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Phonics helps teach children how to merge separate sounds together to make it one word. from www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is phonics and why is it important?

Phonics instruction gives children letter-sound knowledge, a skill that is essential for them to read unfamiliar words by themselves.
Pressuring kids to memorise obscure, low frequency words does not promote good learning. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Spelling bees don’t teach kids literacy, or much else

Channel Ten's newly announced show, The Great Australian Spelling Bee, may seem like a great platform for promoting literacy skills. But it is promoting the memorisation of pointless, low-frequency words rather than anything helpful.
Teachers don’t have to have perfect spelling to teach kids how to spell. Shutterstock

A teacher’s spelling doesn’t necessarily affect their teaching

According to recent media reports, a new study shows an alarming number of aspiring teachers have lower literacy levels than the school students they will be teaching. This coincides with a series of articles…
Higher education got the most attention it’s had in decades, thanks to the proposed shake up by this man. AAP

2014, the year that was: Education

While 2013 was all about schools and their funding (remember Gonski, anyone?), 2014 was the year of higher education reform. Or, at least, proposed higher education “reform”. With cuts to higher education…
E-C-S-T-A-T-I-C. Michael Reynolds/EPA

How to be a whizz at spelling

Children who compete in spelling bees often dazzle with their ability to spell complex words. In this year’s televised Scripps National Spelling Bee, two American teenagers were so good they were crowned…
Spelling tests aren’t teaching kids to spell. Test image from www.shutterstock.com

Why some kids can’t spell and why spelling tests won’t help

A couple of years ago, early one morning, I received an SMS advising “resadents to stay indoors because of a nearby insadent”. I was shocked by the spelling, as much as the message. Surely, I thought…

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