Parents and Education in NSW

Recently I overheard a conversation between parents in a bookshop. They were struggling to understand NAPLAN, “minimum standards” and what a “band 8” actually meant in the context of the Higher School Certificate. Neither were able to help each other. Announced by former education minister Adrian Piccoli in 2016, the policy required Year 9 students […]

George Orwell and William Shakespeare

George Orwell aka Eric Blair (1903-50) is now clearly second only to Shakespeare in the pantheon of English literary giants. In our current contemporary context, where hyperbole is coin of the realm, such an opening claim would seem worthy of challenge. Who would you throw into this literary ring to fight such a bout? TS […]

#MyHouseofSky #JABaker #review and my #reading in December

“There is no mysterious essence we can call a ‘place’. Place is change. It is motion killed by the mind, and preserved in the amber of memory.”  JA Baker “There is an animal mystery in the light that sets upon the fields like a frozen muscle that will flex and wake at sunrise.”  JA Baker Some […]

A Baker’s Dozen: Most Enjoyable Reads of 2017

Reviewing the books read or re-read in 2017, I chose the thirteen (sic) most satisfying reading experiences for the year. In other words, I reflected on how much stimulation and pleasure was felt sitting with the book – and why. If you have the patience, the following slideshow will countdown for this year. The rest […]

Dæmon Voices #review and my #reading in November

Philip Pullman’s Dæmon Voices – Essays on Storytelling is pleasurable reading for English teachers, students, writers and anyone who loves stories. Best known for the trilogy, His Dark Materials, Pullman has a deep, highly practical understanding of what it takes to craft a story to delight both novice and experienced teachers of writing. His obvious […]

MyData: Personalising the Curriculum

Recently I presented DNA: Personalising the Curriculum at the WHAT IF? Embracing complexity through curriculum conference which has reinvigorated my belief that we need to make some profoundly important changes to our approach to educating young people about their “personal data”. I asked the question: what if school empowered students to understand & use personal data? Students should be well-educated about […]

#TheirBrilliantCareers #review and my #reading in September

“Actually, most of my previous publications listed in ‘Their Brilliant Careers’ are made up! It’s all part of the joke. The only real one is ‘The Weight of a Human Heart.’” “…as much as I love Australian literature and hope my fondness…comes thru in the book, it does tend to take itself a bit seriously […]

‘The Cult of Hattie’: ‘wilful blindness’?

“There is a science to learning and we are finding out more and more about what works best to support the learning processes that make a difference for your learners.“ Advertising for a Visible Learning symposium at the Australian Council for Educational Leadership (ACEL) website “Assisting practising teachers to maximise their impact on student learning […]

Reflections: Occasional Papers #AI #education #21stcenturyskills #NSWDoE

“As part of the Education for a Changing World project, the NSW Department of Education has established the Education: Future Frontiers Occasional Paper Series. The series will bring together essays commissioned by the department from distinguished Australian and international authors to stimulate debate and discussion about Artificial Intelligence (AI), education and 21st century skill needs.” […]

Digging even deeper

The following article was originally published in the May 2017 edition of Family Tree Magazine.  Henry Carroll (1812-74) was largely a mystery when I wrote the original Digging Deeper article exploring his wife’s life published by this venerable magazine in September 2015. I knew Henry was married to Jane Guillod (1804-79) but did not have a marriage or birth certificate […]

#UtopiaforRealists #review and my #reading in May

Consider this: The word utopia means both “good place” and “no place.” What we need are alternative horizons that spark the imagination. And I do mean horizons in the plural; conflicting utopias are the lifeblood of democracy, after all. …in the revolutionary year of 1968, when young demonstrators the world over were taking to the […]

Asia Education Foundation: Australia-India #BRIDGEprogram2017

Cultural exchange is a very important value for the school I serve. “A Wider World View” is encouraged through hosting guests, especially from our region of Asia, as well as travelling overseas. This year we have students and educators from Indonesia, Korea and India involved in exchange projects. This week the Australia–India BRIDGE School Partnerships Project flowered […]

The Handmaid’s Tale #review and my #reading in April

“Our big mistake was teaching them to read. We won’t do that again.” The Handmaid’s Tale p. 307 I suspected re-reading The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood prior to viewing the Tribeca film festival premiere of the new tv series was potentially risky. It is such a great book that this latest adaption – and there have been many – could […]

#Bookstores in New York City #NYC #bookshops

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”  Neil Gaiman “You’re the only person I’ve ever met who can stand a bookstore as long as I can. A smarty-pants, the kind you […]

The Green Bell #review and my #reading in March

This is my madness, and I can’t tell it as it is. Madness is anti-story, anti-chronology, anti-plot, anti-character. It breaks language. It throws mud in the face. It makes story impossible. The minds within the mind won’t let me be. I know Michael in my soul while at the same time I don’t know him […]

HSC English: Letter to NESA

Recently I received a letter from English educators concerned about the changes to the Higher School Certificate. Many readers of this blog are passionate English teachers and I publish the concerns expressed by Associate Professor Jackie Manuel, Dr Don Carter and Janet Dutton below for your consideration. Dear colleagues and friends, We’re writing because we need […]

1 2 3 4 26