Teacher Central

by Leanne Morgan at 7:50 PM
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While the following article is not specifically related to education, I thought that it might be of interest to teachers nonetheless. Let me know what you think.

What young people fear most - and it's not the environment
December 5, 2012
Rachel Browne
Sun-Herald journalist

FORGET trees. The biggest concern for the next generation is finding a job to support their families.
The economy has overtaken the environment as the most pressing concern for the young, according to a survey of 15,000 people aged 15 to 19.

The environment was the top national concern in the past two National Youth Surveys conducted by Mission Australia but its 11th annual report found it had slipped to sixth place this year, with only 17.5 per cent of respondents saying it was the most important issue facing the country, compared with 37.4 per cent who made the same comment last year....
by Leanne Morgan at 9:20 PM
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Teachers unlock tweet smell of success
November 12, 2012
Ainslie MacGibbon and Elisabeth Tarica.

WHILE our leaders nut out what innovations are needed to elevate Australia's schools into the top five on the international league table by 2025, something more collaborative is already happening – on Twitter.

Educators in Australia and around the world are finding each other on the microblogging network to converse, exchange ideas and conduct research. Some argue this grassroots conversation will contribute significantly to improving what goes on in our classrooms. Others question how this is possible in 140 characters.

A common misconception is that Twitter aggregates only banal snippets – what my pet dog just ate, for example – while the utility of the site as a professional tool is overlooked. Yet many educators were "early adopters", and a growing number use Twitter as an integral part of their personal learning network (or PLN). At times education-related topics – or hashtags, such as #edchat, #edfocus and #edreform – are among the most discussed topics on Twitter worldwide....
by Leanne Morgan at 9:03 PM
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School leavers dropping out of workforce, education: COAG
By chief political correspondent Simon Cullen
Updated Wed Nov 14, 2012

The proportion of school leavers in work or enrolled in further education has fallen, despite the Government's continued focus on skills and training.

The figures have prompted concern that there is a growing cohort of young Australians missing out on economic and social opportunities.

According to the latest report prepared by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council, 72.5 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds were either in work, further education or training in 2011.

That is a significant drop on the 2008 figures, when the proportion was 76.3 per cent.

Read more:...
by Leanne Morgan at 8:31 PM
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Triple J's Hack show on Monday, 29th October discussed Julia Gillard's Asian Century white paper. The blurb was as follows:

Will you embrace the Asian century? The PM says it's where you need to look for your future to get the best job. With a growing Asian middle class, Julia Gillard says Australia should position itself to take advantage but that means doing some serious work. We can't just rely on our minerals to get by according to the Asian century white paper, more of you need to learn Asian languages starting in schools and live and work in Asia. Plus all your calls and texts on whether we should embrace Asia to get ahead.

This program is unique because it seeks to explore issues from young people's perspectives. The link to the program is here: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/daily/hack_mon_2012_10_29.mp3
by Leanne Morgan at 8:39 PM
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This video has been around for a while, but I've just come across it again and it still gets me thinking.

by Leanne Morgan at 8:36 PM
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Have you heard of TeachMeets? Do you use Twitter? The article below provides some interesting insights into TeachMeets. It's worth looking into the value of Twitter as a teacher collaboration tool. It's great to follow other educators throughout the world and to learn from their ideas and experience. Have you attended a TeachMeet before? Was it a positive experience for you?

A teachers' show and tell: professional learning unplugged
By Tony Loughland – Senior Lecturer in Education at University of Sydney
25 October 2012, 6.34am AEST

It’s been a long time since I have been in a pub at 10.30am but that’s where you would have found me last Saturday at the Great Northern Hotel in Chatswood, Sydney.

I wasn’t there to get on the punt or have a middy of black to settle the hippy shakes but to be part of a teacher professional learning phenomena called TeachMeet. Twenty teachers turned up on a cold, wet Saturday morning to learn from each other in a convivial atmosphere in the back room of a pub in front of the fire....
by Leanne Morgan at 9:14 PM
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An interesting article and radio excerpt on the relevance of homework, particularly focusing on primary school students. The study found that homework has greatest value when it requires a social element. What do you think?

Study finds homework has limited value
By Rachel Carbonell
New research has found that homework is of little value to primary school children, and students are regularly given too much.

Australian academics Richard Walker and Mike Horsley's new book Reforming Homework says homework for young primary school children is of little or no value when it comes to academic achievement.
The book reviews international research on the subject and concludes that the quality of the homework that is set is more important than the quantity.

Associate Professor Walker, of the University of Sydney, admits that homework can be a touchy subject.
"There's a lot of disagreement, I have to say. But the consensus findings would essentially be homework's not very beneficial for primary school kids, very limited benefits for junior high school kids, and reasonable benefits for senior high school kids," he...
by Leanne Morgan at 8:52 PM
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I came across the story below. Some might say it is a 'feel good' story, but others may disagree. What do you think? Can you think of a teacher who inspired you? Why did they inspire you? Perhaps your story may inspire other teachers...

"Great teachers change lives"
October 24, 2012 - 9:40AM
Tanya Plibersek
A couple of weeks ago, the Prime Minister launched a competition for people to tell the story of their favourite teacher.

My only problem was picking just one: I was a pretty odd and nerdy child, and the self esteem I got from the teachers who took an interest in me changed my life.

One of the things that all of my favourite teachers had in common was that they had high expectations of their students, and they well and truly went beyond the call of duty.

They were at their desks before school, after school, during holidays – for no other reason than a deep love of their job. They took on professional development opportunities that helped their students – like doing HSC marking or...
by Leanne Morgan at 9:05 PM
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The following program was broadcast on Radio National on Sunday, 14th October 2012.


Dr Judy Willis applies new knowledge in neuroscience to develop better learning strategies for children. She's found that using video games can be a powerful way to engage young people in effective and enjoyable learning, and mindfulness plays a part too. These techniques are also being employed in the Shaping Brains program in Queensland with some encouraging results.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/how-children-learn-best/4297754

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.
by Leanne Morgan at 7:37 PM
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School of 45,000 named world's biggest
Posted Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:51am AEDT

The first day in class for any new pupil can be an overwhelming experience, so imagine arriving for lessons as one of 45,000 pupils on the roll-call of the world's biggest school.

The latest edition of Guinness World Records awards the title to the City Montessori School in the Indian city of Lucknow, with 39,437 registered pupils in the 2010-2011 academic year.

The school says enrolment numbers have already risen above 45,000, with 2,500 teachers, 3,700 computers, 1,000 classrooms - and one of the hardest first XI cricket teams to break into.

CMS, as it is known, was opened by Jagdish Gandhi and his wife Bharti in 1959 with a loan of 300 rupees ($5.50 at current rates) and just five pupils.

Today it sprawls over 20 sites in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, and is as famous for its exam results and international exchange programs as for its...