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In The Classroom

Climate control

The past year has seen a gradual shift in the understanding of the value of sustainable design in Australian schools. As consultants to over 150 schools under BER, we worked closely with architects and principals to provide the science of ...

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No frontiers

Picture this. You’re travelling through rural Kyrgyzstan. You’ve just climbed a steep mountain and come across a small remote village. The inhabitants are not accustomed to many Western visitors, but nonetheless you strike up conversation with some locals. Could you ...

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The new nuts and bolts

The draft national curriculum, which is currently out for consultation, is peppered with references to technology. And that, says the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), is entirely by design. ACARA is charged with developing national curricula for K-12 ...

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Destined for greatness

Year 11 student Stephen Smith is not only an elite sportsman – having reached the highest level of baseball training in NSW and a top 25 national player – but is first in his class in economics, and top five ...

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The right equation

Given the new curriculum provides for more complex maths to be learned at an earlier age, mathematicians and teachers, while endorsing the content, have concerns about the capability of primary teachers to deliver it. They are also wondering whether South ...

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A lack of chemistry

The curriculum’s stated emphasis on applied learning is “rhetorical” with the lead writers choosing a “very safe and very conservative curriculum” that resembles a 1970s teaching document, critics say. Despite its inclusion as an independent science stream no serious attention ...

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For love of language and literature

Experts say the new curriculum needs more clarity and caution in relation to the contextual influences on language, literature and literacy. “Many parents and grandparents will remember with horror and dread chanting the parts of speech and the mind-numbing activity ...

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On a journey to learning

Melanie Dunkley has long lived with the privilege and burden of being a dual citizen and globetrotter. Having studied German at high school, Dunkley travelled to Germany and France several times on exchange. Her tertiary education then took her to ...

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What next?

It wasn’t just baby boomers with their eyes on their super that felt the pain of the economic downturn in Australia. Research recently published by The Foundation for Young Australians, entitled ‘How Young People are Faring’, presents a confronting picture. ...

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Getting out and about

Year 9 can be a tough time. Teenage hormones have kicked in, interest in school can diminish with a growing social life and academic achievement suffers. To help Year 9 students stay focused, Toorak College, an independent school on the ...

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