There has been some discussion in UK papers throughout the past week about the value of reading for pleasure in a child's education. The discussion came about as a result of a survey of 400 teachers conducted by Pearson.
Children with short attention spans 'failing to read books' By Graeme Paton, Education Editor 20 Jun 2012
Growing numbers of children are being turned off books by the end of primary school because of the influence of the internet and lack of reading in the home, according to research.
More than four-in-10 teachers said children failed to read for pleasure at the age of 11, it emerged.
The study – by the publisher Pearson – found that many schools fear children have short attention spans and prefer to spend time online rather than reading a novel.
Koori students lag in national tests Jewel Topsfield June 27, 2012
UP TO 20 per cent of Koori students fail national literacy and numeracy tests even though Victoria does not have remote, disadvantaged indigenous communities like other states.
A report says Victoria is an ''outlier'' in showing almost no improvement in NAPLAN failure rates, despite federal targets to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy between indigenous and non-indigenous students by 2018.
Only Queensland and Western Australia are making significant progress towards meeting the target, with the number of indigenous students failing NAPLAN tests increasing in all other states.
This Radio National program raises issues about indigenous literacy. Jeanie Adams of Black Ink Press in Townsville, Northern Queensland, talks about some of the reasons for low literacy among many indigenous Australians. One of her key arguments is that indigenous youth/students are not well represented in fiction novels, therefore are unlikely to engage in reading. The link to the program is here.
New census figures show that closing the education gap is still a long way off for Indigenous Australians. By Nicholas Biddle, Australian National University AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the first batch of its 2011 census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the numbers on Australia’s population: how we live, where we work, who our families are and how we spend our time. Here, economist and demographer Nicholas Biddle looks at Australia’s Indigenous population as it stands in 2011, and how far from “Closing the Gap” we really are.
The 1990s was supposed to be the “reconciliation decade”. Despite 250,000-300,000 Australians walking across the Harbour Bridge twelve years ago, it is clear that many of the aims of the movement have not been met.
Smartest students are giving up in boredom By: CHIP LE GRAND From: The Australian June 21, 2012
GIFTED and talented students are frustrated, disengaged and failed by an education system that offers an inadequate and ad hoc approach to teaching the smartest kids, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry has found. A year-long examination of how gifted students are taught in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools identified shortcomings in how they are identified, the absence of any statewide, systematic approach and an imbalance in the resources and programs offered between schools and particularly in regional areas.
"This report demonstrates that failure to provide appropriately for gifted students in the school environment can have severe and devastating consequences," it warns. "Understimulated gifted students may be bored and frustrated at school. They may exhibit behavioural problems or even disengage from education entirely. A concerning number of gifted students dumb themselves down to fit in at school, while those who don't may experience social isolation or even bullying."
Teaching course standards too low: NSW Minister Posted June 19, 2012 10:18:58 New South Wales Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has criticised teaching standards, saying too many students with low marks are being accepted into teaching courses.
Mr Piccoli will outline his concerns today at an education conference at the University of New England. The Minister, a former teacher himself, has questioned whether universities are attracting the best students.
"We do take students as undergraduates with quite low ATARs [Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks], particularly compared to other professions like law and engineering," he said. "[ATARs] in the 50s, I am aware that that's the case, and to be honest that's a score that's a bit too low."
Mr Piccoli says there are around 5,000 teaching graduates each year, but the state's Department of Education only employs around 500 of them in public schools.
I came across this web page below earlier today and thought that it made some good suggestions for technology for teachers. The list of categories on the left-hand side can help you navigate through the pages.
What do you think about the suggestions? Have you tried using any of the sites they discuss?
Better pay leads to better teachers Lawrence Ingvarson June 18, 2012 This article by Dr Lawrence Ingvarson, principal research fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research, argues that industrial negotiations over teacher pay are paying little attention to research on what really matters — ensuring a high-quality teaching profession capable of attracting its share of the ablest graduates and recognising teachers who reach high standards.
He uses countries such as Finland and South Korea as an example. For example, whereas Finland selects all of its future teachers from the top 25 per cent of the student cohort in terms of academic achievement, in Australia less than 50 per cent of offers are made to students from the top 30 per cent of the year 12 cohort. Further, teaching is rated Finland's "most respected" profession, and primary school teaching its most sought-after career. Some point out that pay is not the reason, as teacher salaries are similar to those in other European countries. However, on delving deeper, the important point about Finland is that teacher salaries are comparable to other professions...
Ning's fabulous flexibility Q. I’ve used Ning for professional learning and would like to set one up for my students. A. Many teachers are keen to create online collaborative lessons using social media in order to increase student learning, motivation and class participation.
However, a growing question they have is ‘How do I go about setting one up?’
Creating an online working space on a social media site (aka social networking site) is quite simple. There are ample social networking sites that you can use, but Ning is becoming increasingly popular with teachers due to its simplistic establishment and with students due to its likeness with Facebook.