Taking the PISA bait

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

How technology will make teachers more human

When Yong Zhao was last in Australia, I asked if he would consider contributing a guest post to bluyonder.  I’m pleased to say his post, which is adapted from his newly published book ‘Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job: Correcting the Top 5 Ed Tech Mistakes‘ is below. Yong suggests that we need to consider … More How technology will make teachers more human

A level playing field

There are calls for fundamental changes to be made to the funding and regulation of Vocational and Educational Training (VET) in Australia.  In today’s Sydney Morning Herald, the Federal Education Minister said he wants to boost the status of VET  so ‘students don’t feel they have to go to university to have a good career.’ It reflects the need … More A level playing field

The Black Box

In 2001, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam published their seminal article titled Inside the Black Box: raising standards through classroom assessment.  It focuses on formative assessment which according to the authors is at the heart of effective teaching. The article suggests that the practice of formative assessment has not been front and centre in most classrooms. In fact the link between formative assessment and … More The Black Box

The cult of creativity

Bill O’Chee wrote recently that the current fixation on creativity in schools is ‘anti-intellectual’.  He asserts that “while creativity is important, from sciences to the arts, what is more important is rigorous thinking.” O’Chee states that what today’s learners need from their education is to “learn how to think deeply.” If critical thinking is the precursor to creativity, then how … More The cult of creativity

Rebooting innovation

In 1979, Sony produced the first portable cassette device – the Walkman.  It was a game changer for consumers and the music industry. Sony ended up selling 200 million devices worldwide.  Long before Apple or even Google established themselves as innovators, there was Japan. The BBC recently had an interesting article on how Japan is trying to ‘reboot innovation’.  In … More Rebooting innovation

Enterprising schools

Harvard Professor, Richard Elmore once asked ‘is it possible that schools can continue to operate in the 19th century while the rest of society moves into the 21st century?’ The simple answer is no – although the adversarial position historically adopted by unions suggests otherwise. NSW and ACT Catholic employers are currently in the process of discussions with staff and … More Enterprising schools