Our Education Failures

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Barry Jones has some things to say about the outcome of a focus on managerialism in education.

In 1942 Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: “A democratic form of government, a democratic way of life, presupposes free public education over a long period; it presupposes also an education for personal responsibility that too often is neglected.”

Many of us believed, and still continue to hope, that public education would be an instrument for personal and societal transformation. But education often seems to entrench or reinforce existing abilities, or disabilities, advantages or disadvantages. 

Click here to read the article on the Melbourne Age

The Internet, blogs and politics..how might they overlap?

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ABC Radio National’s ‘Background Briefing’ provides a look at the role of the internet in modern politics and examines the reasons why, and why not, the facility provided by web 2.0 is being utilised to reach broader based audiences of potential voters.

No one really knows if the Internet will be a force for a new kind of democracy, or just another (albeit miraculous) technology. Shifting sands in demography, voter behaviour, and the world wide web, are all challenges for political campaigners. Pitfalls and successes abound.

Read the transcript here

Keeping an eye on the media

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Don’t forget that from time to time links are added in Media Watch to news stories and articles which inform the context of providing quality education for students.  You can access Media Watch by clicking the link in the right hand menu bar.

Moving closer to mainstream thought . . .

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For those readers who have scanned through the posts on this blog you would see why these recent offerings from Dale Spender ring some welcome bells. 

In a recent speech intended to outline his policy for Australia’s educational future, the Prime Minister spent a great deal of time dwelling on his past.

John Howard’s claim to be an “avowed education traditionalist” revealed that he is locked into the traditional print-based framework of the 1950s where knowledge was recorded in textbooks, lessons were subject-based, and success meant memorising all the right answers.

“I believe English lessons should teach grammar. I believe history is history … and geography is geography, not place and space,” he said.

But that view of education is no longer viable – familiar and reassuring as it may be for many of those who now determine policy. It would take only a few visits to cyberspace – to the real world inhabited by today’s schoolchildren – to understand that there has been an information revolution since the 1950s. And it has changed everything: the children, education – and learning and literacy.

Read the whole article here

What Young People are Thinking

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Within our thinking about retention and 15-19 strategies you may find some of the info at the link below useful.  A Newspoll recently completed


The ‘Commentaries’ link near the bottom will open the paper below which provides a good overview
Dusseldorp Skills Forum

What Young People are Thinking
Synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data
collected between July and December 2006

By Irving Saulwick and Denis Muller

This study was designed to ‘take the pulse’ of young people across Australia. 

It looked at their attitudes to life and their life prospects, in particular their attitudes to work and study, to the future and their place in it. 


Positive press . . when the eye of the beholder looks for the good

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Some great messages today in the Sydney press from new Director General for NSW Department of Education and Training.

Click here to read the piece online at the Daily Telegraph site

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