There is a continuous supply of documents produced about all aspects of education both here and overseas.

It is often difficult to select only a few each month when so many, on so many aspects, are new and available [‘Life wasn’t meant to be easy’].

Wherever possible we have chosen Australian generated articles though not to the exclusion of quality articles from other parts of the world. We have also tried to include articles on all aspects and levels of education. In addition to including a new selection each month, we have retained links to the articles from previous months [without the previous comments]. These will continue to be added monthly until the end of the current year.

Hopefully you will find them both interesting and enlightening. The choice is yours.

The inclusions for January have been carried through from 2022

Access previous year listings using these links :

Education Cargo Cults Must Die

9/2018. John Hattie, Arran Hamilton. ‘The Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman, during his 1974 commencement address at the California Institute of Technology, made a powerful parallel between the thought processes of the Tanna Islanders and bad science—coining the term Cargo Cult Science. Richard Feynman cautioned that, to avoid falling into the same cargo cult trap as theTannaIslanders,scientific researchers must be willin to question their own theoretical assumptions and findings and they must be able to investigate all possible flaws in an experiment or theory. He also argued that scientists should adopt an unusually high level of honesty, especially self-honesty : much higher than the standards of everyday life. In this paper, we apply Feyman’s cargo cult concept to education. We argue that, much like the Tanna people, we have been fooling ourselves. We examine the seductive factors that have lured us all to embrace false premises and describe the hallmarks of the education “gold” that is worth our time and investment’.

Improving educational outcomes : Why don’t remote schools in Australia measure up ?

9/2022. Karen Cornelius, Kerrie Mackey-Smith. ‘The link between one’s postcode and probable school 'success' is well recognised. For those in remote Australian schools, it is an indicator that the further one lives from the metropolis, the less likely they are to be successful. Improved educational outcomes are desirable for students in remote communities to broaden their future life choices. This paper considers what neo-conservative policies around ‘improvement’ and ‘success'’ - largely formed and mandated in metropolitan centres of education governance - mean for students living in remote locations. Using an example of leading a remote Australian school, we consider if educational success for students in remote schools can be readily evidenced through standardised testing alone. We also consider what this means for teachers, teaching in a remote site. This article draws primarily on the experiences of a school leader conducting an autoethnography, following their three-year tenure as a leader in a remote school. Through applied qualitative inquiry, drawing in particular on reflexive self-study, the paper explores one remote school’s response to calls from governments for ‘improvement’.

Recognising the impact of highly accomplished and lead teachers

2022. Jill Willis, Peter Churchward, Leanne Crosswell, Rebecca Spooner-Lane, Josephine Wise, Suzanne Jessen. ‘The Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher [HALT] Certification process introduced in Australia in 2012 was designed to recognise expert teachers, to encourage them to continue to influence and impact their students and colleagues through their exemplary classroom practice. HALTs are a relatively new role in Australian education, and little is known about their impact in schools, or the potential for their ongoing role as middle leaders in schools. This paper analyses the experiences of HALT teachers who had been certified by Independent Schools Queensland [ISQ] in 2018 and what impact they recognised they were having in the schools who supported them through their certification process. Data were gathered in a cascading evaluative process through portfolio analysis, interviews with nationally certified teachers, school-based mentors and school leaders and a survey about their teacher and middle leader efficacy. The recognition of impact as a temporal narrative with distinct genres, and the concept of HALT teachers as middle leaders may point to new avenues of supporting applicants and to potential benefits for schools to encourage teachers to consider national certification’.

Skilling Australia’s current and future workforce

7/2023. Daniela Trimboli. ‘Skilling Australia’s current and future workforce is the theme for the 32nd National Vocational Education and Training [VET] Research Conference ‘No Frills’. In keeping with the conference’s theme, this discussion paper explores the resilience of the Australian VET sector and how it can continue to foster adaptability in the face of ongoing change’.

The Digital Transformation of Education : Connecting Schools, Empowering Learners

2020. Ana Sepúlveda [UNESCO]. ‘The Broadband Commission Working Group on School Connectivity was launched in September 2019 with the goal of addressing the global school connectivity challenge. Over the past year, the Working Group shared experiences, examined innovative ideas and documented case studies to help countries address this issue. Discussions looked at ways to better understand the school connectivity landscape and requirements, evaluate the benefits of different technologies for different environments and analyse business and financial models, as well as suitable content articulating connectivity with quality, safe and inclusive learning. Using schools as an access point to provide meaningful connectivity to communities and citizens was another key driver behind the efforts of the Working Group.The Working Group provided advice for the development of two global initiatives aimed at connecting schools to the Internet : Giga, a joint initiative between ITU and UNICEF to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice; and UNESCO’s e-schools Initiative, which seeks to ensure the value for learning of connectivity and to align infrastructure investment with education sector plans and ICT in education policies’.

The Role of Universities, Roundtable Report

2019. On 31 August 2019, Victoria University hosted a Roundtable with 40 leaders from the tertiary education, government, industry and not-for-profit sectors, to discuss this changing role. The Roundtable was part of the centenary celebrations for Sir Zelman Cowen, a visionary leader in Australian tertiary education whose openness to innovation remained vibrant throughout his lifetime. The Roundtable reached agreement on one overarching idea : the need to achieve a more coherent, yet still differentiated, tertiary education system. There was considerable passion among the group for diversity in tertiary education, but also for greater coherence between provision options, including university, vocational education and training, and emerging models. There was also broad agreement on responses to the five issues that were posed to the group. These were - Participation in tertiary education must continue to grow; Pathways and credit were seen as important mechanisms for improving coherence in the tertiary education sector; Work and job readiness issues generated a lot of discussion, especially about generic or general skills, and work-integrated learning; Financing challenges are closely linked to the need to grow participation; and Innovation was embraced as critical, including the need for more diversity in university provision. Worth reading.

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