A new phonics test for Australian six year olds is a BAD idea

By Robyn Ewing

The recent announcement by Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, of a nation-wide phonics assessment for six year olds is of great concern to me. I believe, as do many of my fellow literacy expert colleagues, this new test will not help improve our literacy levels. Australian children have been “marking time” or “falling behind” when compared on international

The NSW Education Standards Authority responds to Charlotte Pezaro’s post: Specialist maths and science teachers in primary schools are part – a key part – of the solution

By Peter Lee

This blog post is a response to Charlotte’s Pezaro’s post Specialist science and maths teachers in primary schools

Specialist science and maths teachers in primary schools are not the solution

By Charlotte Pezaro

The idea to put specialist science and maths teachers into Australian primary schools gained a lot of support after the latest results of international tests were announced. It even became official policy in NSW last year when then Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, announced a plan to deliver hundreds of specialist STEM (science, technology, engineering and

What do you want to be when you grow up? How children develop aspirations and why it’s important to know

By Nathan Berger

We ask this question of children almost as soon as they can speak: What do you want to be when you grow up? We were all asked this question many times during our childhood and adolescence. Those enquiring after our hopes and dreams were parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, and family friends. Often our

Does professional development improve teaching?

By Jane Hunter

Most Australian teachers returned to their schools last week, and for many their first day back was a pupil-free day spent doing doing professional development. I am sure most teachers were respectful and attentive to whatever sessions had been organised for them and fellow staff members by their school, but after the long summer holidays

Media Centre for Educational Research in Australia: what it is and why we need it

By Anna Sullivan

Australian educational research is world class. Work by our educational researchers is regularly published worldwide and is often

Roll back curriculum constraints and give teachers the freedom to make professional judgements

By Nicole Mockler

The role of the teacher in an Australian classroom is changing, and not in a good way. As I see it, the relentless pressure for schools to perform well in NAPLAN, the demands of various mandated curriculum and the ubiquitous concerns about ‘quality teaching’ are making teachers lose confidence in their own professional abilities. There

Secondary schooling in Australia needs to change: throw out the tests and bring in deep learning

By Jane Hunter

There is a problem in some Australian secondary schools right now.  ‘Endgame’ assessments such as the Higher School Certificate (HSC) in NSW and the requirements of an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) to gain entrance to university, place restrictions on the kinds of teaching and learning that goes on in classrooms. Some teachers are frustrated

What does the post-truth world hold for teachers and educational researchers?

By Stewart Riddle

As 2016 draws to an end, I am left with a deep sense that things are going very, very wrong. I waver between fury and frustration, unease and dread. But these feelings are useless without some action. I presented in a symposium at the AARE conference recently on social justice, and our theme was reframing