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Storytelling is increasingly being left behind in a crowded curriculum. Storytelling image from www.shutterstock.com

Once upon a time: reclaiming storytelling in schools

With high stakes testing and a crowded curriculum, something fundamental is being left behind in education – storytelling. Some might argue that speaking and listening have always been undervalued in schools…
New tests could be in store for trainee teachers to demonstrate their emotional intelligence. Emotions image from www.shutterstock.com

Do we need emotional intelligence tests for teachers?

With the newly announced federal government reforms to teacher training announced this week, emotional intelligence is now firmly on the agenda for trainee teachers. Under the proposed rules, prospective…
Australia is one of the few developed nations to not require graduating high-school students to study maths. Flickr/bootload

Make maths mandatory and we’ll improve our international education rankings

Australia is not doing well in the international literacy and numeracy attainment rankings and many rightly point out the funding issues, clearly identified in the Gonski Review, as central contributing…
Teacher education is typically the largest undergraduate program in most universities and is therefore a cash cow. Cash cow image courtesy of www.shutterstock.com

Standards will slide while teacher education is used as a cash cow

Despite all the talk about improving the quality of teachers and teaching in Australia, the general downward slide of entry standards to undergraduate teacher training courses continues. While the top…
Academics need to trying new teaching methods in introductory classes if they’re to engage students. Pirate image from www.shutterstock.com

Kill your Powerpoints and teach like a pirate

Despite my university title, I’ve always thought that someone, one day, will discover that I’m not a “real” academic. This hasn’t been helped by the fact that when it comes to teaching, I’m by no means…
Teachers are taking their own steps to learn more about their profession through social media networks. Flickr/Corey Leopold

A teachers’ show and tell: professional learning unplugged

It’s been a long time since I have been in a pub at 10.30am but that’s where you would have found me last Saturday at the Great Northern Hotel in Chatswood, Sydney. I wasn’t there to get on the punt or…
Students’ opinions should matter to their teachers. Jeremy Wilburn

Yes, you are entitled to your opinion … and I want to hear it

Every semester, I enter my classroom with almost zero knowledge of my students’ interests. So as a rhetoric and writing teacher, I ask them to employ that which is most beneficial to them in their lives…
Are you motivated or do you need a social setting and role models to keep you driven? Exercise bike image from www.shutterstock.com

MOOCs and exercise bikes – more in common than you’d think

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The rise of online and blended learning and the development of free online courses is set to transform the higher education sector. We’ve asked our authors how to remake the…
The evidence to support brain-training programs is too thin to be trialling them in our school system. Brain image from www.shutterstock.com

Brain-Training’ … or learning, as we like to call it

The Catholic Education Office in Sydney has announced that from 2013 it will trial the controversial Arrowsmith Program for children with learning difficulties. Arrowsmith is one of a number of “brain-training…
There may be a new way to assess students’ ability to collaborate and problem solve. Flickr/Lars Plougmann

Changing tests and the PM’s 2025 goal for schools

Prime Minister Julia Gillard recently announced a new goal for Australian schools – they would reach the top five ranked school systems in the world for reading, mathematics and science by 2025. The ranking…
The Gonski response: increased funding will be tied to concrete improvement in all schools. AAP

Gonski and the PM’s education crusade: experts respond

Increased funding will be tied to concrete improvements in all schools under the government’s National Plan for School Improvement, announced on Monday in response to the Gonski Review. The government…
The government will boost schools funding today, but what’s next? Classroom image from www.shutterstock.com

Gonski is half the battle, trusting teachers is the next step

Today the Prime Minister will announce the government’s full policy response on schools funding, following the Gonski report earlier this year. The Gonski report recommended a funding boost across the…
The debate around teacher quality should be informed by research, not hunches and misinformation. Teacher image from www.shutterstock.com

A political education: hijacking the quality teaching movement

All we seem to hear about these days is failing teachers in failing schools. Those from business, government and the field of economics have all weighed in, criticising teachers, teacher educators and…
We need to stop pretending that all ideas are the same. Flickr/ LiverpoolHopeUniversity

Are all ideas equal? Not in the classroom

There is a widespread belief amongst teachers that it is part of their duty of care, even a defining aspect of their of professionalism, that all views expressed in the classroom are to be treated equally…
Why do we obsess about the competence of teachers? Teacher image from www.shutterstock.com

Why we’re never satisfied with teachers

Concern about teacher competence has been around for several decades. Recently, there has been a concerted push by state and federal governments to enact policies to improve “teacher quality”. Meeting…
Education minister Peter Garrett along with his state counterparts have agreed upon some pretty big changes to teacher development. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Building a profession: teacher performance reviews not just about ‘bad teachers’

Finally, perhaps the time has come. The Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders and the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework, both signed off…
The NSW government has made some strong first steps to talk about teaching standards but there’s no policy blueprint yet. AAP Image/Paul Miller

NSW government makes a positive start on reforming teaching quality

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli’s discussion paper on teacher education, Great Teaching, Inspired Learning released earlier this week, could be seen as yet another review for a profession literally…
Shadow education minister Christopher Pyne’s latest statements on teacher training are counterproductive. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Education degrees not ‘cheap and easy’: Pyne is wrong on teacher training

Opposition Education spokesman Christopher Pyne’s comments to the Sydney Institute this week provoked a new debate on teacher training. Most of the educational community would agree, and have for at least…

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