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Articles on Education

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All the study in the world can’t prepare students for the reality of experiencing a landscape like Lake Pinaroo in the Sturt National Park. Ric Raftis

Experiencing the landscape: essential training for environmental scientists

Science disciplines - physics, biology, geology and so on - are often treated as discrete from one another. But when it comes to environmental science, students - and the scientists that they become…
Using technology to tackle plagiarism is important, but universities need to understand why students do it in the first place. Student image from www.shutterstock.com

Carrot or the stick? Technology and university plagiarism

Trying to control and prevent plagiarism is a problem for all universities, and nearly all universities these days use some kind of technology to combat it. But in a recent article on The Conversation…
A flexible online learning environment is what Australian university students want, so what’s getting in the way? Student image from www.shutterstock.com

Online opportunities: digital innovation or death through regulation?

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…
Former Prime Minister John Howard is misinformed about the Australian history curriculum. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Howard’s history repeating: curriculum complaints nothing new

There is a great deal of derogatory, evidence-free and ill-informed opinion about how history is taught in Australian schools. But these tired arguments are so often repeated that we can actually put them…
Ranking universities is useful for only understanding the bigger picture. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Limited numbers: what university rankings can (and can’t) tell us

The release of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings will be welcomed by many people in the Australian university sector. See the full list of The Times Higher Education World University…
Finnish education leader Pasi Sahlberg discusses what works and what doesn’t in education. pasisahlberg.com

Finnish education guru Pasi Sahlberg: treat primary school teachers like doctors

The Finnish education system is one of the best performing and most equitable in the OECD. With Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s promise to make Australia one of the best five performing countries for education…
Academics freedom and university reputations are being tested online. Academic image from www.shutterstock.com

Academics behaving badly? Universities and online reputations

Trying to control your reputation online is a bit like trying to clean up wee in a toddler pool. You are much more likely to get your hands dirty than achieve any kind of meaningful damage control. Many…
Universities play a vital role in creating a better understanding of Asia – if it is included broadly in curricula. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Teaching Asia to Australia: it’s not just about languages

Ahead of the soon-to-be-released Asian Century White Paper, Foreign Minister Bob Carr has said Australia needs to “know Asia” in order to prosper. Delivering a speech to the Asia Society on behalf of Prime…
The story about the sacking of a Melbourne private girl’s school principal has made national news, but why? Flickr/mikecogh

The MLC ‘scandal’: who cares, and why?

For more than a week, I’ve seen numerous articles about an internal fight between the Board and Principal of Melbourne’s Methodist Ladies’ College, a private girls’ school. Principal Rosa Storelli has…
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 role of TAFEs in supporting innovation by anticipating knowledge and skills can’t be easily picked up by universities. (AAP Image/Joe Castro

TAFE cuts will affect everyone: state governments should think again

TAFE staff are striking today to demonstrate their opposition to unparalleled funding cutbacks totalling almost $300 million imposed by the Victorian State Government. A recent leaked cabinet paper summarising…
A new parliamentary report has called for urgent action to protect Indigenous languages. Flickr/Rusty Stewart

The chance of a lifetime to save Indigenous languages

It is not often that the opportunity comes along to make a real difference, but a new report into Indigenous languages in Australia has the potential to do just that. Our Land, Our Languages has already…
What’s the real effect of NAPLAN testing? AAP Image/Paul Miller

Anxious kids not learning: the real effects of NAPLAN

Australian teachers are not convinced that NAPLAN improves the reading and maths skills of students. Over the next week, NAPLAN results will be arriving at students’ homes around Australia. But new research…
Bad NAPLAN results can lead parents to seek help, but which learning programs can they trust? Test image from www.shutterstock.com

Nasty NAPLAN results: what should parents do next?

The latest NAPLAN results have arrived, and soon enough thousands of Australian parents will tear open the envelope containing their child’s NAPLAN results. They will be faced with a series of graphs that…
Looking to Asian schools is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Chalkboard image www.shutterstock.com

Our Asian schooling infatuation: the problem of PISA envy

It was fun while it lasted Finland, but we’re going cold on you. We thought your schools had the secret but our new infatuation is with Asian school systems. The Prime Minister seems to agree. The government…
The OECD report on education shows Australia could be doing more. Report card image from www.shutterstock.com

No cause for celebration: OECD education report needs a closer look

The most recent edition of the OECD’s Education at a Glance released this week, is another report that has invariably been seen as a report card on Australian education. Australians want to know: how did…
State governments are looking at changing the way they deliver education. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

The policy and politics of education cuts

At a time when the Commonwealth sponsored Gonski Review of School Funding is recommending an increase of $5 billion a year plus for schools around Australia, it may seem odd that some state governments…

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