Articles on Education policy

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Do we need to go down the Confucian path of learning - or is there another way? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

NAPLAN tests mean academic achievement but is there a price?

As the fifth year of NAPLAN testing gets underway this week, it has prompted the usual debates. Are the tests in our student’s best interests? Are students adequately prepared? If teachers are “teaching…
Flickr/Discover Science & Engineering

Primary school science education – is there a winning formula?

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, released a worrying report earlier this year. Unhealthy Science? University Natural and Physical Sciences 2002 - 2009/10 revealed the number of students studying…
The Gonski review presents a generational opportunity to reform our school funding system. AAP/Graham Porrit

Gonski review: another wasted opportunity

The Gonski Review sought to create a new funding system for Australian schooling, because what we currently have is a mess. It was to be transparent, fair, financially sustainable and effective in promoting…
David Gonski has conducted the most far-reaching review into school funding in Australia since the Whitlam years. AAP

Gonski review: the aim is worthy, but the implementation will be difficult

School funding has been a tortured issue for government, and especially federal Labor governments, for most of the past half century. Since the seminal Karmel Report of 1973, the funding levels and relativities…
While the wheels of bureaucracy turn, schools wait for more funding. Andreas Ebling

Gonski review: public inquiry on school funding needs more work

A two-year process of research, consultation, public input and expert consideration and analysis is a reasonable route to follow for a government-appointed independent inquiry into a major policy issue…
School funding is under the microscope for the first time in nearly 40 years. torres21

Gonski review: experts respond

A much-anticipated review of Australian school funding, spearheaded by businessman David Gonski, was handed to the Gillard government today. We asked Australian education experts to respond to the report’s…
Our academic experts crunch the numbers on school funding. Pink Sherbet Photography

Gonski review: full coverage

The biggest review of school funding in decades has been handed to the government. The report recommends an injection of A$5 billion to the education sector, three-quarters of which would go to public…
Will Gonski be brave enough to point out what’s wrong with our schooling system? AAP Image/Jenny Evans

Gonksi review: tradition or reform for an upside down system?

The Gonski review of school funding promises to be a watershed in the history of Australian education. Much is at stake. There is a real chance to fundamentally change the way our divided school system…
When jobs are disappearing, why are we training more journalists? flickr

Can journalism graduates get jobs?

It usually begins mid-way through their university career. My office begins to fill with panicked journalism students who have seen the dismal job vacancies in their field and are starting to think their…
The mining boom has protected Australia from ill economic winds but will not continue forever. AAP/Le May

Why 2012 will be a crucial year for Australia

2012 will be a critical time in our development as a nation with huge uncertainties in many areas both in Australia and globally. Over more than ten years we have lived through a remarkable mining boom…
Australian universities must raise their game to compete in the global education market. Flickr/Reality-check

Sink or swim? Australian universities in the next decade

The world is in a state of transition. The Indian and Chinese economies continue to grow at around 9 and 10 per cent respectively each year, while the North Atlantic economies - the 20th century epicentre…
We should be questioning the benefits of holding students back a year. Wikimedia Commons

Playing catch up: Should students repeat a grade at school?

Making students repeat a year when they’re not doing well socially or academically is not uncommon in Australia. About 8-10% of students repeat a grade at some point in school life. But there is a major…
Francis Galton pioneered the concept of eugenics in this lab in London in the late 19th century. Flickr/Science Museum London

Eugenics in Australia: The secret of Melbourne’s elite

Eugenics — the science of improving the race —was a powerful influence on the development of Western civilisation in the first half of the twentieth century. And Melbourne’s elite were among its chief…
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised an education revolution, but where are the results? AAP

Education funding: more dollars than sense

All is not well in the Australian school system. Australian schools are struggling to meet the achievement levels of OECD leader Finland. With the release of the commissioned research reports for the Gonski…
A year four slump can be avoided if children are given the tools to read when very young. Flickr/Éole

As easy as ABC: the way to ensure children learn to read

Human speech has long been present in every culture, and our brains have evolved specialized features to enable its rapid development when we are exposed to the speech of others. Reading however is a relatively…

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