The Education Reform Journey in New South Wales

 Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, Minister for Education, New South Wales, Australia (Pages 96 to 106)

In NSW (Australia), the State Government is devolving authority from the central bureaucracy out to local schools to harness the power of principals as individual leaders, whilst retaining the benefits that come from being part of a system of public schools, united by the values and policies of public education. These measures are part of a new vision for schooling in New South Wales public schools.



Teacherpreneurs and the Future of Teaching & Learning

Barnett Berry, Center for Teaching Quality, Carrboro, NC, USA (Pages 25 to 34)

Over the last three decades, a steady stream of empirical evidence has shown that teachers are the most crucial in-school factor for student learning.[i]  In top-performing nations like Singapore and Finland, policymakers have invested in teachers, both in their preparation and cultivation as leaders of school reform. However, in other nations like the United States (where students do not fare as well as on international measures of academic performance), policymakers have tried to improve teaching by focusing primarily on firing teachers assumed to be “bad” and recruiting teachers assumed to be “better.”[ii]  And although other nations, like Australia, are following this same policy blueprint, it is clear from international studies of teaching quality that these strategies are not the most effective improving student learning.[iii] Meanwhile, the stakes are getting higher for students and the context is becoming more challenging for both teachers and administrators.  This article explores this circumstance and introduces the concept of the ‘teacherpreneur’ and examines the future of teaching and learning.


Guiding Policy:  Separating the wood from the trees

John Abbott Director, The 21st Century Learning Initiative, United Kingdom.  (Pages  7 to 245)

John Abbott, globally acclaimed education thinker, poses a challenge: What kind of education do you feel is appropriate for what kind of a world? As academics, can you help your countrymen see the wood for the trees? It really is over to everyone with the power to think through these issues to give your country, and others, the necessary intellectual lead to overcome generations of inertia, and sloppy compromises.  Abbott explores the premise of this challenge in this article.



Is it ‘teaching’ or just another broadcast channel that students are trying to tune into?

Professor David Lynch and Professor Richard Smith, Southern Cross University,  Australia (Pages 47 to 62)

This article is about a phenomenon playing out in modern day classroom under the guise of ‘teaching’. This phenomena we term ‘knowledge broadcasting’ and while it has the hallmarks of what people have come to expect happens in classrooms, its continuance as a mainstay ‘teaching’ approach is reflective of how teachers have failed to act on increasing understandings about how people learn and how teachers can best teach. This is not so much a criticism of teachers individually but a reflection of how organised / systemic teaching systems have failed to keep pace with increasing understandings about teaching and learning. We ask what then is teaching? This article uses the premise of an education metaphor to explore this question.




Chasing Social Change: Matters of Concern and the Mattering Practice of Educational Research

Parlo Singh and Kathryn Glasswell Griffith Institute for Educational Research and School of Education and Professional Studies Griffith University, Mt Gravatt campus, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Pages 162 to 183)

University-based education researchers are increasingly expected to collaborate and partner with schools to produce improvements in student learning outcomes. In this paper we describe a school-university partnership project which used smart tools to facilitate collaborative pedagogic inquiries around student learning. In the Smart Education Partnership (SEP) project we worked with a cluster of 12 schools and a local education district office in a high poverty urban area of Queensland, Australia. We were chasing the illusive goals of generating social change to disrupt educational disadvantage. We worked with teachers, school leaders and school district administrators to design pedagogic interventions that would lift students’ reading comprehension and disrupt cycles of educational under-achievement. Here we describe the formation of the initial partnership and the struggles to develop peer-to-peer knowledge networks across university and school spaces. We also describe the data visualisation tools, one set of smart tools generated to focus inquiry around student learning and innovative pedagogic designs. We draw on three sets of concepts to think about this work: (i) matters of fact, (ii) matters of concern, and (ii) the mattering practice of research to intervene and make a material difference in people’s lives through new worldly configurations (Latour, 2004; Barad, 2007).



Innovation in an Emasculated Profession: Please Ma’am, can we have some more blokes teaching in Primary Schools?

Dr. Mark Sinclair, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and Kevin McGrath, Macquarie University, Australia  (Pages 142 to 161)

This paper argues there is a need for more men and ‘blokes’ in the Primary School teaching workforce. The argument is supported with reference to recent data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) about overall student academic performance among Australian students and the contributing effect of poor classroom management. It is also supported by data derived from research undertaken with parents and Year 6 Primary School students in Sydney, Australia.





Building Teacher Capacity: A Job Embedded Approach

Dr Jake Madden, Principal, St Augustine’s Primary School, Coffs Harbour, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Southern Cross University, Australia. (Pages 63 to 77)

The rapidly evolving nature of technology and the ease of access to all students to internet driven programs has seen a major shift in the ways schools engage students in learning. This has seen a movement towards the creation of flexible learning spaces to accommodate new pedagogies. Consequently, the new learning environments that students find themselves in today are also the same new environments that teachers are working in. 



Perverse Compassion and Mediocrity in Australian Schools: Time for vouchers?

Dr Mark Sinclair, University of Technology Sydney, Australia (Pages 130 to 141)

Education debate in Australia has become mired in an ideological contest between proponents and critics of State and non-government schooling respectively. This paper proposes a system of school vouchers as a means to both breaking this deadlock and improving the situation of Australia’s least advantaged school students. The paper points out contradictions in well-intentioned social justice initiatives aimed at the latter goal and highlights grounds in both Labor and Coalition philosophy and practice that suggest school vouchers are an acceptable alternative to current school funding arrangements.



Distance Education and the Application of Academagogy: A Case Study

Marisha McAuliffe and Abigail Winter, Queensland University of Technology, Australia (Pages 78 to 95)

The education sector has dramatically changed in the past half decade. In a time of globalisation of education and tightening budgets, various paradigm shifts and challenges have rapidly changed learning and teaching. These include: meeting student expectation for more engaging, more interactive learning experiences, the increased focus to deliver content online, and the complexities of fast-changing technologies. Rising to these challenges and responding to them is a complex and multi-faceted task. This paper discusses educational theories and issues and explores current educational practices in the context of teaching undergraduate students via distance education in the university context. A case study applies a framework drawn from engineering education using the learner-centric concept of academagogy. Results showed that academagogy actively empowers students to build effective learning, and engages facilitators in meaningful teaching and delivery methods. 



Teachers as Researchers: The impact of a partnership innovation

Ken Sell, Shen Wai International School, China (Pages  107 to 129)

This paper reports an innovative organisational learning and development program  that was produced through an existing partnership between state schools, an education authority and a university. The program was designed to assist the education authority achieve its strategic objectives through the development of an agile and capable workforce. This aim, in turn, necessitated a change in the existing rationale and delivery of the learning and development programs delivered by that organisation.



Effects of E-content Strategy and its Interaction Among Students

Belonging to Different Intelligence Groups

Dr. Suman Rani, Assistant Professor, Govt. College of Education, Sector-20D, Chandigarh  (Pages 35 to 46)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of E-Content treatment, intelligence, and their interaction on achievement in science by considering pre-achievement in science as covariate. The E-Content in the integrated form of text, graphics, animation, audio, video, and interactivity for class VI science was developed by the investigator. The independent variables were E-Content strategy and Conventional strategy of teaching science. The intervening variable was intelligence. The control variables were nature of school, grade level, and subject taught. The dependent variable was achievement in science. It was a Pre-test Post-test control group design. Data collected were analysed using t-test and ANCOVA. Results showed that the E-Content has improved science achievement significantly higher in comparison to conventional strategy when groups were matched on Pre-achievement in Science. Further, a significant effect of interaction between treatment and intelligence was found on achievement in Science when Pre-achievement in Science was taken as covariate. On the whole for both Above Average Intelligence as well as Below Average Intelligence students E-Content was the most suitable when groups were matched in respect of Pre-Achievement in Science. However, E-Content strategy was more beneficial to Below Average Intelligence students when Pre-Achievement in Science was taken as covariate.



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