There are three things to remember when teaching : know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly. Lola J May

Welcome back to the beginning of a new academic year. We look forward to continuing to provide an ever-developing core of educational information for our users. At the same time we also plan to provide a better content presentation. Some baby steps have already begun. Some are transitional. Permanent changes have yet to be finalised but will come online as we complete each process.

Current steps appear primarily on the home page, the most obvious being the change to the main menu. All previous menu items are now part of one menu that covers only a small part of the page when open. We are also working on formats to create greater white space and to improve presentation on smaller screens.

One aim is to move some current home page content to separate pages but linked from the homepage [e.g. headlines]. This will allow us to expand the numbers and display them better. Once we have finalised the homepage we will work a similar formula on the other pages. Regrettably, other factors have delayed implementation but all will eventually be done.

Other modifications will become obvious as the year progresses, especially several affecting presentation rather than specific content. A number of pages have, however, been targetted for specific review to ensure they are as up-to-date as possible. We continue to seek recommendations for quality inclusions, though still adhering to the proviso on the Contact Us page.

All pages are now as accurate as it is possible to make them, as per the date on the bottom of each. A few links will be rechecked in the near future as several sites were updating at the same time. Any changes required will made as soon as possible.

As with most projects, much will go on in the background with only the final product appearing for people to see and hopefully find easier and better to use.

It is important to note the email address for Aussie Educator has changed. This has been noted on the Contact Us page. We will maintain the old address for a limited period of time and also indicate when it is no longer available. With the long break, we have also included more headlines than normal from across this period.

Finally, can we thank you for the support you have shown, many for a long period of time. We hope you continue to find the site of value, irrespective of the education sector with which you may be associated.

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There is an unending supply of documents being produced about all aspects of education both here and overseas. It is difficult at times to select only a few each month [‘Life wasn’t meant to be easy’]. Several recent items listed below are felt to warrant at least a brief mention. All are from the last half of 2019, so are really current. See what you think about each and whether you agree or not. All items are Australian in origin. Follow links that pique your particular interest.

Alice Springs [Mparntwe] Education Declaration

‘This Declaration sets out our vision for education in Australia and our commitment to improving educational outcomes for young Australians. It builds on past declarations signed in Hobart, Adelaide and Melbourne, which have guided our journey over three decades. In developing this Declaration, we have heard from young people, parents, educators and the broader community and listened to what is important to them. Our vision is for a world class education system that encourages and supports every student to be the very best they can be, no matter where they live or what kind of learning challenges they may face’. Take your time to ensure you understand the vision behind forthcoming actions.

Enhancing the status of vocational education and the occupations it serves

‘This bulletin summarises the findings of a research project on how to improve the status of VET so it can be viewed as a more worthwhile and viable post-school option by both young people and those who influence their decision-making about post-school pathway’. Interesting findings as well as four possible courses of action. Funded by Education Queensland and conducted by Griffith University.

Everyone loses when schools are segregated . . . but some more than others

Tom Greenwell leads off with the statement - ‘Only fifteen minutes from Parliament House, four Canberra schools reveal the growing segregation in Australian education — and how government policy is at its heart’. He then goes on to look at the impact of governmengt funding on both government and non-government schools. Agree or not, it makes for interesting reading.

State of Early Learning in Australia Report 2019

Early Childhood Australia. ‘Published by the Early Learning : Everyone Benefits campaign, in conjunction with the Institute for Social Science Research [ISSR] at the University of Queensland, the report nominates clear national goals and performance indicators to help track progress in the future’. Well worth reading as early education is now being understood to be essential for further educational attainment. Both the full report and the summary are available from this site.

Unpacking drivers of learning outcomes of students from different backgrounds

Department of Education and Training, Document library, Australian Government. ‘This Deloitte Access Economics analysis uses Australian data to investigate the drivers of learning outcomes of school students from low socio-economic status, Indigenous, regional and remote backgrounds’. Their Summary of Findings lays a groundwork for those who may be interested but not overly cognizant about the areas. As they say in their summary, ‘This report explores the relationship between student background, schooling experiences and learning outcomes’ and in doing so pulls no punches.

What is to be done about Australian Schooling ?

Dean Ashenden knows how to get to the core of such a topic. In an easy to read and understand article, with a heading statement of ‘Another bad PISA report suggests that Australia has not learned the basic lesson : school reform won’t work in the absence of major structural change’ he explains what he believes to be the case, then draws some very specific conclusions. Well worth reading.

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