Federal budget: certainty and consistency the key

Last night the federal budget delivered across-the-board cuts and the education sector was certainly not immune. Schools need certainty in both funding and direction. Funding has been essentially cut in real terms by linking increases to CPI, while educational expenditure grows at almost double the rate. The Better Schools Plan (Gonski), which was agreed to … More Federal budget: certainty and consistency the key

Advice to our new PM

Two weeks ago, Professorial fellow and former Dean of Education, University of Melbourne Professor Brian J. Caldwell delivered our  annual Ann D Clark lecture.  It was timely for two reasons – Professor Caldwell and Jim Spinks’ book ‘The Self-Transforming School‘ is recently published and the book contains advice to our incoming federal government – stay … More Advice to our new PM

Our educational canon

As our state and federal governments prepare for upcoming elections, it’s been interesting to examine their policy positions on education.  As always, the incumbent  party’s position is rejected by the opposition with no middle ground. The rejection usually focuses on cutting (mostly) or increasing (rarely) funding for a range of programs. Never do we have a … More Our educational canon

Is censorship sensible?

I’ve been following discussion of the Federal Government’s proposed mandatory internet filter initiative.  Support seems to be fading for the program as the public ironically gathers more information about which sites could be blocked. With the rise of social networking sites, the net has become a kind of bastion of democracy where free speech and freedom of information reigns.  Yet even in … More Is censorship sensible?

Teaching thinking

Edward de Bono, the man that encouraged us to think laterally says he’s seen iterations of the Federal Government’s ‘Education Revolution’ before. In a recent interview, Dr de Bono argued that the Government should be focussed on the needs of young people not on constructing new school halls. He believes it would more valuable to … More Teaching thinking

From PD to PL

Is there a fundamental difference between professional development and professional learning?  Can teachers be doing PD and teaching at the same time? If we define professional development as a one-off activity that takes place outside of classrooms, the answer is no. Professional development is a remnant of the 20th century when perfecting routines and tasks … More From PD to PL

A national curriculum

I find it interesting that just as the world is opening up to new possibilities of accessing and sharing information, connecting and collaborating globally, the government’s strategic policy focus is defining what should be learned by all students in all Australian schools today. Perhaps the new draft K-10 national curriculum is more a response to … More A national curriculum

Motivation

Dan Pink has been working on a new book “Drive” about what motivates us. As an educator and system leader,  What motivates me and many of my colleagues is a desire to give young people the best opportunity in life by giving them the gift of education. Good teachers would work for pittance and often … More Motivation

Publish and perish?

There has been fierce debate between both sides of the political fence over the decision by the federal government to publish the results of national league tables. With no white flags on the horizon, the unions have now threatened industrial action. The point is parents, students and good teachers already know which schools are under-performing. And … More Publish and perish?