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Will the kids have to take over? Child at board via Vladimir Melnikov/Shutterstock

Hard Evidence: is a teacher shortage looming?

Recruitment of student teachers to begin training in 2015 is well underway, and the government hopes it will lead to well over 30,000 new teachers entering the profession in England. But data from the…
Bringing education to life. Students in class via Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

How to make teaching great

An article we wrote last week for The Conversation on Seven “great” teaching methods not backed up by evidence prompted a large amount of comment and discussion. One of the main questions has been, ok…
Lecturers: you can learn a lot from Freddie Mercury. Steve Mann

Research cabaret: come hear the music play

Can you imagine attending a lecture on, say, string theory and finding that the lecturer was actually explaining this complex scientific concept using his own words – sung to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian…
Teach instead of tell, and know your students. There are ways you can become a better teacher. Shutterstock

Expert panel: what makes a good teacher

Amid debates about teacher quality and training, and with the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group soon to report on teacher education, we asked a panel of experts just what makes a good teacher…
Should lectures come with a warning label that they may cause drowsiness and hinder learning? Shutterstock

Are lectures a good way to learn?

Imagine a future where university enrolment paperwork is accompanied by the statement: Warning: lectures may stunt your academic performance and increase risk of failure. Researchers from the United States…
Would you admit to being a teacher? David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Would you admit to being a teacher today?

Are you a teacher? When you are at a party, a wedding or in the pub, and asked: “What do you do for a living?” – what do you say? Why might you lie? Is it too boring? Too complicated? Much too likely to…
Universities are increasing the number of academics who focus on teaching, not research. Lecturer image from

The rise of teaching-only academics: belated recognition or a slippery slope?

In 1988, then-federal education minister John Dawkins almost doubled the number of Australian universities. Dawkins did this by by merging colleges of advanced education and institutes of technology into…
The parents' voice has been left out of the curriculum conversation. AAP/Dan Peled

It’s time for parents to have their say on the national curriculum

Australia’s national curriculum, which is set to be reviewed, is an easy document for anyone to find and read. It really doesn’t require two experts – or six months – to report on it. Over the past six…
Many young teachers, even the good ones, are leaving the profession. Struggle image from

Why good teachers leave teaching

As another school year comes to a close, there are some early career teachers quietly packing up their desks and walking out the school doors with no plan to return next year. Some estimate the attrition…
Can you pick a good teacher out from the pack before they enter the classroom? Chalk image from

A winning formula: how to pick the best teachers

It’s one of those debates that has seemingly gone on forever. All the way back to the ancient Greeks, people have been trying to figure out the best way to choose teachers. Australian governments, most…
Spelling tests aren’t teaching kids to spell. Test image from

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…
Australian university educators were recognised for their work last night at an awards ceremony in Canberra. Lecture image from

Number cruncher named university teacher of the year

Professor John Croucher has won the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year award. Croucher, a professor of statistics…
Are “teacher fast-tracking” policies a good idea? Teacher image from

Can anyone teach? Fast-tracking our children to educational disaster

Governments in Australia are increasingly looking to “fast-track” professionals or high-performing graduates into teaching in schools. It’s a policy idea that has surface appeal. After all, you can get…

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