Category Archives: Reading

Toronto Superintendent Kathy Cowan visits Elsternwick.

On Wednesday 7/8/08 I was honoured to host Kathy Cowan a superintendent of a family of schools [SE6] in Toronto. I first met Kathy at Harvard University in 2006 and again in 2007 in Toronto when I visited a number of the family’s principals. … Continue reading

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Get Smart – Open the Classroom Doors!

One of the central themes of the Big Day Out this year was to “get smart and open the classrooms doors” so that instruction, which can often seen as private teacher business, can be seen and improved. Each year Darrell Fraser, … Continue reading

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Between Class Difference: Myth or Reality!

This week at our weekly leadership meeting we discussed a research article about an American school who number crunched student achievement over a 3 year period. This article really set us up for the weekly staff meeting where we were investigating the … Continue reading

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National Literacy and Numeracy Tests: Useful information or a waste of time?

   This week students in Years 3,5,7 and 9 are completing, for the first time, national tests in literacy and numeracy, NAPLAN. Whilst this has been common place in America, England and other countries its the first time in Australia … Continue reading

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Teen Writing – some positive research

  I was reading a recent research report titled: “Teens, Writing and the Internet”. The summary which I have linked makes for easy reading and quotes in my view some positive information: 85% of teens engage in social forms of … Continue reading

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Teaching for Understanding

Have you ever struggled with teaching or assessing growth in learners understandings – I do? It’s easier to teach and assess skills. I like the example many people give of coaching a sports team – you teach skills that are observable – … Continue reading

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Mentoring at Monash University

Yesterday at the invitation of a colleague I joined him at Monash University as he started a Masters in Education course.  As I walked from the car park I was struck by the both the number of students [I’m told … Continue reading

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Leaders talking teaching and learning!

At this week’s leadership meeting I set the context for our reading of John Hattie’s article on building teacher quality. The article lists a number of key strategies [e.g. feedback] that have the greatest effect size on student learning. It concludes: “expert … Continue reading

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2006 PISA results from an Australian Perspective

ACER has just published a national report on the PISA results from an Australian perspective. Schools from all sectors and states are selected to complete the tests. Overall the results are very good in scientific, reading and mathematics literacy and compare … Continue reading

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Weight tests for new prep students

The Federal Government has just released a plan to weigh children before they start school to try and crack down on obesity. The Health Minister, Nicola Roxon was reported to have said that the  condition had become a national responsibility … Continue reading

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Learning by Heart

  I’m currently rereading a book by Roland Barth titiled “Learning by Heart” which I think makes a number of relevant comments for me about school reform from a very practical perspective. I also think his quotes are great: e.g.  “Experience … Continue reading

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