The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.

— John Lubbock

Welcome to a brief but detailed home page, regarding where the site is going in 2021. We would like to detail what has changed on the site with this update. Some of the current changes you will be accustomed to, others will be different. Details are provided below.

Monthly updates covering the Calendar, Competitions, Conferences and University Open Days pages have been completed as normal. In many cases the pages contain newer content while the format remains the same. We hope you find the content updates useful.

All of the Archived pages exhibit a number of changes, as do the various section home pages and the Site Information pages. While we have not added links to these pages, all remaining links were working accurately as at the date at the bottom of the page. The same applies to the Site Information pages and to Section home pages [e.g. Education, Curriculum, ...].

The most notable changes are the search engine, the translator [the listing for other languages] and the removal of the links for social media. These have been applied to all pages including the home page which is currently being completely revamped.

The social media links did not seem to be serving any useful service and have been removed. The main change with the translation app is that the listing of possible languages now appears as a single column you can scroll up or down. This should make access to a specific language much easier, especially on smaller screens [e.g. mobile phones].

The search engine process has moved from Google to DuckDuckGo. I have been using this for some time and have found it to be very good. The obvious difference is that the response now covers the whole screen not a smaller page. To return to the site page will mean you need to use either the back arrow at the bottom of phones and tablets or the back direction arrow on browser screens. No more difficult, just different.

The Online Learning Resources page has now been incorporated into the Resources section of the site for those who still want to make use of it. There will be no link from the home page as of this update.

The latest updated page is the Learning Theories page. In many ways it looks quite different. It also includes slightly different New ! and Updated ! buttons. These will be applied to all pages. Hopefully this page will prove even more useful as a result of the work put into it.

A new batch of pages is being updated and will be uploaded as soon as each is finished. Interestingly enough, evidence gathered over 6-7 months suggest there may well be a few of the archived pages re-activated. More on this as we reach these.

New and Updated buttons will only remain for a maximum of 3 months. We now have a timetable for this so we no longer run the risk of 12 months or more for a new link to be shown as “NEW !”.

We are hopeful of having a new home page ready for inclusion at the next update. This will be quite different in appearance. One obvious aspect will be that news headlines, articles and information about changes and updates will be linked from the home page to give details on separate pages. It will also allow us to leave some of these available for longer periods. Changes to the search process, translations, etc., will be an integral part of this page. The front page will become primarily an entry point. We are also hoping to put some interesting educational graphics on there as well.

Provided enough time can be found, everything planned will be achieved in a very short time : Home page done, remaining pages updated and a background clean up of styles sheets, code and other material no longer needed, removed from a variety of places [the last something I have been promising to do for a long time !]. The aim is to have a more usable, up-to-date product which remains of value to others. Your indulgence while this is completed will be greatly valued. We have actually achieved a fair amount already. Now, back to work to get finished !.


Finally, for Tasmanians interested and able to take part, the Tasmanian ‘government is seeking community input to support in delivering Tasmania’s first ever comprehensive, long-term, whole of government Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. The consultation program will run from 19 January to 19 March, and the Premier urged all interested Tasmanians to make their voice heard and to give the Government the information it needs to continue delivering better health and wellbeing among young Tasmanians’.

If you are interested visit the site, or check this site on The Sector, see where the meetings are being held and what is involved. Most are in February so you can go and have your say.

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There is a continuous supply of documents 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’]. Follow links that pique your particular interest.

Differentiation is in our schools to stay. What is it ? And why are most criticisms of it just plain wrong ?

‘The use of a teaching practice known as ‘differentiation’ has become more common over time as educators have sought to respond to increases in the diversity of students enrolling in their local school. The term is now used widely by Australian teachers and school leaders, as well as policy makers. As education researchers with expertise in inclusive education, we were interested in the spread of differentiation and what it means to teachers and researchers. We are also curious as to the basis for some especially loud criticisms of it’. Initial presentaton covering major points, plus a link to the full paper for those who wish to go further.

Educational Opportunity 2020

‘This new report shows large gaps in educational opportunity from early childhood through to adulthood. Students’ postcode and their family’s resources consistently linked to success on key indicators. It shows gaps in a wide range of critical skills and capabilities from school entry, with Indigenous children, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds and children in very remote areas at least twice as likely as their peers to have a developmental vulnerability. This page provides an introduction, Key Findings and information on what the report measured’. In addition, it provides access to the complete report and 5 linked documents including fact sheets on specific aspects.

Review into vocational and applied learning pathways in senior secondary schooling

‘This the full report that, as part of the summary indicates - “Senior secondary education needs to offer a range of high-quality pathways so that as many students as possible have appropriate options and can successfully transition to further education after school. Students have different interests, strengths, qualities and aspirations; the range of pathways in senior secondary should reflect this diversity. For many students, a vocational and applied learning pathway will be the ticket to a successful post-school transition.”’. The report covers this aspect fully. In addition, for those interested, you can read the Victorian Government Response here.

Skills and Workforce Development Agreement [Productivity Commission]

‘The report sets out the Commission’s Review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development [NASWD]. Its key messages are that the NAWSD should be replaced with a new principles based agreement, and there is manifest capacity for governments to get a better return from their investment in vocational education and training [VET]’. The home page allows you to access the Key Points, a Media Release and Content outinle for the report. For those wanting more detail, you can download an Overview of the Report and/or the Full Report in multiple formats.

The Role of Universities, Roundtable Report

‘The Roundtable reached agreement on one overarching idea : the need to achieve a more coherent, yet still differentiated, tertiary education system. There was considerable passion among the group for diversity in tertiary education, but also for greater coherence between provision options, including university, vocational education and training, and emerging models. There was also broad agreement on responses to the five issues that were posed to the group’. This opens to the introductory page, one statement of which indicates Australian universities are rethinking and revitalising their role in the broader tertiary education sector. Access to the full report is also available on the page.

When private schools go public

As Chris Bonnor, Rachel Wilson, Paul Kidson and Tom Greenwell indicate No longer can non-government schools be said to be saving taxpayer dollars. The authors use a wealth of data to make their position very clear. In doing so they look to negate a range of persistent claims. In doing so they indicate Little will happen unless we put aside the slogans and catchcries that have resonated over many years of debate about schools and funding. Thought-provoking and well worth reading. As a bonus you can also access a related paper by the same group, The School Money-Go-Round. Two for the price of one is always good value.

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News Headlines

Universities :

A bad day for James Cook U [12/2]

Let’s hear it for live and in-person lecturing [11/2]

ANU aims to create billion-dollar unicorn company by 2025 [11/2]

‘Instagram-worthy’ : Covid-19 predicted to change design of Australian universities [9/2]

From tenured academics to podcasters : Universities’ move to online goes permanent [10/2]

What’s behind the slow death of the Arts and Humanities ? [10/2]

Unis must continue to defend truth and democracy [10/2]

What Australian learners want from their education providers [9/2]

Huge increase in demand for postgraduate courses as Australians look to upskill [9/2]

Heywood’s ten year plan to put the new in UNE [9/2]

Unis face coercion, intimidation from ‘foreign states’ [8/2]

Demand for arts and humanities still high despite Coalition university fee increases [8/2]

Monash U reports $259m operating surplus for 2020 [8/2]

Universities at risk after failure to control costs [8/2]

Which Australian universities are best placed financially to weather COVID ? [5/2]

International Students :

Beijing opens new higher education trade war front [12/2]

Report highlights Australia’s TNE opportunities [11/2]

Still no timeline for international students to return to Australia [9/2]

Scholarships in Australia : Top picks to secure in 2021 [9/2]

Dirk Mulder reports international education still ignored [8/2]

Cabinet provides no timeline for int’l student return to Australia [7/2]

China issues fresh warnings on studying in Australia [5/2]

Rejected by Canberra, universities turn to the states for help [/2]

Schools - Teachers & Students :

Rebate boost to increase civics and citizenship education [12/2]

A 2021 education resolution : keep an eye on the Australian Curriculum [11/2]

‘Our current system is not working’ : Students design their own seat at the table [10/2]

Smiling Minds boost to support rural and regional schools [10/2]

Private income worth $752 per student flowing into public schools [10/2]

Mount Isa School of the Air enrolments increase for primary and secondary students [10/2]

Mental health app to help calm stressed classrooms [9/2]

The need for mental health education in Australian schools [9/2]

Literacy boost for remote Indigenous communities [9/2]

Remote learning exposed Sydney’s digital divide. But not much has changed [7/2]

‘Gold standard’ HSC exams cost almost $100 million a year [7/2]

Campaign continues for isolated students [7/2]

Gifted students with a disability prompted to excel by game-changer [7/2]

Mobile phone ban in Tasmanian schools a success for students and teachers [5/2]

Early Childhood :

Australia’s only longitudinal survey measuring the impact of the NQF needs your help ! [10/2]

NSW/NT lead substantial lift in quality according to latest NQF snapshot [10/2]

Proposed NDIS changes may affect early childhood early intervention - have your say [8/2]

Over $10 000 on offer for new employees as part of JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme [8/2]

Vocational Education :

Claire Field on a VET review which HE people need to read [10/2]

Free TAFE more popular in 2021 than ever before [9/2]

If there is no crisis in VET, why is it so difficult to tackle “acknowledged weaknesses” ? [9/2]

TAFE pilot program for future aviators [8/2]

Other :

Need to know: how adults end up illiterate [11/2]

KPMG signals greater recognition for educators in post COVID-19 landscape [9/2]

‘All the markers of youth are being extended’ : higher education, Covid and the debt burden [6/2]

Millions of Aust adults have poor literacy [6/2]

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