Category Archives: Opinion Pieces

ATAR: A Terribly Awful Result?

However, the time has come to acknowledge the shortcomings of the ATAR as a basis for admitting students to university and to look to developing more inclusive, balanced approaches of scoring that encompass these difficulties and better facilitate students’ access to university education. Continue reading

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Anorexia is not an adjective

To Whom It May Concern:

It was with great sadness and frustration that I read the article Housing Crisis by Louis Nowra in this weekend’s (25th Janurary) Good Weekend.

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In particular, I took great objection to Nowra’s description of arriving at a house ‘to be greet by an anoxeric [sic] woman.’ Anorexia is a mental illness; a medical condition.
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Being a ‘good teacher’ not a sufficient reason to remain in teaching

Recently I’ve been wrangling with the notion of whether I should remain in teaching. I went through this process last year, although for different reasons. At the end of 2012 I was finishing up my second year of full-time teaching. … Continue reading

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Equity is the real issue of PISA 2012

The triennial release of PISA results typically results in a flurry of articles from the press condemning the state of education in Australia. Reports inevitably lead to league tables, proclaiming how spectacularly other countries outperform Australia in education. I’ve previously … Continue reading

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Maths and English: not so different

The other week I was sitting in the lunch room on my first day of casual teaching at a new school. There are only two Catholic high schools in Lismore, so it was somewhat inevitable that I ran into a … Continue reading

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Pyne: a pain for education in Australia

It took all my strength, when reading Daniel Hurst’s article “New broom Pyne ready to reshape the curriculum,” appearing in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald News Review, to not beat myself over my head repeatedly with my morning cup of … Continue reading

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Firing teachers on the basis of NAPLAN scores? Really?

Using NAPLAN data to fire teachers is ludicrous Controversy surrounding NAPLAN testing is old news. Many educators are critical of the standardised test, claiming it creates a culture of ‘teaching to the test’ and unreasonable levels of anxiety in both … Continue reading

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What is the biggest predictor of student achievement in maths?

The most significant predictor of student achievement in mathematics might surprise you. Data collected from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) has determined that self-efficacy has the strongest impact of mathematics achievement, outranking maths anxiety, previous performance, self-concept and … Continue reading

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Teacher quality will always out weigh teacher quality

With the looming Federal election (whenever it is) it is difficult to escape education debates in the media. The Gonski reform to school funding, in particular, has dominated column inches and airwaves. However, the debate over class sizes is ever-present … Continue reading

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What is the crisis in (mathematics) education

The diametrical nature of the media often results in situations being presented as either a crisis or a non-issue. I recently posted about the performance pay for teachers not being the solution to the “crisis in education” and it resulted … Continue reading

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