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Advice for graduating health sciences students

17 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

'My sixth piece of advice is for all graduates and not just those of you who are religious. We all need to develop a comprehensive worldview, nurturing the sense of the transcendent in the human spirit, and holding together in tension ideals and reality, dreams and our shortcomings.' Full text from Frank Brennan's La Trobe Graduation Address, Health Sciences, 18 October 2013.

Equipping students for moral argument

30 September 2013 | Frank Brennan

Full text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'Law teachers as gatekeepers of law, public morality and human rights: Equipping our students for moral argument in a pluralistic legal environment' at the Australian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference 2013.

Universities are changing, not dying

22 September 2013 | Jessica McLean

Fisher Library at University of SydneyThe 'renewal' of Sydney University's Fisher Library has raised eyebrows, with books removed to storage to make way for 'hot desking chill zones and break out areas'. Universities Australia found in 2013 that 88 per cent of survey respondents encourage their children to attend universities. This large pool of students requires educators to accommodate diverse learning needs, and do more than just set essays to assess learning.

Paradox and possibility: The example of Francis

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13 August 2013 | Frank Brennan

'You are the first generation of Catholic educators who will not have members of religious orders or congregations present in any number at all in your staff rooms and in your classrooms. Thus the need for lay Catholic educators to cultivate their spirituality while also being attentive to the demands of Church and the Church hierarchy.' 6th International Conference on Catholic Educational Leadership, Sydney, 13 August 2013.

End of the education revolution

07 April 2013 | Dean Ashenden

Words 'I give a Gonski' appear over a raised handThe backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

Religious schools discriminate against the vulnerable

03 March 2013 | Luke Williams

Discrimination - Black crayon stands separately from coloured crayonsShe was in year nine when people started to suspect she was gay. At that time a lesbian teacher at her Catholic school 'was kicked out' and 'people targeted me even more'. State intervention in religion might be undesirable, but too many religious groups respond to the discrimination debate with rights-based arguments that lack empathy.

Public schools' charity case

14 February 2013 | Dean Ashenden

Australian money (bills)A survey released this week found that the lion's share of philanthrpopic giving goes to independent non-government schools. Gonski devoted an entire chapter to the question of how private cash can be got to where need is greatest. The Government should act on his recommendation, but not before beefing it up.

Best of 2012: Skating solutions to boys' education

07 January 2013 | Tony Thompson

Skateboarder silhouetted against skyMy son goes to a friendly primary school and is making progress. But his handwriting is poor, he hates sitting for long periods, and doesn't understand why the girls are 'better at everything'. He likes sport and art, which involve 'doing stuff'. Schools have been battling with adolescent boys for centuries. Maybe it's time to give some ground. Monday 24 September 

Best of 2012: Gonski's reductionist view of education

06 January 2013 | Chris Middleton

LearningThe report's argument that a base level of funding be established might lead to a lowest common denominator approach to determining what is an 'efficient' education, in both the state and private systems. Creativity, diversity and experimentation may be hindered in such a regime. Friday 24 February 

Gillard's education pipedream

19 December 2012 | Dean Ashenden

Maths problem scribbled on paperIn setting a target of Australia reaching the OECD's top five school systems by 2025 the Prime Minister has made a rod for her own back. It is difficult to see our present way of organising, funding and governing schooling getting us anywhere near that target. But what kind of system might?

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