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Thought under threat at Australia's universities

22 May 2012 | Paul Collins

The Music bannerThe Australian National University vice-chancellor's proposal to asset-strip Canberra's School of Music prompted the biggest university demonstration in 30 years. ANU isn't the only uni in financial stress, thanks to successive governments' under-funding of tertiary education and user-pays attitude.

No easy cure for 'cost disease' in Australian schools

06 May 2012 | Dean Ashenden

medicine in spoonThe Productivity Commission Schools Workforce report released on Friday does contain evidence of the dire state of productivity in Australian schools, but it is largely neutered. It's as if the Commission was anxious to avoid stating too plainly a disease for which it can suggest only palliatives.

Schools confront the globalisation of superficiality

26 April 2012 | Greg O'Kelly

SuperficialityIn 2010, Kevin Rudd asked Fr Adolfo Nicolas SJ, the international leader of the Jesuits, what he believed to be the major challenges facing western society. Nicolas replied 'the globalisation of superficiality'. Educating for depth and discernment is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers today.

Better results from a classless education system

15 March 2012 | Michael Furtado

Blackboard dollar signGiven that Catholic and independent schools tend to produce better results than government schools, one would expect to be able to demonstrate that the non-government sector adds more value to a student's education. The evidence does not bear this out.

Gonski's reductionist view of education

23 February 2012 | 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.

Gonski process leaves schools in limbo

20 February 2012 | Scott Prasser

A two year process of research, consultation, public input and expert consideration and analysis is a reasonable route to follow for a government-appointed independent inquiry into a major policy issue. But when that process simply leads into a further protracted process, its value is questionable.

Best of 2011: Germaine Greer's Catholic education

05 January 2012 | Gregory Day

Germaine GreerIn trying to convince my atheist goddaughter to embrace her Catholic schooling, I found an unlikely role model. I'd never thought of Greer as a chip off the old block of a convent education. Now I realised that that's exactly what she was. Published 22 February 2011

The best teacher I ever knew

06 December 2011 | Frank O'Shea

Teacher's handTop classes or remedial ones, nerds or footballers, were all the same to Albert: he was first a teacher of boys and then a teacher of maths. One of Sydney's most prestigious schools offered him a position which he turned down due to a disability that would remain with him for the rest of his life.

Future bites for theological colleges

05 September 2011 | Neil Ormerod

TeethThe Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency will have real teeth, operating on a risk analysis basis with the power to deregister institutions. In this context Melbourne College of Divinity's historic bid to become a specialised 'university of divinity' is a leap of faith.

Religious education ceasefire

28 July 2011 | Fatima Measham

Peace sign on a blackboardThe stoush over school ethics classes recalls the war in US schools over 'creation science' and its place in the curriculum. Christians should support programs that give students opportunities to think deeply about what it means to be a human among other humans.

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