken teenager to recount his role in a vicious crime. Warning: spoilers ahead.
Even something as simple as a water pump might not work if it requires parts or power not readily available where it’s installed. World Bank

Where aid fails, appropriate technology can succeed

Much international aid fails to achieve its ends because the technology employed is not "appropriate" to its intended environment or culture. This needs to change.
Visitors look at the painting The Visit from 1939 by Paul Delvaux during the 2011 exhibition Surrealism in Paris. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Explainer: Surrealism

As the longest-running avant-garde movement of the 20th century, Surrealism's scope and richness is perhaps unparalleled in its influence of modern art and culture.
With TAFE education under a cloud, the future of VET funding is vitally important. AAP/Julian Smith

VET funding can’t be fixed by sidelining TAFE

A leaked paper suggests that the federal government should take over funding VET courses. But it's a path we should tread with great caution.
Trying to fall asleep can be a tricky, especially when we try too hard. Shutterstock

Health Check: five ways to get a better night’s sleep

We know that not getting adequate sleep means we do a disservice to our brain and our physical and metabolic health. But what are the real secrets to a good night’s rest?