Archive for July, 2009

Turning Around Schools- its simple!

Valley High School in Las Vegas was, on Thursday, designated as a “high-achieving turnaround” school under the USA federal No Child Left Behind Act, a distinction reserved for schools that had failed to meet the law’s academic requirements for three years before demonstrating high achievement. Reasons for the change are attribited to: * The enthusiasm […]

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Thinking in Pictures

Australian society has become so fast-moving and so egocentric over the past decade that many have lost, or failed to develop, the ability to ‘walk in another person’s shoes’. The ability to see the world through the eyes of the person you are teaching, or conversing with is a crucial aspect of communication that seems […]

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Why are our kids unfit for work?

How many ways do we need to say ‘we told you so’? For Australia to follow the US and UK example of testing regimes was always suicidal. For years, US teachers have admitted they are ‘teaching to the test 3 days a week, and teaching kids 2 days a week’. Now Ken Boston has come […]

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Methinketh we think too much?

Human behaviour is made up of a range of things including thinking, feeling, and responding physiologically and verbally. Michael Jackson’s recent death reminds me of a quote of his when he was asked about dancing. His response was . Thinking is the biggest mistake a dancer can make. They need to feel- become an embodiment […]

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Are We Failing Our Kids?

Canadians are doing it, Americans are doing it too! What about Australians? Nearly half of the Canadians polled in a recent Harris-Decima survey said they feel Canada’s educational system does not adequately prepare young people for work in the modern economy. Albertans are most pessimistic about the system – 52 per cent say they find […]

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The Responsible Use of Technology

The influence of technology, particularly computer based technology is both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because of the potential it opens up for individuals and cooperation. Terrifying because of its capacity to impact developing brains, limit abilities to communicate face to face and dehumanise society. The current penchant for many aspects of education, from the provision […]

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Technology: Keeping the Balance

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Technology – Future Wants or Needs?

Pattie Maes- the future of technology= or is it?

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Creativity, Intelligence and Education

Sir Ken Robinson, quite rightfully, questions whether these three concepts are interlinked as they need to be.

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Where is the New Leadership: 10 People Who Can Change the World

Lee Iacocca was born in 1924. He knows a thing or two about leadership and at the end of the Bush presidency wrote a book thundering Where are the New Leaders . In the book he defines what he refers to as the 9C’s of Leadership Curiosity Creativity Communication Character Conviction Charisma Competence Common The […]

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What would Einstein say about the World and Education today?

Einstein once said ‘not everything that can be counted, counts; and not everything that counts, can be counted. What on earth has happened?

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Creating our PREFERRED FUTURE

Back in the early 1990’s Peter Ellyard as Commissioner for the Future raised the notion of PREFERRED FUTURES as opposed to Possible or Probable Futures. Peter’s catch phrase was always We cannot work to create a future we cannot imagine. Peter can be found at http://www.preferredfutures.org

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Carbon to CAR BAN: From a Car-Full to a CARE-FULL Society

What a difference one letter can make! If we are at ‘Peak Civilisation’ what needs to change, and how? While the policy makers argue over how much carbon we can keep pumping into the atmosphere, any rational human capable to simple arithmetic can see that we’ve already exceeded our great grandchildren’s quota- not just our […]

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Learning Environment …. or Environment for Learning

In schools, as in the broader community, when the word ‘environment’ is used people often jump immediately to the physical- ie the structure, location, aesthetics etc. This is a very limited view as all aspects of the environment need to be taken into account. If we are to have an impact on people’s ability to […]

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Response-Ability

An excerpt from a recent story in the Australian about a World War 2 veteran who had just died began: Alex McPherson’s father was killed when Alex was seven and his grief stricken mother immediately made him head of the household. That gave him a sense of responsibility that never left him Harriet Veith The […]

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A Society of Moral Hazards

Moral Hazard – a term used in economics says that if you bail someone out of a problem then a question is raised about what incentive they have to not do it again. In fact the hazard then becomes an enabler. E.g In the insurance industry it is where coverage agains a lossmight increase the […]

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Boys Behaving Badly

Appalling behaviour among our ‘gladiator’ footballers raises the questions not just of how do they get away with it through their codes of silence and the enabling of those around them, but why they believe this is ok in the first place. It seems that testosterone is more powerful, and perhaps more dangerous than people […]

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E Change- a manifesto!

Education is a highly complex endeavour. To create an E-Change requires a systemic and systematic rethink, and re-actioning of education. This is my attempt to begin that process. We need: 1. An understanding of the purpose of schools and multiple learning environments. 2. A sophisticated, systemic awareness of the world around us and how to […]

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Evolutionary Leaders Call to Action

World renowned authors, lectures, scientists and visionaries met on June 26, 2008 to discuss the human condition. Out of this gathering came an unprecedented call to shift the consciousness of the planet and the formation of the the Evolutionary Leaders group. The Obama Administration has asked the “Evolutionary Leaders” to communicate with them about what […]

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Australian Wellbeing Manifesto

Under the guidance of Dr Clive Hamilton, The Australia Institute has published a Wellbeing Manifesto- a call for governments to enact policies in nine areas to improve national wellbeing. Provide fulfilling work Reclaim our time Protect the environment Rethink Education Invest in early childhood Discourage materialism and promote responsible advertising Build communities and relationships Commit […]

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A Principled Life

Sustainability has been grasped as THE factor we need to consider however Sustainability is only one of the Principles of Living Systems. If we are genuine in shifting public perception from a need to ‘conquer’ nature, to a need to genuinely engage as an integral component of the macro-ecosystem, then human created systems such as […]

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Intentional Lack of Oversight

Dr. Marc Epstein in his book Flirting With Disaster: Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental (Dr. Marc Epstein with Michael Ellserg Sterling Publishing New York 2008) claims that societally we don’t have an easy way to learn from organizational mistakes of the past. Organizations do not routinely and systematically learn from past errors and mistakes- if […]

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Paul Krugman and Hard Questions

One hard question we need to ask is whether education systems are in fact succeeding in their charters, or like financial and political systems are suffering what Princeton University’s Paul Krugman, Nobel Memorial Prize (2008) winning economist has called in interviews ‘cascading systemic failure’, a result of improperly considering ‘systemic risk’. That’s what brought the […]

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Community Capital Creation

Our schools need to provide an integral approach to ‘Capital Creation’ based on Community Contribution rather than success based on individual wealth and Pinsky’s celebrity narcissism. But we can’t do it alone. It does take a community to raise a child and if we’d get beyond the rhetoric and into the reality of what that […]

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The Mirror Effect

Dr Drew Pinsky co-author of The Mirror Effect believes it is our celebrity-obsessed culture is causing us to become more narcissistic and states that Narcissism is the predominant personality disorder in America in 2008/9. Is Australia far behind? Pinsky’s explanation as to why this is so: Narcissism has eroded into parenting styles. We, as narcissists, […]

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Kids are changing

In 1996 a former American gang leader called Manish Gaur, not to be confused with the Indian scholar of the same name) completed a Masters thesis on the reasons why young people join gangs. His findings were that there is a very fine line between children treading a prosocial path, or taking the antisocial alternative. […]

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Einstein said it

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible Albert Einstein As educators it is our role to help children comprehend the world without losing their wonder, creativity and hunger for learning. To do that, we need to do our best to understand the interactive ecology we live in- how we damage […]

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An E – CHANGE is Blowing

Education is due for a change- but what will it be? Suggestions that we are at a tipping point based on the rise and rise of the internet provides a very limited view of what’s needed to help us help kids to grow up and become positively contributing citizens in a world community which seems […]

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