News for Tasmanian Teachers


Archive for September 2014

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Grade-splitting harmful, teachers say
The Age, 29 Sep 2014
Splitting up the class of an absent teacher to farm the students out to other grades for the day is harmful to students' learning, teachers say ...

Trust Australia's values
The Age, 29 Sep 2014
AustraliaAustralia would serve its students better if it trusted its own values and continued providing students with a holistic education rather than obsessing over international comparisons between education systems, an international expert says...

Life saving first aidSTUDENT SAFETY
Call to teach life-saving skills at school
SBS News, 28 Sep 2014
More lives would be save if more people learnt life-saving skills at schools, Justin Carr, the CEO of the Royal Life Saving Society, says [though the SBS report describes him as being the CEO of the "Royal Drowning Society"]  ...

Educational appsHOMEWORK
E-homework widens gap
The Conversation, 28 Sep 2014
Teachers who set homework tasks that involve use of the internet, computers or smartphones could be widening the gap between rich and poor students, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry has noted...

Tawny frogmouth (Photo supplied to The Mercury by a reader)TASMANIAN FAUNA
Tawny frogmouth almost invisible
The Mercury, 28 Sep 2014
This tawny frogmouth photographed at Triabunna is an incredible example of how some creatures are able to blend in with their environment...

Tas kids warned not to put their heads together
Health and hygieneThe Mercury, 28 Sep 2014
As many as one in two Tasmanian children could get head lice during the current holiday period, experts warn...

Risk of intercultural misunderstanding
The Conversation (comment by Christine Cunningham), 26 Sep 2014
Australian CurriculumWith the Australian Curriculum currently structured to support "intercultural understanding" the classroom would appear to be well-suited to countering the recent rise of Islamophobia, but some educators seem determined to water down this opportunity to secure a diverse cultural society in Australia...

Football final grounds for celebration
The Mercury, 26 Sep 2014
Ogilvie High School has held a special AFL Grand Final dads and daughters breakfast to celebrate relationships and support the school's chaplaincy program...

In-principle chaplain agreement reached
Tas Govt media release, 26 Sep 2014
School chaplainsThe Tasmanian and federal governments have reached an in-principle agreement over administering the National School Chaplaincy Program, but final agreement over the employment of secular workers has not yet been reached...

Private school fees to rise?
Private schoolsThe Mercury, 26 Sep 2014
Independent schools say the government is cutting their funding by about $1 million over the next four years...

Alert over 'Shellshock' computer bug
BBC News, 25 Sep 2014
A serious vulnerability in software used by many Unix, Linux and Apple Mac operating systems is of immediate Computer vulnerabilityconcern to software producers, equipment manufacturers and system administrators but home users should watch out for security updates to be made available by manufacturers of devices such as wifi routers and web cams as well as ensure the usual security updates are applied promptly...

Pay-freeze Bill withdrawn
ABC News, 25 Sep 2014
MoneyThe Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, announced tonight that the government will withdraw the pay-freeze Bill and that as a result 500 extra public service jobs will be cut...

Bullet Govt pulls pin on pay freeze, The Mercury, 25 Sep 2014
Bullet Upper House rejects pay freeze legislation, Peter Gutwein, Treasurer, Tas Govt media release, 25 Sep 2014
Bullet Another 500 face the axe, The Examiner, 25 Sep 2014
Bullet We won't back down, says Premier, The Mercury, 27 sep 2014

Road safetyROAD SAFETY
Bike safety commitment
Tas Govt media release, 25 Sep 2014
A bike education program in schools is among cycling safety initiatives announced by the state government today...

Pay-freeze changes on the cards
The Mercury, 25 Sep 2014
MoneyIt appears that the state government may accept amendments to its proposed pay-freeze legislation, allowing salary increments and extending the pay freeze to high-paid employees such as judges. However, Tasmanian Industrial Commission president Tim Abey says the legislation undermines the commission's role...

Jordan River Learning Federation School FarmSCHOOL FARMS
Money needed for school farm concerns
The Mercury, 25 Sep 2014
The Brighton Council says the state government needs to provide funds for sanitation and drainage improvements at the Jordan River School Farm ...

New 100m records set by SVC student
The Mercury, 25 Sep 2014
A 16-year-old St Virgil's College boy has broken Tasmanian and national records by running 100 metres in 10.44 seconds ...

Bullet Schoolboy smashes 100m record, ABC News, 24 Sep 2014

Interactive NAPLAN tests on way
ABC News, 25 Sep 2014
NAPLANA trial is underway that will eventually lead to online NAPLAN tests that respond to individual students' responses, enabling the tests to measure what students know rather than what they do not know...

Health and hygieneTEACHER AIDES
Legal fears for teacher aides
The Mercury, 25 Sep 2014
The prospect of teacher assistants performing complicated medical tasks has raised legal concerns ...

Education awards finalists announced
Tas Govt media release, 24 Sep 2014
The Minister for Education and Training, Jeremy Rockliff, announced the 46 finalists in the 2014 RBF Department of Education Awards for Excellence tonight...

Learning is whole-of-life and whole-of-community
Tas Govt media release, 24 Sep 2014
Southern TasmaniaEducation minister Jeremy Rockliff launched the Glenorchy LEARN strategy in conjunction with the Glenorchy Council today...

Counter-terrorism alert in Melbourne
ABC News, 23 Sep 2014
A man subject to a terrorism investigation has been shot dead and two counter-terrorism police officers have been stabbed outside a Melbourne police station...

US bombs Syrian targets
ABC News, 23 Sep 2014
The US has begun bombing I.S. targets in Syria...

Tasmania - Women and GirlsWOMEN AND GIRLS
Tas female data out
Tas Govt media release, 23 Sep 2014
The Women and Girls in Tasmania Report 2013 provides a wide range of data on females in Tasmania, with an emphasis on social, health, educational and employment issues...

Bullet Download Women and Girls in Tasmania Report 2013, Dept of Premier and Cabinet website

Lansdowne Crescent wins national award
The Mercury, 23 Sep 2014
West Hobart's Lansdowne Crescent Primary School has won the Junior Landcare Team award for developing an interpretive trail in the nearby Knocklofty Reserve...

Brush with officialdom over coloured hair
Queensland Times, 23 Sep 2014
A Queensland Year 12 student says her school's hair policy is discriminatory and unfair because she will have to miss school and her formal as a result of brightly colouring her hair as an alternative to using self-harm to cope with body dismorphic disorder...

School farm rezoning process begins
Tas Govt media release, 22 Sep 2014
Jordan River Learning Federation School FarmEducation minister Jeremy Rockliff has welcomed the move announced today by the Brighton Council to amend its planning scheme to enable the Jordan River School Farm to remain on its present site at Brighton...

Bullet Brighton Council establishes special purpose zone for school farm, Brighton Council, 22 Sep 2014
Bullet Jordan River School Farm crisis 2014 (Taslearn special archive)

Standing up for health
Perth Now, 21 Sep 2014
A study by Curtin University shows that children are healthier and better-behaved if their classroom enables them to use stand-up desks, moving stools and other furniture that reduces the amount of their continuous sedentary time...

Student raped when teachers' plan failed abysmally
Mirror, 19 Sep 2014
A 14-year-old Alabama girl was raped after teachers set her up as 'bait' to catch another student but then forgot about her...

Multiple-choice questions (Image: Central Queensland University)STUDENT ASSESSMENT
A question of validity
The Conversation (contribution by Bob Reed), 19 Sep 2014
Central Queensland University will no longer use multiple-choice questions in assessing students because selecting from a list of options is not typical of the kind of decision-making people have to make in the real world ...

Primaries dance
Northern TasmaniaThe Examiner, 19 Sep 2014
Approximately 6,000 primary school children participated in the 28th Northern Primary Dance Event at the Launceston Silverdome yesterday ...

Whales within Cooee
North-West TasmaniaThe Mercury, 19 Sep 2014
With a nearby beach available as a classroom, Cooee Primary school has ensured whales and dolphins are included in their curriculum...

Scots vote NO to independence
United KingdomABC News, 3.00pm 19 Sep 2014
Scotland has voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent to remain in the United Kingdom.

Health and hygieneSTUDENT HEALTH
Brighton kindies bear up
The Mercury, 19 Sep 2014
Students in Brighton Primary's four kindergarten classes brought their teddy bears to school to enable medical students to help them learn about health and hygiene under the Teddy Bear Hospital program...

Northern TasmaniaSCHOOL CLOSURES
Fears for Meander
The Mercury, 19 Sep 2014
Meander Primary School's survival appears to be at risk due to falling enrolments...

School reports not always useful
The Conversation (contributed by Heather Fehring), 18 Sep 2014
School report
Whether formative or summative, school reports can be a mystery to some parents and not always useful for improving student achievement, an academic writes...

Students investigate for science awards
The Mercury, 18 Sep 2014
Students undertook science investigations for the University of Tasmania Science Investigation Awards yesterday...

TasTAFE Open Day
Tas Govt media release, 18 Sep 2014
TasTAFE will hold an Open Day tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, at Hobart, Launceston and Burnie...

Tri-partisan education taskforce is needed
The Mercury, 18 Sep 2014
In an article published in The Mercury, Greens education spokesperson and a former education minister Nick McKim writes that he regrets not having joined with the University of Tasmania in forming a tri-partisan taskforce to reform Tasmania's education system...

Bullet United front needed for top-class results, Nick McKim, The Mercury, 18 Sep 2014

Designing for nutrition
The Mercury, 17 Sep 2014
VegetablesThe 24 Carrot Gardens project is well underway, with 12 schools in southern Tasmania being paired up with design firms to plan special areas in their school grounds to promote nutrition and sustainability...

Bullet Southern students travel into northern Tasmania, The Examiner, 18 Sep 2014

Haircut leads to loss of exam marks
Herald Sun, 17 Sep 2014
A Sydney student who turned up to a chemistry exam with an undercut hairstyle was required to do the exam on another day but with a 20 per cent penalty...

Empty classroom (Photo: msu.edu)SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
Tas attendance system links with learning
The Examiner, 17 Sep 2014
Tasmanian government school students are being monitored by a daily attendance system, called Edi, which provides alerts by linking absenteeism with students' learning and NAPLAN results ...

Do parents know what's best for schools?
The Conversation, 17 Sep 2014
School autonomyThe push towards school autonomy leads to more responsibility for school decisions being placed on parents, a situation which is fraught with problems, a University of Canberra researcher says ...

Learning a foreign language early
Aust Govt media release, 16 Sep 2014
Foreign languagesThe federal government has announced that for the next step in its ELLA (Early Learning Languages Australia) trial 40 pre-schools will be selected to use special play-based apps that will enable children to learn languages such as Mandarin, Japanese, Indonesian, Arabic and French ...

Bullet Victoria has begun implementing its own foreign languages program in primary schools, The Age, 8 Sep 2014
Bullet Manadarin underway at Albuera Street Primary, The Mercury, 17 Sep 2014

Trees, not screens
The Conversation, 15 Sep 2014
Children are spending too much time in front of screens and not enough time outside engaging in tree-climbing and other risky play activities, a psychology lecturer says...


Teacher of 'feral' class receives bigger sum
ABC News, 16 Sep 2014
The Victorian teacher who was awarded almost $770,000 after being required to teach 'feral' students has been awarded an additional $550,000, bringing his total payout to $1.279 million...

Launceston's Deputy Mayor killed in crash
The Examiner, 16 Sep 2014
Launceston's Deputy Mayor, Alderman Jeremy Ball, died in a collision on the Bass Highway yesterday...

Bullet Deputy Mayor killed, The Mercury, 16 Sep 2014

Brooks High upgrade
The Examiner, 15 Sep 2014
Plans  have been unveiled for a $9 million upgrade to Brooks High School...

Proposal sets minimum instructional hours
The Mercury, 14 Sep 2014
The Tasmanian government's proposed amendments to the Education Act include setting minimum face-to-face teaching hours for schools, not just a continuation of the current requirements for school opening hours...

Bullet Review of the Tas Education Act, DoE Blogspot page

Cyberbullying stealing teaching time
news.com.au, 14 Sep 2014
BullyingResearch shows the average Australian high school deals with 22 cyberbullying incidents each year, schools often having to spend time on Mondays dealing with social media issues that have arisen over the weekend...

Extending high school to Years 11 and 12EXTENSION TO YEAR 12
Support drops for extending schools to Year 12
The Mercury, 14 Sep 2014
A ReachTEL survey of Tasmanians shows that support for extending high schools to Years 11 and 12 has fallen from 61.6 per cent to 55.6 per cent...

Bullet Plan to extend falling out of favour, The Mercury, 15 Sep 2014

Gap widens
GonskiSMH, 14 Sep 2014
The performance gap between disadvantaged and advantaged schools has widened since the time Gonski wrote his report...

Athletics track (Modified image uses photo at boxhillathleticclub.org)Campaign to highlight risks of sports betting
Tas Govt media release, 13 Sep 2014
A community and social media campaign that highlights the adverse effects of sports betting will target young Tasmanian men, although research shows that children and adolescents are also at risk...

Bullet Sports betting, DHHS website

Mowbray Heights teacher is a legend
Northern TasmaniaThe Examiner, 12 Sep 2014
Mowbray Heights Primary School physical education teacher Justin Cudmore has been inducted into the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation as a legend...

Consultation assured over pathway planners
Tas Govt media release, 12 Sep 2014
Pathways & Participation: Guaranteeing FuturesThe state government assured the Tasmanian Industrial Commission today that it would consult with employees over its plan to replace Guaranteeing Futures with a full K-12 approach to career and future planning for students...

Bullet Agreement reached, The Examiner, 12 Sep 2014

International Labour OrganizationPAY FREEZE
Call for ILO support over Tas pay freeze
ABC News, 12 Sep 2014
Tasmanian unions have notified the International Labour Organization that they may be calling on its help in fighting the state government's public sector 12-month pay freeze...

Terrorist alert level raised to HIGH
ABC News, 12 Sep 2014
Australia's terrorism alert level has been raised from medium to high.
This means there will be extra security at airports, public events and ports
National Terrorism Public Alert System

NAPLAN comparisons doing harm, say principals
The Courier, 12 Sep 2014
NAPLANThe comparison of schools made possible by the publication of NAPLAN data on the My School website has led to a stifling of creative and effective teaching and a narrowing of the curriculum, Australian Primary Principals Association president Norm Hart says...

Old passwords belonging to 5m Gmail users leaked
Mashable, 11 Sep 2014
GmailREAD CAREFULLY: The Gmail addresses of almost 5 million Gmail users have been posted online, along with the old passwords they used apparently when registering at certain OTHER websites. Therefore, actual Gmail passwords appear not have been published except where users had used the SAME password for Gmail and certain other accounts You can easily check to see whether YOUR Gmail account is listed...

Bullet Check for your Gmail account, isleaked.com

Captain James Cook: no involvement in the First FleetTEACHING METHODS
Primary school teaching uses 'pseudoscience'
The Guardian, 11 Sep 2014
The President of the Australian College of Educators says there is a lack of rigour in today's primary school teaching, citing as an example the case of students whose confusion of Captain Phillip with Captain Cook in the production of an animation was seen as less important than the fact the students had been engaged...

Bullet Teaching is complex: don't try to simplify what teachers do, Ian Mitchell, The Conversation, 19 Sep 2014

Cannabis use harmful
Cannabis (Image: Wikipedia)The Conversation (contribution by Fron Jackson-Webb), 10 Sep 2014
Regular cannabis use by adolescents can have significantly adverse effects on cognitive development, educational attainment, school participation and future drug use...

Photo: protective-glove.comSTUDENT HEALTH AND SUPPORT
Aides to be paid for healthcare work
Tas Govt media release, 10 Sep 2014
Teacher assistants are to be paid an extra $11.80 per week if they choose to undertake healthcare procedures for students...

Bullet Medical procedures in school time, The Mercury, 11 Sep 2014
Bullet Amount is small and tasks could involve legal liability, Michelle O'Byrne, Opposition education spokesperson, 10 Sep 2014

Playing computer game (Image: Microsoft)TEACHING PRACTICE
Why are game designers better at teaching than teachers?
The Conversation (opinion by Misty Adoniou), 10 Sep 2014
Game designers bring out the best in kids by applying the principles of good teaching far more effectively than teachers themselves do...

School ages to be reviewed
The Examiner, 10 Sep 2014
TasmaniaWith Tasmania's current school starting age being the lowest in Australia and leading to many students being legally able to leave education early in Year 11, education minister Jeremy Rockliff has announced a review of compulsory school starting and leaving ages...

Bullet Tas students may be starting and staying longer at school, ABC News, 10 Sep 2014
Bullet Review of the Tas Education Act, DoE Blogspot page
Bullet School starting and leaving ages to feature in review, Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training, 10 Sep 2014
Bullet Push for 18 years leaving age, The Mercury, 10 Sep 2014
Bullet Education reform should consider proposal for expert body led by University, Bryan Green, Opposition leader, 10 Sep 2014
Bullet School age overhaul, The Advocate, 11 Sep 2014
Bullet Younger age would pose challenges, The Examiner,12 Sep 2014

Sir John Franklin (Photo: ABC)TASMANIAN HISTORY
Sir John Franklin's ship found
ABC News, 10 Sep 2014
The remains have been discovered of one of the two ships used in Arctic exploration by former Tasmanian Governor Sir John Franklin, who effectively founded Tasmania's education system, was appreciated by early convicts and is loved by today's seagulls...

Bullet Important chapter in Tasmania's history, Guy Barnett, Tas Govt media release, 10 Sep 2014

The Apple Watch is launched
SMH, 10 Sep 2014
The Apple Watch, unveiled today, can be used as a payment tool and fitness device as well as provide access to email, apps and text messages...


Reason for handstands and cartwheels ban revealed
Herald Sun, 10 Sep 2014
The Queensland principal who had banned cartwheels and handstands had done so only after a group of students who had learnt gymnastic cheerleading out of school tried out their skills at school with one breaking a limb and another suffering facial injuries...

Bullied students opt for online from home
The Examiner, 9 Sep 2014
Tasmania's eSchool is enrolling many students who are using online learning from home to avoid being bullied at mainstream schools...

Culture, not teaching, explains superior Chinese educational performance
The Age, 8 Sep 2014
A study that finds Chinese immigrant students perform better than Australians when both are taught by Australian teachers shows that it is not the quality of the teaching but the nature of the culture that places China's students ahead of Australia's...

IT support (Image: keycomputers.co.uk)COMPUTING SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS
Schools to lose IT support workers
The Mercury, 8 Sep 2014
State Budget cuts will force schools to do without their IT support workers - unless they hire them back as contractors...


Industrial actionINDUSTRIAL ACTION
Catholic system has the money, union says
The Mercury, 8 Sep 2014
The Tasmanian Catholic education system now has sufficient funds to end the current industrial stalemate satisfactorily, the Independent Education Union Victoria/Tasmania says...

Vocational Education and TrainingTRAINING
Training awards winners announced
Tas Govt media release, 6 Sep 2014
The winners of the Tasmanian Training Awards for 2014 were announced last night...

New Commissioner for Children announced
Tas Govt media release, 6 Sep 2014
Mark Morrissey from Western Australia has been named as Tasmania's new Commissioner for Children...

Bullet New Children's Commissioner, ABC News, 7 Sep 2014

Narrow the curriculum focus, says report
The Mercury, 6 Sep 2014
Australian CurriculumThe long-awaited special report on the Australian Curriculum prepared for federal education minister Christopher Pyne appears to recommend:
Bullet greater emphasis on basic skills such as literacy and numeracy;
Bullet less emphasis on themes such as creativity, intercultural awareness and personal and social capabilities; and
Bullet that the curriculum be made more teacher friendly, more specific and less crowded ...

Kindergarten (Image: Microsoft)KINDERGARTEN
Kinder funding no surprise
Tas Govt media release, 5 Sep 2014
Funding for kindergarten will continue in 2015, with the Commonwealth funding five hours per week and the state government providing ten hours per week, education minister Jeremy Rockliff has announced...

'Feral' students: teacher awarded $770k
ABC News, 5 Sep 2014
VictoriaA Victorian teacher has been awarded almost $770,000 in damages after suffering a breakdown from having to teach 'feral' students...

Bullet Jump in legal enquiries over stress, The Border Mail, 9 Sep 2014

Pay injustice
Tas Greens website, 4 Sep 2014
Under the state Budget's pay freeze, first-year teachers on less than $50,000 will have their pay frozen while judges on enormous salaries will continue to receive pay rises, Greens education spokesperson Nick McKim says...

Lindisfarne North goes to Geilston Bay
Southern TasmaniaTas Govt media release, 4 Sep 2014
Lindisfarne North Primary School is to take over the vacant Geilston Bay High School facilities...

Confucius (Image: biography.com)COMPARING EDUCATION SYSTEMS
You can't rely on international comparisons
The Conversation (comment by Kevin Donnelly), 4 Sep 2014
International league tables comparing different school systems are not always reliable. For example, not all countries promote the Confucian values and ethics that stress respect for teachers and others in authority...

End of Moonah Big Picture School
Southern TasmaniaABC News, 4 Sep 2014
The Big Picture School at Moonah, a campus of Montrose Bay High School, is to move to the main school next year...

Big wage losses for young teachers
ABC News, 3 Sep 2014
Greens education spokesperson Nick McKim says the wage freeze and delay in annual pay scale progression will cost a beginning teacher almost $23,000 over the first three years...

Bullet Freeze on increments will stop the best people joining the teaching profession, Nick McKim, Greens education spokesperson, 3 Sep 2014
Bullet Premier refuses to rule out pay freeze continuing beyond 12 months, Kim Booth, Greens leader, 3 Sep 2012

Jeremy RockliffSTATE BUDGET
Pathway Planning anger
The Advocate, 2 Sep 2014
Parents say online modules cannot replace the interpersonal work of Pathway Planners, but education minister Jeremy Rockliff says that with the grades 8 and 9 components of the Guaranteeing Futures program having been axed grade 10 is too late and a whole new approach commencing at kindergarten needs to be undertaken...

Bullet Pathway Planning is working but abolition will shift costs onto schools, Nick McKim, Greens education spokesperson, 2 Sep 2014
Bullet Reinstate Pathway Planners, Michelle O'Byrne, Opposition Education spokesperson, 4 Sep 2014
Bullet Pathway Planning had lifted college enrolments, The Examiner, 4 Sep 2014

Budget rips $148m out of education, says Green
TasLabor website, 2 Sep 2014
In his Budget Reply Speech, Opposition leader Bryan Green says that although the government claims the Budget adds $300 million to education over the next four years it simultaneously slashes $148.4 million, causing pain for students, teachers and families.
The Opposition proposes the establishment of a special body led by the University of Tasmania to develop "an integrated and comprehensive educational model" that would improve educational outcomes...

School bans handstands and cartwheels
QueenslandBrisbane Times, 2 Sep 2014
A Queensland primary school has banned students from performing handstands and cartwheels unless the students are "properly supervised by a trained PE teacher"...

Bullet Principal was complying with Department's procedures manual, Northern Star, 3 Sep 2014

Play facilities (Image from: thehills.nsw.gov.au)STUDENT HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Play opportunities increasingly restricted
The Age, 1 Sep 2014
Children are missing out on the skills and personal benefits gained through play, largely as a result of a perceived risk of litigation but also as an unintended consequence of the federal government's BER policy which reduced the amount of playground space in schools...

Greens would retain public sector workers
Tas Greens website, 1 Sep 2014
The Greens' alternative state Budget would avoid the public sector wage freeze and cuts to 700 public sector jobs, Greens leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth said today...

Bullet Greens' alternative Budget 2014-15 [pdf]
Bullet Pay freeze legislation tabled, The Examiner, 2 Sep 2014

App (image: funeducationalapps.com)COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
Apps have benefits
The Age, 1 Sep 2014
Students learn more by using apps than by using books, an app developer and an app-using teacher say...




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