Archive for March, 2010

Lights out!




Sydney Morning Herald

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I recieved a Prezi today created by Nola Jacobs. I love Prezi’s! A colleague sent it to me. It is about 21st century learning. Take a look!

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Vote Earth Hour!

8:30pm, Saturday 27 March, is Earth Hour – help raise awareness of climate change by turning off your lights for one hour.

Early Childhood Association of Australia reminds us that children can participate in Earth Hour and learn about climate change too!

Go the the Earth Hour website for ideas on how to involve children in fun activities about Earth Hour.

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Practitioner Inquiry isn’t easy. It can be messy, unclear, a struggle, challenging and very, very frustrating. But it also has many rewards, not least of all, how your own learning can fly!

So for all 200 or more of CEO Sydney teachers involved in practitioner inquiry in the early years, these are some of the words ( I left the swear words out!!) you used this week when we met.

Hang in there! It’s worth the ride!!

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Just playin’

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At an early learning conference today, I heard a Norwegian Porfessor talk about perspectives on listening to children. She had some great things to say and shared with us some of the enshrined rights in the Norwegian Early Years Framework.

As educators of young children,

  • do we respect their right to be different?
  • do we allow different perspectives from different children to be heard……or do we silence them?
  • do we respect the varied experiences that children bring to learning……..as opposed to saying they have no experiences just because they are different to the norm?
  • do we use children’s experiences to design learning?
  • do we promote cultural values by making our class/school an open meeting place for children and their families?
  • do we provide inclusive learning environments that allow space for children to be individuals?
  • do we acknowledge the right of children to learn in their own language?

As an educator, do I allow the same from my fellow teachers? Maybe I need to listen more. I know that when I do listen – I always come away with fresh insights and new understandings.

So thanks to the K-2 teachers at St Mary’s Concord – you had some great questions and interesting perspectives about learning! This is what keeps me energised as an educator.

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Student voice

Some questions for the K-2 teachers I met with this week who are interested in exploring the notion of student voice:

  • Who determines the time children spend engaging in a learning experience?
  • Who determines the direction of learning?
  • Who makes the choice about what to learn?




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Apparently the new Australian Curriculum is spelt C-A-T!

Apparently it’s back to basics….

Apparently phonics is back (hence Julia’s sounding out of C-A-T on national TV. Isn’t she clever!!)….so is grammar. And all the other things

we have lost.


Well, that’s what Julia Gillard, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Education Minister, told Kerry O’Brien in an interview on ABC TV’s 7.30 Report tonight.

My question is, when did grammar and phonics  leave? Where did they go? More importantly, who is Julia’s misinformed education adviser? In NSW, grammar and phonics, along with a many other effective teaching strategies, have always been part of a teacher’s repertoire.

Makes me wonder how Julia would go sounding-out DIARRHEA or GLOCKENSPIEL!! Anyway…..

The Education Union raised a decent point about implementation of the new curriculum. What is the plan for it’s implementation for 2011? What funding is available for teacher professional development in this area?

Julia’s response was interesting. She stated that a lot of funding has already been allocated to education recently. She has a point. The government has put a lot of money towards programs such as the Building Revolution (really? Revolution?!!) and the National Partnership Agreement. Both programs involve big bucks!


Does this address the issue of effective implementation of a new curriculum? Me thinks not! (If you are in NSW, breathe easy. The new English curriculum for example is not too different from our NSW syllabus).

Oh, Julia did mention the new online ACARA site for downloading the Australian Curriculum. Not as straightforward as it could be, but do -able….eventually.

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