Labor, the Greens and some Independents are calling for an inquiry into Federal government funding of independent schools.
John Roskam analyses Mark Latham's plan to increase pay for teachers in difficult schools. Roskam supports this idea, because he believes that
The main reason students from bad schools perform poorly compared with students from good schools is not because of students' background. It is because of the qualities of the school, particularly the standard of teaching and educational leadership offered by the principal.
This is an understanding that is supported by studies into the success of schools, for example the CIS report "The Importance of Teacher Quality" states
When all other sources of variation are taken into account, including gender, social backgrounds of students and differences between schools, the largest differences in student achievement are between classes. That is, by far the most important source of variation in student achievement is teacher quality.
Terence Lovat, Professor of Education at the University of Newcastle (NSW) said that
Teacher quality is the single greatest quality in explaining student achievement., and the NSW Quality Teaching Program said
the quality of student learning outcomes is directly dependent on the quality of the teacher.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward has announced a new scheme to combat sexual harassment in schools. The program has apparently run successfully in trial runs in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide last year.
I just saw this article in The Age where Mark Latham promises to
deliver 'thousands' of new male teachers...by targeting boys in years 10, 11 and 12 through a campaign to promote the 'status and benefits of teaching', create 'pathways' for boys to become teachers and encourage older male teachers to act as mentors.
Did I miss something? Was it not Mr Latham who shot down the government's attempt to offer more places to male student teachers to increase numbers? And an advertising campaign targeted at male high school students is the best alternative the opposition can come up with?
Mr Latham, please make up your mind, either you believe we need more male teachers or you don't.
There's a very interesting post over at The Smallest Minority on home schooling in the US and how some public education officials view it. While the article it's commenting on is a year old, the issues it raises are still very relevant.
[via Keith Devens]
He who dares to teach must never cease to learn. - Richard Henry Dann.
I'm a student teacher studying B. Teaching Secondary at UWS. This site is where I'm going to put up useful resources for teaching (especially in my subject areas of computing & maths) and also post some information & comments about teaching, pedagogy, the university experience and a bit on the politics involved in teaching.
Great expectations are placed on teachers, and not only for educating. The expectation is that a teacher will be part social worker, part sports coach, part counselor and part manager. And in the middle of all that, they're still expected to teach something.
As one of my lecturers continually reminds us, teaching is political; it's about shaping and defining knowledge & truth in the minds of students. It's also about enabling those same students to have the ability to discover and determine knowledge and truth for themselves.
There's also the party politics that surround teaching: the public vs. private schools debate (not to mention home schooling), funding issues, curriculum & syllabus debates and values. All of this is important to take into account when teaching and as a new student teacher these things take on great importance to me & my classmates. I hope to highlight some of these issues here, and see what the media has to say about them too, mostly for my own reference, but also for anyone else out there who has an interest in education within Australia.
This blog supersedes my previous site News of the day.