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Archive for July, 2009

Just back from a short trip to Ubud, Bali. While I was surprised by the hordes of tourists swarming the streets, I managed to get away from it all and find some solitude……

Glorious rice fields that surround Ubud…

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IMG_5177Water lily…….

IMG_5277Hindu statue guarding an entrance…..

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Temple at Lake Batur…..

IMG_4810 Absolutely gorgeous!

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406285615_3030b971ef_mFound these two interesting articles about the effects of testing on teaching and learning. Something to think about before I head off this afternoon to Bali for a 2 week holiday! Hopefully I won’t be doing any thinking while I am away!!

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the government push for league tables. There is currently a bit of argy-bargy going on between the different political parties. Pardon the cynicism but it appears to have nothing to do with education, rather political agendas and point scoring.

The article quotes a recent Cambridge University report stating that a “dumbing down” of teaching is occurring in primary education as a result of the focus on national testing (in the UK, I presume).

It goes on to say there is…

…a narrow focus….on basic literacy and numeracy….the most conspicuous casualties have been the arts, humanities……which require time for thinking, talking, problem-solving and that depth of exploration which engages children and makes their learning meaningful and rewarding….”

It cautions that……

Memorisation and recall have come to be valued over understanding and inquiry, and transmission of information over the pursuit of knowledge.”

Ringing any bells??!!

j0439493Made me think of how our education system needs to align its own focus and beliefs about learning. On one hand, we are promoting inquiry-based  and play-based learning through projects like early learning while at the same time, focusing strongly on setting and achieving literacy and numeracy targets (numbers only please!!!).

They can co-exist. It is just that teachers are getting mixed messages about what they are supposed to be accountable for and how they are supposed to achieve this. After all, they are the ones making the BIG difference in student learning. We need to listen to them. Me included.

The other interesting article is on the ABC news website “National tests hurting teachers.” It quotes a Ms Sinko¬† from the Finnish Board of education.( Luckily our education system also has a talented Ms Sue Sinko who works on policy initiatives!! Go Sue!).

Read the report. Heed her words.

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Words fail me….

2365883747_c64a0e35f0_mWelcome to Australia’s Third World. A report by Paul McGeogh in the Sydney Morning Herald, 4 July 2009. A sobering reminder about how the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians remains a chasm. Something to remember as NAIDOC week approaches.

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Classic. Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns ‘n Roses as sung by the Capital Children’s Choir. Genius.

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Sorry the wrong video got posted!! THIS is the Lilly Allen tribute song- video that I really enjoyed…

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While I am not familiar with Lilly Allen’s songs, I found this tribute song very enjoyable. (OOOPS!)

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