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Education

Submitted by John Pratt on April 18, 2011 - 10:23pm.
The Big History Project
History should be at the core of all education. Without an understanding of our incredible history - the story of life - life itself can become meaningless. We must realise that we are a tiny part of a very big picture. Our future is unlimited. Our ancestors understood the need for stories of origin. Now more than ever we need to pass on to the coming generations an incredible story based on truth.
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on June 8, 2009 - 7:59am.
The Bradley Report into higher education: A recipe for disaster
The commodification of tertiary education means something much worse than that subjects, disciplines, awards and faculties will sink or swim on the number of customers they attract. Commodification changes the very nature of what is exchanged. As Noble notes, when education is commodified, concern is shifted from the experience of the people involved in an educational process to the production of what he puts in scare quotes as ‘course materials’...
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on May 16, 2009 - 12:54pm.
Imperialism and the commodification of education
It is precisely this idea [describing education as a product] which bedevils the current debate on education, I would argue, for this kind of conception is an essential part of the current pursuit of economic uniformity. Education is seen in this context not just as a product but as a product produced for exchange. In other words, education is reduced to a commodity.
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Submitted by Yichen Zhu on May 4, 2009 - 5:55pm.
Fare you go – granting travel concessions benefits both students and the State Government
It’s strange that just when Australia’s education system is crying out for more full-fee paying international students, the NSW government is continuously discriminating against them. While travel concession is generally provided to students, I am not getting it – because I am an international student. This means I’m paying twice more each week to get to and from uni.
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on April 28, 2009 - 2:55pm.
Halbbildung: Imperialism and education
This is Halbbildung: it is not half-education but the denial of education. Each step in the dismantling of the system through which I was educated, each step in the process from education to Halbbildung, has been marked by the rhetoric of standards and testing. With the implementation of each review standards plunged further into the depths of Halbbildung. Good luck! Get all the private education for your kiddies that you can. It’s not going to make any difference.
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on April 26, 2009 - 2:04pm.
The dance of change
Many of the postings on this site discuss problems and solutions. Much of these discussions are about radical change. This thread seeks to contextualise the broader discussions by outlining a model of five types of problem solving: doing nothing; bombing the bejesus out of it; throwing money at it; continuous improvement; and disruptive innovation.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 8, 2009 - 3:35pm.
We are all in this together: A jobs and training compact with Australia
I am here to issue a national call to arms: and that is for the nation to bind together as one in a national campaign against unemployment. While government must take the lead, everyone has a part to play. And our end point is clear: to do whatever it takes at the global, national and local level to support local jobs and to help those who lose their jobs to retrain and to find a new job. (Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on March 26, 2009 - 10:46am.
Educating our kids
Reading, ’riting and ‘rithmetic are not the objectives of an education system. Rather, they are by-products. What an education system must primarily do is foster a love of learning – the skills and attributes that a child learning to walk has, but appears to lose with age.
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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on December 16, 2008 - 10:28pm.
Saving the World Part 2: Literacy
Malthus was wrong as demographers well know. It’s well known that the projections Malthus made of the English population failed to unfold, and the steep upward curve of population plateaued and now actually creeps downward, not just in England but in many parts of the World.  We know perfectly well what the key factor is in causing that plateau, and it’s not affluence as such, it’s not telling the Catholics to shut up (Ireland and Italy have among the lowest fertility rates in the World), it’s not giving out free condoms and abortions, it’s not an authoritarian imposition of small families, and it has nothing to do with immigration. It’s teaching women to read.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 26, 2008 - 1:07pm.
Leading transformational change in schools
I want nothing short of transformational change in Australia’s schools. Let’s be honest. Current achievement levels are simply not good enough in too many schools. Australia still performs well in international studies. But we do not achieve as highly as we should or could. Our performance at the higher levels of achievement is static or declining. And our persistent tail of low achievement, associated as it is with socioeconomic disadvantage, is too long. (Julia Gillard)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 21, 2008 - 11:03am.
The commodification of child care: ABC Learning
Child care in Australia is in desperate need of an overhaul. The crisis that we are seeing with ABC Learning Centres is simply the tip of the iceberg. For years and years, we have seen the child-care sector in Australia being taken over by profiteers and being seen as an industry. Child care should be seen as an essential service. (Senator Hanson-Young)
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Submitted by Feifei Guo on November 3, 2008 - 8:56pm.
When the purpose of overseas study becomes immigration
As an international student, it’s time for me to make a decision as to whether I should stay in Australia or go back to China. International students who study full time for two years can apply for Skilled Migration, but ... although I enjoy my life here, however, I am still struggling because I miss my parents so much and I really want to go back.
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Submitted by Xin Ma on September 28, 2008 - 12:34pm.
Sydney-Melbourne
Melbourne is on track to take over from Sydney as Australia’s city of the future. While Melbourne is planning to cut the number of cars, introduce a city bicycle rental system, built more affordable housing and increase public transport, the NSW government is abandoning Sydney’s infrastructure improvement. Economic growth in Melbourne has been double that of Sydney in the past 12 months...
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Submitted by Jillian Wolfe on September 19, 2008 - 2:04pm.
It’s not as easy as “ABC”?
It’s easy to ignore a broken bank as just another greedy institution and that deserves their demise. Not so when you are the nations largest childcare provider to hundreds of thousands of working families. The challenge here is whether the government should intervene and nationalise a private sector entity to ensure delivery of a vital piece of social infrastructure.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on June 19, 2008 - 1:44pm.
The NT Intervention one year on: Brilliant idea or utter nightmare?
The document ..., entitled 'Northern Territory Emergency Response Situation Report as at 1500 hrs Wed 14th May 08', paints a picture of an incomplete roll out of the Northern Territory Intervention, an emergency response that Mal Brough recently admitted to ABC Darwin radio was put together in 48 hours. (Sophie Black, Crikey)
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Submitted by David Roffey on April 17, 2008 - 10:35am.
"Dear Mr Rudd" - nothing needed on Welfare or Education?
Robert Manne's collection Dear Mr Rudd: Ideas for a Better Australia covers some interesting ground, if relatively superficially (or "readable", according to the blurb). But what I find more interesting is what it doesn't cover.
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Submitted by Evan Hadkins on December 8, 2007 - 9:34am.
Thinking about the future may be revolutionary
Every child that enters kindergarten embarks on a process that is meant to prepare them for active participation in our culture. Education is an embodied vision of the future. Thinking about the future really could lead to an “Education Revolution”.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 14, 2007 - 3:50pm.
PM elect Rudd strips John naked
"Monday’s feeding frenzy of expenditure would actually make inflationary pressures worse. Mr Howard spent nearly $10 billion on Monday.  Trying to buy his way out of political trouble.  And he did so little more than an hour after the Reserve Bank of Australia issued its monetary policy statement warning of rising inflationary pressures. Today I am saying loud and clear that this sort of reckless spending must stop. The commitments I announce today will cost less than one quarter of those Mr Howard announced on Monday. Furthermore, the commitments I am making today are exclusively directed at tackling the skills shortage, tackling infrastructure bottlenecks and acting on Australia’s environmental and economic challenges." Kevin Rudd, PM elect
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 12, 2007 - 10:18am.
Time to rebalance people power in OUR Parliament
We take this opportunity to urge all political parties to commit to the establishment of an independent and comprehensive review of the operation of ministerial accountability so as to modernise and strengthen it. This is a matter that transcends party politics. It goes to the very heart of the way we are governed.
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Submitted by Evan Hadkins on November 11, 2007 - 7:41pm.
Evan's Walk against Warming
Sydney: According to the media 28,000.  A surprisingly good turn out because it seemed to be poorly publicised this year.  I heard about it through Facebook.
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Submitted by Evan Hadkins on September 26, 2007 - 12:00pm.
Consistently good?
In the Future of Schooling in Australia Report, launched by Victorian Premier John Brumby today, the states have for the first time agreed to uniform reporting of school results. It also commits the states to a national curriculum - initially for the core subjects of English, maths and science.
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Submitted by Evan Hadkins on September 17, 2007 - 10:13pm.
Revolutionary? As in: the wheel goes round again
Mr Rudd: "Today I commit to the establishment of a new national institution, Skills Australia, to deal with the nation's critical skills needs." It will be an independent statutory body of seven members who will include: economists, business leaders, academics and training providers. It will be "advising government on the future skills needs of the nation" and also act as "a funnel for research on skills for it to be handed to government."
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on August 2, 2007 - 3:32pm.
Andrews' July end fools joke
"Never has there been a more prescient time for Australia, as one of the world’s most stable democracies, to protect and secure its future by redoubling its commitment to the traditions, values and institutions that have made this nation what it is today. These civic values are fundamental to the successful existence of a liberal democracy and we should never forget that they are principles to be cherished and protected." Kevin Andrews!
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Submitted by Roger Fedyk on July 24, 2007 - 11:07am.
'Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change'
It is tempting to lay the blame on Howard and his government for what has been done in our name but, at the end of the day, it is the Australian public with whom much of the fault lies. We have been gullible and self-absorbed. As a nation, we do not really take the threat of global warming seriously. The disengagement by the public at large has allowed our politicians of both major political persuasions to give our big polluters a free ride.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 12, 2007 - 4:45pm.
The dissidents' alternative plan for NT Aborigines
At last! I've just noticed that an alternative plan to Howard's plan to solve child abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities has been proposed.  It's by the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the NT. Now we've got 2 plans to compare. What do you think?
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 12, 2007 - 1:05pm.
Like this political ad - or not
Hello.  I've been off line for five days traveling with a friend from the South visiting her friends and mine and chilling out. Thank you, thank you to Fiona, Richard and David for keeping comments ticking along. I hope everyone is content at how Webdiary is traveling but if not, let me know in the comments box.
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on February 14, 2007 - 12:03am.
How Will Tomorrow’s Scientists Learn?
Informal learning implies a messy, unruly, and potentially subversive process. But it also promises to nurture the creative ferment in which great science thrives.
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on July 10, 2006 - 8:08am.
India's Illiterate Revolution

"Any Indian able to read this article should consider himself lucky, because India’s politicians have succeeded in keeping a majority of the country’s population thoroughly illiterate (as well as poor and unhealthy). Instead of providing quality elementary education for all, our policymakers are more concerned with enacting caste-based measures aimed at short-term political gains.": Arindam Chaudhuri

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Submitted by Ralf Dahrendorf on June 14, 2006 - 6:54pm.
Universities: Renaissance or Decay?

" 'Europe’s universities, taken as a group, are failing to provide the intellectual and creative energy that is required to improve the continent’s poor economic performance.' This dramatic statement introduces a new pamphlet whose subtitle, “Renaissance or Decay,” I have borrowed for this reflection. What they say about Europe probably applies to most other parts of the world as well, though not to the United States." Ralf Dahrendorf

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Submitted by M. F. McAuliffe on April 29, 2006 - 7:37am.
Howard and post modernism

"Keeping Arundhati Roy in her place - out of school, out of print, on the street - is not simply a case of not being able to see past appearances. Postmodernism contends that war and politics arrange appearances in hierarchies of value/acceptability to justify the way the world's goods are divided." M. F. McAuliffe

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