Education Pundits, and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Earlier this week, Ben Jensen‘s Learning First released a report on Australia’s science curriculum. Their report was strong, with a clear and simple message: the science curriculum has too little science, too incoherently presented. The reporting on Learning First’s research was very good. The punditry was not. Continue reading “Education Pundits, and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

Math Goes to the Movies

I started writing a post, but the introduction grew to the point of crowding out the actual post. So, here’s the “introduction” as a separate post, and the next post will be the post post.

About fifteen years ago, Burkard came up with a “great idea”: he and I should write a book about mathematics in the movies. I agreed immediately with Burkard’s “great idea” and we began hunting and collecting and organising, and then writing about movies with maths. This included movies such as A Beautiful Mind and Stand and Deliver, with a mathematician or mathematics teacher at the heart of the story, as well as movies that, for whatever particular reason, just happen to have some notable mathematical scene.

Continue reading “Math Goes to the Movies”

Eddie Woo’s Mental Connections

Eddie Woo has been annoying for a long time. Eddie knows much less than he realises and his smiling inanities, which are invariably swallowed whole, are a continual distraction from real issues and real solutions. But he’s gotten worse. Eddie Professor of Practice Woo has graduated from being a distraction and an annoyance to being an active menace. Continue reading “Eddie Woo’s Mental Connections”

A Quick Word on Recording Teachers

If you record a teacher in their classroom without their knowledge, you are an asshole.

If you are a parent or a Principal relying upon such a recording to criticise a teacher, you are an asshole.

If you upload such a recording to social media, you are the worst kind of asshole.

If you are a public commentator or media company relying up such a recording for cheap laughs and/or cheap sanctimony, you are the worst kind of asshole and the worst kind of leech.

If you consume such media or social media and regard the teacher to be the fundamental problem, you have got things way, way wrong.

Short of a demonstrable crime, none of the above is countered by arguing, even correctly, how bad was the teacher’s conduct.

Are we clear? Continue reading “A Quick Word on Recording Teachers”

Crikey, That’s Bad

On Friday, Crikey published an opinion piece by Guy Rundle. Within hours, after wide and strong criticism, Crikey “unpublished” Rundle’s piece and apologised to readers and to the subject of the piece. Crikey gave reasons for this, and it seems the overwhelming majority of people who have read the piece agree with Crikey. I don’t. I believe Crikey’s unpublishing Rundle’s piece was a mistake. Continue reading “Crikey, That’s Bad”

Alan Finkel, Scientist and Warmonger

In the last week, the Age/Sydney Morning Herald sisterhood has engaged in one of the craziest, most hysterical anti-communist campaigns we’ve ever seen, a direct throwback to the early, nutso days of the Vietnam War. Titled Red Alert,– yes, really – and illustrated with a red sky swarming with Chinese jets on their way to Australia – yes, really – once were journalists Peter Hartcher and Matthew Knott authored a series of articles and videos, all pointing to the imminent threat that China poses to Australia. The series is based upon a “review” by a panel, concocted by Hartcher and Knott, of five “independent” “experts”. The panel concluded,

The overwhelming source of danger to Australia is from China. The nature of the threat extends to the prospect of a full-scale war – and Australia would have to be involved. … We need to be ready to fight in just three years …

Continue reading “Alan Finkel, Scientist and Warmonger”

In the Realm of the Senseless

When we first met Sandra Milligan, “Enterprise Professor” at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, she was ringleading a bunch of school principals in a campaign against the ATAR. The Age‘s Adam Carey gave Milligan and her cronies a free kick article, because of course it’s not the job of an education reporter to question whether their primary source might be a know-nothing ideologue. Now, Milligan is back in the news, partnered with something called Realms of Thinking, with the free kick “exclusive” provided this time by The Educator‘s Brett Henebery. Continue reading “In the Realm of the Senseless”

We Are the Robots

First, enjoy some great Kraftwerk, because, and just because:

Regular readers may recall Australian reporter Natasha Bita. Natasha did some really excellent stenographic work for ACARA. Natasha also played right along with AMSI’s most recent Chicken Little crusade. It turns out that Natasha is an excellent stenographer even when there’s nothing to stenograph. Continue reading “We Are the Robots”