School teaching is a craft. A school teacher is
an adult in a room full of children and the task is to look after the children,
supervise their social behaviour, and give them skills and knowledge.
When I use the word ‘craft’, I don’t mean making things out of seashells. I mean an activity that
involves using skill to achieve a practical end. You learn how to teach by
doing it. Parenting skills are probably the most valuable skills to have. There
are many teaching methods and every teaching situation is different, so a
teacher needs to have many techniques and must constantly be thinking about
which ones to use.
Continue reading “Reflections on Teaching: The Craft of Teaching”
The report by the NSW Legislative Council Select Committee on the closure of public schools in NSW is a damning exposure of the failure of the NSW Department of Education to seriously consult about proposed closures. The report includes the following three case studies.
Continue reading “Case Studies in Consultation Failure on School Closures by the NSW Department of Education”
The NSW Legislative Council report on the closure of public schools shows that the Department of Education conducted a war against small rural schools. Some 36 public schools have been closed under the Baird Government.
The following is a media release on the report by NSW Greens MP, John Kaye.
Continue reading “NSW Govt Conducted a War Against Small Rural Schools”
The arguments for closing and amalgamating schools are based
primarily on two presumed benefits: financial savings and better student achievement.
However, these claims generally turn out to be over-simplifications when the
full evidence is analysed.
In considering potential closure of schools, governments
should carefully analyse the educational, financial and social impact on
students, their families and the general school community. Governments
frequently fail to fully investigate these impacts before closing schools.
Continue reading “Submission to NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the Closure of Public Schools in New South Wales”
New figures show that, adjusted for inflation, government
funding for private schools has increased since 2009, while funding for public
schools has been cut. National Convenor of Save Our Schools, Trevor Cobbold,
said that the new figures reveal the disastrous state of funding for public
Continue reading “Media Release: Funding for Public Schools Down, Funding for Private Schools Up”
The NSW Legislative Council has unanimously slammed the Abbott Government’s refusal to fund the full six years of the Gonski funding plan.
Continue reading “NSW Upper House Slams Federal Coalition’s Refusal to Fully Fund Gonksi”
Save Our Schools today called for public consultation and
scrutiny of the P-TECH schools proposed for Ballarat and Geelong and sponsored
by the giant IT multinational IBM. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said
that P-TECH schools are unproven and threaten public education.
Continue reading “P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education”
Save Our Schools today called for public consultation and scrutiny of the P-TECH schools proposed for Ballarat and Geelong and sponsored by the giant IT multinational IBM. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that P-TECH schools are unproven and threaten public education. Continue reading “P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education”
Earlier this week the ABC’s Life Matters program ran a segment on parents taking their children out of the NAPLAN tests. It generated considerable discussion. A listener who is a teacher sent SOS this response to the program.
School leaders and systems do use NAPLAN and recognise NAPLAN because it has now become the universal measure across the country because of its official status as a measure and not because it is valuable per se. It would be a concern if teachers relied on NAPLAN as a diagnostic tool and only relied on NAPLAN given the time lag between the test and the results. Good teachers are constantly assessing students in a number of ways but do not rely on a single standardised test but involve students in continual modes of improvement. Testing is not part of life, it is part of school life. How often does anyone who goes to work have to sit an exam to prove that they are learning, that they are doing their job, and demonstrating all they know in an hour or two? We would say as adults that would be unreasonable. Performance evaluation at work relies on continuous practice. Continue reading “A Teacher’s Comment on NAPLAN”
It is a sad fact, but true, that in Australia a student’s background greatly influences how well they will do at school. Whether their parents went to university, work as professionals, or whether they live in a rural area or are indigenous, all help to predict a student’s performance. And more so in Australia than in many other countries. Continue reading “How Good is My School?”