AUSSIE EDUCATOR

Originally, schools were supposed to focus on enlightening and educating students, and marks were merely a means of measuring success. But naturally enough schools soon began focussing on achieving high marks. Yuval Noah Harari

Welcome to Stage 1 of the next version of the site [v7.0]. At first, it may appear little different to the previous version, but you will soon notice a number of changes, not the least being it is much slimmer than previously. It is also not the end product, with a second stage still to be completed. This may take some time, and you will certainly notice more obvious differences on that occasion. The points below indicate what, and why we have the changes currently completed.

  • It is always interesting to look at actual data. It is also often surprising. We used data from the previous 12 months to see whether pages were being used [including Google Analytics, plus information from our own server]. It made for interesting viewing. It clarified which pages were seen as most important for visitors. For example, with a variation from as few as 5 visitors, to more than 50 000 over a nominated period, you keep one page and remove the other. The same applied with the amount of time spent on the page.
  • Pages have been removed. Others were retained but are now archived [but fully checked and accurate as of the date at the bottom of the page]. It led to a restructuring of folder content. However, redirects have been provided for all moves, and removals, and will remain in place for two months. Each will take you to either the home page, or the new placement depending on the page in question.
  • Some sections have already expanded. For example, Competitions are now spread over two pages; Conferences have the largest number of inclusions ever and will continue to grow in number; and a number of individual pages have already begun to be expanded with more to come. We hope to now have the capacity to work on expanding more individual pages.
  • Updates have been made to a number of components. A few of these are obvious on each page. Others operate in the background. There will be more of these as we proceed with Stage 2. At the same time, we are looking at the overall presentation and how this can be improved for all size screens and viewers - spacing, colours, links, accessibility, organisation. It will be an interesting journey. Hopefully it will be an interesting result [for all the right reasons].
  • On this occasion we have not included anything on individual education topics of interest. There are a few topics that still resonate in the news as can be seen from the headlines below. Perhaps next time we will be in a position to discuss one of these, or a different topic that has captured attention.
  • We thank you for your support in the past and hope we can continue to supply resources and information you find valuable. Along with the learning experience we are having, this will make all future effort worthwhile. We look forward to having you along for the ride.

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There seems to be an unending supply of documents being produced about all aspects of education. It proves difficult at times to select only a few for inclusion [‘Life wasn’t meant to be easy’]. Several recent items are listed below that are felt to 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 interest.

Counting the cost of the education revolution [ABC News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation]. This is the culmination of research by the ABC. ‘The investigation uses My School data to reveal for the first time how the steep rise in government funding to private schools has left thousands of public schools with less public funding than similar private schools’. Interactive. If you have not tried it, it can be quite illuminating.

Diversity in Australian tertiary education : Turning words into action - ‘Many people in higher education love to talk about diversity of operating models. Diversity has become a mantra for policy makers and universities, with the aim that one day not every university will have a similar mix of research and teaching. And where has all this talk got us ? To more of the same’. And the authors go on from there with a number of suggestions. This page is an extract from a presentation but also provides you with the opportunity to download the complete report.

Education Cargo Cults Must Die. Sounds almost like fiction doesn’t it ? However, John Hattie and and Arran Hamilton are addressing a genuine educational problem. As they say, ‘In this paper, we apply Feynman’s cargo cult concept [worth reading for the sense it makes] to education. We argue that, much like the Tanna people, we have been fooling ourselves. We examine the seductive factors that have lured us all to embrace false premises, and describe the hallmarks of the education “gold” that is worth our time and investment’.

Initial Teacher Education Data Report 2018. ‘By learning about Initial Teacher Education, we can gain key insights into the future of teaching. Each year, AITSL brings you the ITE Data Report, based on extensive research and data into Initial Teacher Education’. You can download the complete report, use an interactive data dashboard and downloadable spreadsheet, even go back and read earlier reports if you want to do further comparisons.

Lessons From 10 Schools That Dramatically Improved [Education Week]. Mostly Australian experiences. ‘We packed our bags and travelled across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to visit 10 incredible schools’. From this come ‘the 10 things we learned are needed to change a school’. Were they correct ?

Towards a Tertiary Future [Discussion Paper] [Innovative Research Universities]. ‘The IRU makes the case for a coherent tertiary education system that ensures each person has the opportunity and incentive to get the vocational and higher education qualifications, skills and knowledge to which they aspire. Creating such a system should be a priority for the Australian Government following the 2019 election’. Interesting.


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