Happy New Year! We face the future of schooling with more optimism than with pessimism. As I go into schools I see change and innovative practice. Sure, its too often one-off but they are beacons of learning to all of us. In particular, I see more staff passionate about their work and a willingness to … More What lies beyond (the) bluyonder?
I couldn’t let the year end without some commentary on the Higher School Certificate (HSC). In addition to post-HSC coverage in the media, it was the talking sign outside of a large high school that strengthened my resolve that we need transformation not improvement. The sign read ‘celebrating our HSC results’. While it appears fairly … More Why we continue to get it so wrong
It’s been difficult to ignore the recent post-PISA media coverage. And if you are to believe the loudest voices in the discussion, a return to ‘back-to-basics’ education will guarantee Australia’s future success in the rankings. Thankfully there are those like Professor Yong Zhao who continue to interrogate PISA’s ‘magical’ powers over policy-makers. Furthermore, PISA continues … More Taking the PISA bait
As Richard Elmore once said, the greatest barrier to change in education is teachers and leaders’ inability to relinquish control. I would also add to that, a misguided belief that with control comes greater certainty. The ghost of Frederick Winslow Taylor still looms large on current business practice. By no means is command and control … More Command is no longer the name of the game
The Greater Sydney Commission unveiled plans this week to make Parramatta the economic centre of Sydney. Under the proposal, a staggering $30 billion is needed to transform the region and create new infrastructure, schools, hospitals, green space and housing. Transformation is no longer a fringe concept. It is the norm for many nation states and … More When West Meets East
I’ve been looking at some data recently on suspension rates and there’s no prize for guessing which year group often has the highest (the answer is at the bottom of this blog post). What is alarming is there are students being suspended across all year cohorts. This raises a critical question for policy makers, which … More Lowering the white flag when it comes to suspensions
The question of why we aren’t paying the best teachers bonuses for their ‘magnificent contribution‘ is often thrown into the market place for debate. Differential payment of teachers is attractive in its simplicity especially to those outside education. It’s based on the premise that rewarding great teachers will motivate others to step-up. Good in theory … More The choice is yours
I spent the first week of the NSW school holidays at the ACEL national conference in Sydney. I was amazed that many teachers had travelled from as far away as Western Australia to attend. It was great to see such strong commitment to professional learning and networking but the irony is that most return to … More Ask the insiders
When schools and systems have the audacity and courage to challenge the status quo, they are often labelled as experimental or worse, irresponsible. Our system has copped its fair share of criticism over the years for taking an ‘experimental’ approach to learning and teaching. While some in the wider community may view it as experimental, … More Contemporary schooling needs to be seen to be believed
When ‘Teacher Professional Learning and Development: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES)‘ was published in 2007, we invited one of the lead authors, Professor Helen Timperley to speak about the teacher inquiry cycle and its effect on improved learning outcomes. More than a decade on, we are still referring to the ‘inquiry cycle’ in our conversations … More Who is my class?