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Articles on Education

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We could better deal with the onslaught of information and misinformation if we were better educated in argument and debate. Simon Rankin

Climate science and policy: the tension between ‘argument’ and ‘debate’

Robert Manne’s important essay in The Monthly (August 2012) laments that in the climate change debate “the denialist campaign has won”, a sharp turn for the worse since 2009. Clearly, Manne’s primary purpose…
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…
Asking what higher education students should pay is a deceptively straightforward question. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Public vs private benefit: what do subsidies for university fees pay for?

The Grattan Institute’s most recent report Graduate Winners by Andrew Norton has generated valuable debate about what financial subsidy government should provide for university students. But before adjusting…
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…

Musical brains delay cognitive ageing

Musical instrumental training at a young age may reduce the effects of memory decline and cognitive ageing. A range of cognitive…
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…
The government is trying to entice more young people to go to university – but can they do it? AAP Image/Julian Smith

Creating university places is easy, motivating students to take them is hard

In 1973, the Whitlam Labor government abolished university tuition fees. In 1987, the Hawke Government radically created thousands of extra university places by creating a national system, financing it…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking at the release of the Gonski report in Canberra earlier this year. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

From lukewarm to wedge issue: how Labor could use Gonski at the next election

After nearly six months on the policy bench, the Gillard Labor government is planning to release its response to the Gonski review into school funding. The government is still debating the reforms in cabinet…
Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne’s recent comments show his misunderstanding of curriculum. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A history of misinformation: Pyne spreads curriculum myths

On the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Shadow Minister for Education Christopher Pyne was asked what the Liberal Party would do about the national (history) curriculum if they came to power. Pyne’s…
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…
Paying for expensive textbooks could be a thing of the past for university students. Flickr/Abstract Machine

Sick of paying for textbooks? Get them now, free and online

In the same way that free open online courseware is threatening to disrupt traditional universities, open textbook initiatives such as OpenStax College from Rice University threaten to do the same to the…
If the same parts of Australian history are taught over and over again, we shouldn’t be surprised that students lose interest. Flickr/murphyeppoon

Beat-ups aside, Australian history has a future

Buried away in the correspondence columns of last week’s Sunday Age, a former history teacher’s letter “Where’s our history?” started an intense and confused debate about a “threat” by the national curriculum…
Much like the development of the railway in the 19th century, the National Broadband Network (NBN) will transform our society. Wikimedia Commons

How the NBN will change education: Australia’s “Last Spike” moment

When I grew up in Canada there was a famous painting on the wall of nearly every primary school classroom. It was called “[The Last Spike](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Spike_(Canadian_Pacific_Railway…
Getting students hands on experience through a virtual world is the next big step in education. Flickr/Mercy Health

Virtual campus: online universities are the future of higher education

In higher education, we’ve been talking about “e-learning” for years. But, in practice, we have mostly been teaching in the same way just through different mediums; that is, delivering one-way lectures…
Students from the next generation are heading to university, how should we teach them? Flickr/iwouldstay

A lecture on the art of lecturing: A how-to guide to teaching young people

Narcissistic, lazy, and overly confident – this is the way some see the new generation of young people starting to go to our universities. According to teacher Lynn Van Der Wagan, who sparked an online…

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