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 you may know, I spent the end of the 2017 school year visiting schools in the UK and Scandinavia. Their challenges are the same as the ones faced here: concern over the quality of schooling, overall relevance of schools in a rapidly changing world and the absence of a coherent educational policy. Nonetheless when … More Transformation is the global agenda
We’ve just survived two weeks of a media and political storm over the release of TIMSS and PISA results. We’ve heard loud and clear that Australia is falling behind OECD nations like Singapore, Finland and Estonia in reading, maths and science. We also know that we need to lift our game when it comes to … More What schools are getting right
Last week it was TIMSS. This week it’s PISA. Report cards on the performance of education systems are everywhere right now. The PISA results released today (PISA is the Program for International Assessment) tell as similar story to the TIMSS report last week: that Australian students are not performing as well as hoped for in … More Should international league tables drive education policy?
I wonder how many times we need to hear the OECD and Grattan Institute tell us that our education system needs to be performing over and above and not under and below international benchmarks! The link between our declining performance on PISA and teacher quality has been the subject of commentary from educational experts for more than … More What’s wrong with Aussie schools?
I don’t believe quality instruction ever left the classroom. Successful teachers have always had a thorough understanding of how students learn and have adopted and adapted pedagogies informed by research, reflection and inquiry. The essential principles of effective learning provide us with the foundations of appropriate pedagogies but they must be creatively applied in ways which maximise opportunities and … More The facts about educational fads
According to Yong Zhao one of the biggest flaws of PISA is that it “directs the world’s attention to the past instead of pointing to the future.” Yet education systems and policy makers rely on international assessments such as PISA to gauge student performance in maths, science and reading. In World Class Learners, Zhao admits … More The speed of things
It was interesting to read the global response against PISA in the Guardian last week. It follows on from Yong Zhao’s recent blog posts outlining the negative impacts of PISA rankings on education systems and education policy. The open letter from academics called for the 2015 PISA tests to be scrapped. The group expressed their concern at the ‘distorting effect’ PISA … More Should all roads lead to PISA?
The release of the PISA results last year confirm Shanghai’s status as the world’s top ranked education system in Maths, Science and Reading. All credit to Shanghai and its teachers but are the results the key drivers for quality learning and teaching which China seeks to pursue? Probably not. Ian Johnson in the New Yorker … More All that glitters isn’t gold