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. Readers of my blog might remember an earlier post about Spencer, her… Read more“Toronto Superintendent Kathy Cowan visits Elsternwick.”

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, the deputy secretary of the Department [DEECD] gathers together all the principals… Read more“Get Smart – Open the Classroom Doors!”

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 question: If research suggests the greatest variance in student outcomes… Read more“Between Class Difference: Myth or Reality!”

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 we have had the same test across Australia. As expected… Read more“National Literacy and Numeracy Tests: Useful information or a waste of time?”

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 writing [i.e. text message or email] whilst 60% of them… Read more“Teen Writing – some positive research”

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 – clear cut. They can either demonstrate the skill to a… Read more“Teaching for Understanding”

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 there are 70,000 students and over 500 staff at Monash]… Read more“Mentoring at Monash University”

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 teachers do differ from experienced teachers …. most critically in… Read more“Leaders talking teaching and learning!”

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 well internationally.  However overall the results are not improving and there… Read more“2006 PISA results from an Australian Perspective”

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 as one in four Australian children are already overweight or… Read more“Weight tests for new prep students”