Aussie Educator

If I treat you as what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that. Goethe

Welcome to the latest version of this page. Over recent times there have been a number of educational events, discussions, reports, claims, counter-claims, suggestions, opinions and much, much more. To cover all would be, if not impossible, a mammoth task. Some will have a minor effect [if any] on education. Others, if taken up, or even responded to, may have long term effects of a significant nature. Meanwhile ...

  • We are now in the midst of analysing what has occurred with the site throughout 2018. In doing so we have used collected data relating to site and page usage, time on page, levels of support with information for inclusion [e.g. conferences], access to a variety of other sources not previously available and more. We have also considered whether the presentation format is still appropriate and whether improvements could be made and our capacity to carry this out effectively. Importantly, we have looked at personal factors which have had an impact over the last 12-15 months and what effect this has on whether we can continue to offer and maintain the same level of content. This is supported by a range of initial analysis based on all factors.
  • For example, pages only attracting from single, to low double figures, usage over several months do not warrant continued inclusion. Early indications based on the combination of factors suggest it will not be sensible to maintain everything. The range of individuals and governmental and other bodies now targetting specific areas through numerous websites, blogs, podcasts, etc., are also replacing a number of areas we have previously covered, and to a far greater depth than we can possibly achieve.
  • Modification will be essential. We will decide upon our capacity, eliminate what has not proven of value to the site’s users, recompile what we can manage, renew those pages, add further information as we find it and update all pages to ensure they retain value for you. Hopefully you find the site useful enough to continue using it regularly throughout the coming year. We look forward to serving you throughout this time.
  • ‘The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training will inquire into and report on the status of the teaching profession, considering opportunities to improve outcomes in a range of areas. The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by 21 December 2018’. Information about the Terms of Reference can be found here, with further information on a second page. There is also information about Making a submission and how to Lodge a submission on these pages.
  • School funding continues to be a “hot topic” for discussion. There have been a mass of articles, opinions and other commentary over some considerable time. One of the latest offerings [from the ABC] has been the site titled Counting the cost of the education revolution. As part of their introduction they indicate - ‘The dataset, which has only been released to a handful of researchers, provides a more detailed picture of school funding than any publicly available data’, and it allows you to to make a number of comparisons not commonly available before. You might like to look at what is being offered, making sure to read the introductory notes to ensure you understand what is being presented.
  • While you are reviewing the information being offered here, you might also like to consider what is included in two of the most recent commentary pieces from Chris Bonnor [The ABC of school funding] and Lyndsay Connors [Time for a long hard look at the goals and purposes of schooling]. They also provide sensible, well-reasoned consideration of the current position in regard to funding.
  • 🎅 🤶  Finally, we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support over the last year and wish you an enjoyable festive season and a time to relax and recharge the batteries ready for the coming year. You will undoubtedly have earned it.

We have included several more articles in the section below. There seems to be an unending supply of documents and articles being produced about all aspects of education. It often proves difficult to select only a few to appear. However, as someone once said - ‘Life wasn’t meant to be easy’.

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There are recently produced items that warrant at least a brief mention. See what you think about each and whether you agree or not. Most items are Australian in origin. Follow each link that piques your particular interests.

Peter Varghese, Chancellor of the University of Queensland, is a realist and careful thinker. In his article, Australian Universities and China [ here as Part 1 and Part 2], he begins by saying ‘I wish to talk about what China means to Australian universities: what are the issues we face, how best to think about the relationship with China and, importantly, how do we manage risks while expanding opportunities’. Thoughtful, well reasoned and worth reading.

Diversity in Australian tertiary education : turning words into action is a recent document from the Nous Group. As they indicate, ‘In a previous paper we argued that 10 years of attempted reform of higher education policy had stalled because reforming ministers and universities failed to sell the reforms to ordinary Australians. In this paper we take that analysis further. We start by considering the place of research in higher education and then return to problems surrounding the place of teaching and learning across higher and vocational education’. Note that you need to provide some details in order to access the document.

Eight Futures of Work : Scenarios and their Implications, from the World Economic Forum, presents various possible visions of what the future of work might look like by the year 2030. Based on how different combinations of three core variables — the rate of technological change and its impact on business models; the evolution of learning among the current and future workforce; and the magnitude of talent mobility across geographies—are likely to influence the nature of work in the future, the White Paper provides a starting point for considering a range of options around the multiple possible futures of work’.

Losing the Game is a slightly older document than most others here [2017] but equally as valuable for all this. As Chris Bonnor and Bernie Shepherd clearly state - ‘this report should not be read as another salvo in the unedifying contest between government, Catholic and independent schools. The overarching problem exists within as well as between the sectors and is much more insidious : it is that we are tilting the playing field in favour of those who need the least help and against those who need the most’. What they have to say is still as valid as when it was written.

One of the first documents produced by the Gonski Institute is The Economic Impact of Improving Regional, Rural & Remote Education in Australia. As part of their introduction, they state ‘There is an unacceptably large difference in education attainment between people who live in regional and remote Australia compared to those who live in metropolitan centres. Reducing this difference is widely acknowledged as an education and social imperative. As this report shows there is also a very large economic imperative and economic dividend to be gained by investing in improving the educational attainment of the almost one third of Australians who live outside cities’. It makes for enlightening reading.

The Tragedy of Australian Education is an article by Greg Ashman that is something quite different. Shorter by far than those listed above, it still presents a very specific point of view. It is one you may, or may not, agree with but which will make you think about what is being said. His final comment ‘Developing the knowledge of teachers — and trusting to their expertise — is our best hope of breaking out of this vicious circle’ is not always a suggestion you will see.

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