An interesting dichotomy exists in our society between how teachers are represented within traditional forms of media. Film/TV have typically depicted teachers as walking on holy ground having earned the respect and admiration of students particularly those on the margins. Think of To Sir with Love, Dead Poets Society or Goodbye Mr Chips. Then there are the … More The X-factor
Last week our system welcomed 160 new teachers to the profession. The excitement of these teachers is infectious and after my 40 years in education, I know their work will be transformative in nurturing the heart, mind and spirits of students. In addressing our new leaders and teachers, I urged them not to be disheartened by the … More The fierce urgency of now
In monitoring the commentary yesterday on the release of Australia’s latest rankings in PIRL and TIMSS exams, there was general agreement that our performance was well below par. A country like Australia cannot tolerate poor performance. We must lift our standard of learning and teaching and do so as a matter of urgency. In noting … More No easy fixes – just good teaching
You can easily be forgiven for thinking we live in parallel universe at times. No where is this more evident than in schooling. Over Christmas I caught up with some reading that still leaves my head spinning. Last November England’s new conservative government released its white paper entitled: The Importance of Teaching. It certainly makes … More Education schizophrenia
I have written and spoken over the past twelve months about the challenges facing schooling in today’s world. As we begin a new school year those challenges have not diminished, in fact they have increased. And they will continue to do so unless the education community faces up to some hard truths. I still maintain … More Some hard truths
I’ve just read an illuminating piece by Amanda Ripley in The Atlantic called ‘What makes a great teacher‘. Although the article details the American experience, the message about teachers and teaching is universal. For more than a decade, Teach for America has been looking at the data on what makes teachers successful – that is … More What makes a great teacher?