Drawing #mindset #grit #resilience #flow #learning

I cannot draw. This has been my mindset since about 8 years of age. Aged 48, I now understand how it came to be that “I cannot draw” and how this mindset (and inability) developed. So, why can’t I draw? More importantly, how can I do something about it? In second class my friend was […]

Reading for pleasure?

Twice a year at this blog I reflect on books read. While drafting that soon to be published post, I started thinking about how children become avid readers and how significant adults in their lives assist construction of this identity. I suspect that peers play a large part in this process but the ground must […]

Travelling with children: Prague and Vienna

Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. Miriam Beard Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.     Sigmund Freud If travel broadens the mind of an adult it must do something even more […]

Assessment for learning

“The teacher’s job is not to transmit knowledge, nor to facilitate learning. It is to engineer effective learning environments for the students. The key features of effective learning environments are that they create student engagement and allow teachers, learners, and their peers to ensure that the learning is proceeding in the intended direction. The only […]

Our Urgent Need for an Ethical Education

What ought one to do?      Socrates I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.      Albert Einstein A quiet conscience makes one strong!      Anne Frank Do you believe Australia has great need of […]

Learning a Living

“I want to do something I am interested in. I want to pursue my passions and live happily.” Quiia Cheng (17) “China is getting rich now. But if you look at the picture more closely, you’ll see that China is very unequal. So – how do we make society more equal? How do we divide […]

Great Teaching, Inspired Learning #2

A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing…invented in the 19th century, the process allowed rapid and accurate reproduction of documents used in construction and industry. The blue-print process was characterised by light colored lines on a blue background, a negative of the original. The process was unable to reproduce color or shades of grey.         […]

Learning how to learn

The narrative about learning at our school is changing and parents are increasingly in on the secret. Students are asking the question of their teachers: how do I learn how to learn (in this subject)? Parents are asking their children to explain to them what they are learning about learning too. One wonders what their answers […]

Travelling in Japan (Part III): Reflections and Highlights

“What must be admitted, very painfully, is that this was a disaster made in Japan…Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience, our reluctance to question authority, our devotion to ‘sticking to the program,’ our groupism, our insularity.”            Source I studied […]

ABC Splash…

“…is a new education website for Australia, packed with 100s of videos, audio clips and games. Totally free to watch and play at home and in school.” ABC Splash, a potentially very exciting resource to “help you teach and plan for the Australian Curriculum“, launched yesterday. Annabel Astbury, the Head of Digital Education at the ABC, explains […]

A New School

My friend hopes to move to Australia and work at an excellent school that is progressive, secular and innovative. Community is important and she wants an environment where intellectual, artistic and technological pursuits are nurtured; this school will genuinely value the individual living a socially conscious, creative life . She does not want ‘a factory’ approach […]

‘Great Teaching, Inspired Learning’ #1

cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by jfcherry The discussion paper at the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning website is likely to have some educators and community members reflecting about the future. Many others are too busy marking pen and paper Trial HSC exams, organising the 2013 timetable, enrolling Year 6 and the plethora of teaching, administrative and pastoral […]

ALARM (A Learning and Response Matrix) #1

When Max Woods distilled the core of his presentation about ALARM (A Learning and Response Matrix) for the 200 teachers at the Chifley hotel this week to – this is all about ‘learning how to learn’ and sharing – he certainly won my respect. Ostensibly the two days of professional development were about improving HSC results, […]

The Wrong Conversations

  Fairfax has signalled that the future is online Fairfax cuts 1900 jobs   Fairfax media, publishing the Sydney Morning Herald, since 1831, is the latest industry to be forced to change, perhaps too late, in response to the digital revolution. Many suggested the writing was on the wall 15 years ago and that tardiness, […]

Learning in Mudgee

One of the great joys of fatherhood is learning with your children, especially while travelling. We have more time to hangout, walk and talk when the usual routines are put aside for exploration of unfamiliar places. Everything is somehow new and the light different, more subtle. It is undeniably true that Time is needed for […]

All our jobs…

RE: Chris Betcher’s thoughtful post I believe that our whole community needs to take responsibility for learning, not just teachers. An excellent doctor is a must but just as important is a community that values good health and by holding this value, helps everyone on the right path towards that goal. Parents have a particular responsibility, […]

‘The New Science of the Teenage Brain’

The current October edition of National Geographic has an interesting article on the ‘teenage brain’. I do not usually buy this magazine but waiting for ferries in Hong Kong, and the incredibly inexpensive cover price compared with Australia, has led me to buy a couple recently for articles of ongoing interest. The New Science of the Teenage […]

The Education Revolution: Pledge

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore I am currently listen to the live stream from TEDxLondon of the #EducationRevolution. Here are the speakers and the Facebook page for the event. Sir Ken Robinson has just opened the conference with his usual inspiring clarity. His anecdote relating Peter Brook‘s beliefs regarding theatre, that you can strip almost everything […]

PISA and the Disadvantaged Student

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) causes a flurry of interest in educational and political circles when newspapers report the publicly released ‘rankings’, often highlighting the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ like some international sporting competition. Then all is seemingly forgotten, just when robust debate about our educational strategies is needed. Stephen Downes posted about this issue last year. The […]


On the road for more than a month now, I have not been paying as much attention to my social media networks as usual and was a little horrified to see that foolishly I had two Google+ accounts. That’s to0 many circles. How did this happen? A colleague needed my (not often used) Gmail account […]

Learning in Paris

The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is the biggest science museum in Europe, with the admirable goal, according to Wikipedia, of spreading ‘scientific and technical knowledge among the public, particularly for youth, and for creating public interest in science, research, and industry’. To be honest, it was my least favourite place in Paris but […]

Connected…or at least, connecting!

The department supports its employees’ participation in social media online applications such as social networking sites, wikis, blogs, microblogs, video and audio sharing sites and message boards that allow people to easily publish, share and discuss content. The above quote is the opening statement in the new Social Media Policy released by my employer, the NSW […]

Learning HDR Photography

It is always wonderful to have a fresh enthusiasm to share. HDR photography (or HDRI) is new to me and in the last weeks of the holidays I learnt much about this art. Just a few years ago it would have been very difficult for me to learn about this quickly as I do not know […]

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