Category: Education

University explains why it walked away from western civilisation degree | Australia news | The Guardian

Former prime minister John Howard

But the lucrative donation was mired in controversy. In April the former prime minister Tony Abbott – also a member of the Ramsay Centre board – published an article in the conservative publication Quadrant stating that the Ramsay Centre was “not merely about western civilisation but in favour of it”.

In the article Abbott criticised contemporary university education, writing that “every element of the curriculum … pervaded by Asian, Indigenous and sustainability perspectives”.

“Almost entirely absent from the contemporary educational mindset was any sense that cultures might not all be equal and that truth might not be entirely relative,” he wrote.
That sparked a backlash against the degree from the National Tertiary Education Union and students over fears about its academic independence of the degree. There was concern from within academia about the influence the Ramsay Centre would have over the curriculum and fears that it would push one narrow view of history.

via University explains why it walked away from western civilisation degree | Australia news | The Guardian

Schools turn to mindfulness to tackle student anxiety

 

Mindfullness may treat the symptoms but fails to address a cure. The Nordic approach to Education over the past 2 decades has adressed the very roots and causes of unnecessary stress in schools the family relieving stress inherent in non universal education turning education back to a process of learning rather than the constant attention to testing and competition for a limited resource.( ODT)

“We’ve collected some data in the one year we’ve been implementing it and teachers all say students have been more productive in the classroom and more focused and calm, particularly after a session. It’s a wonderful reason to continue it if our goal is to improve educational outcomes.”

Homebush West started mindfulness lessons in response to evidence that supporting students’ wellbeing can lead to higher academic achievement as well as health and social outcomes, Mrs Picoaga said.

via Schools turn to mindfulness to tackle student anxiety

‘Pretty damn critical’: Education experts urge big business to step into the classroom

“The biggest barrier is the upper year 11 and 12 curriculum which is so favoured toward tertiary entrance.

“Fixing up secondary school and allowing kids to achieve ‘excellence’ even if they want to be a panelbeater or a barista or a chemist is something that we’ve never had on the table in Australia.”

A rethink was “pretty damn critical”, Professor Hattie said. His University of Melbourne colleague John Polesel, whose research in this area was cited by the Gonski 2.0 review, noted Australia was well behind Denmark and Germany, where about 25 and 50 per cent of their respective high schoolers undertake an apprenticeship.

“The reasons they work well are because the employers actually play a role in designing and delivering the courses and also providing that workplace experience, so that young people are actually learning on the job,” Professor Polesel said.

“That doesn’t come cheap. For those employers to do that, they actually have to bear a short-term cost. But the short-term costs of training them are worth it in the long run because … you end up getting a skilled employee who can actually do what you want them to do because you’ve taught them how to do it.”

via ‘Pretty damn critical’: Education experts urge big business to step into the classroom

Education: Australia’s vocational education system is still creating victims

Little did she know that five months later, Sage would shut down and become yet another footnote in what was arguably the biggest public policy scandal in Australian history: the systematic rorting of the vocational education and training system.

via Education: Australia’s vocational education system is still creating victims

To reduce inequality in Australian schools, make them less socially segregated – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Finland has no Private Schools but far far better outcomes

Inequalities of educational opportunities and experiences are a result of socially segregated schools. Australia has one of the largest resource gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in the OECD. Australia has large the largest gap in the shortage of teachers between disadvantaged and advantaged schools among all OECD countries.

Disadvantaged schools in Australia also have far fewer educational materials (books, facilities, laboratories) than high SES schools. This gap is the third largest in the OECD, with only Chile and Turkey showing larger inequalities between schools.

via To reduce inequality in Australian schools, make them less socially segregated – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Day to Day Politics: For an evaluation of what a splendid education can do, just look at the cabinet. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

 

PS For an evaluation of what a splendid education can do for you just look at the cabinet.

Even when it’s suggested that equality of opportunity in education is a noble pursuit and the right of every child, people like Christopher Pyne , when he was Education Minister, used to say it was class warfare and he ludicrously described the Gonski reforms as such. Mind you at the same time, he confessed to never having read the report.

Now years down the track we have the farcical situation where education is still a mess with the Coalition having a secret slush fund to top up the funding of the private school system while taking money from the Catholic School system.

Why is it so? Why do we deny every kids right to a decent education. You would think that even conservatives when they look into the eyes of the innocent child wouldn’t deny them an education equal to that of any child.

After all they could churn out capitalists who might vote for the. party. As it stands once my generation has passed on their voting pool will be very shallow.

via Day to Day Politics: For an evaluation of what a splendid education can do, just look at the cabinet. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Richest private schools get payments from $7m government ‘slush fund’

Many of the country’s wealthiest private schools are receiving bonus payments from a secretive fund the Turnbull government claims is necessary to help schools transition to its Gonski 2.0 funding model.

On Sydney’s north shore alone, Loreto Kirribilli, St Aloysius’ College and St Ignatius’ Riverview are among the 102 independent schools – most of them in NSW – receiving top-up payments from the $7.1 million pool in 2018.

via Richest private schools get payments from $7m government ‘slush fund’

‘Feminists Need Rape’: DC Charter School Board Official Exposed As White Supremacist, Rape Advocate | Crooks and Liars

 

Until today, John Goldman was a Senior Manager of Finance, Analysis and Strategy for the Washington, DC Public Charter School Board. But today Goldman was suspended pending investigation after photos surfaced of him at parties with known neonazis and white supremacists as the pseudonymous “Jack Murphy,” self-proclaimed liberal-turned-conservative in the age of Trump.

“Murphy,” it seems, was a foe of Richard Spencer. Still it appears they share some fundamental beliefs, though Murphy/Goldman claims he was a Democrat who now has a man-crush on Trump. Apparently former Democrats can be white supremacist men’s rights advocates too!

John Goldman has now admitted that his online alter ego is “Jack Murphy,” but remains unapologetic about his stated beliefs and why he holds them.

Here are some samples of what Murphy/Goldman believes:

via ‘Feminists Need Rape’: DC Charter School Board Official Exposed As White Supremacist, Rape Advocate | Crooks and Liars

‘Too much control’: Pasi Sahlberg on what Finland can teach Australian schools | Australia news | The Guardian

Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish education guru

The very opposite of the conservative approach to schooling. Far too left wing  and anti-Assimilation. Our youth might become probelm solvers and encouraged to think for themselves(Old Dog Thought)

via ‘Too much control’: Pasi Sahlberg on what Finland can teach Australian schools | Australia news | The Guardian

The young are mostly right, they are getting a bad deal

You can understand why young people resent being lumbered with education debt when governments have gone for years tolerating distortions in the tax system – negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount – that favour older people buying investment properties over first-home buyers, and push the price of homes and the size of home loans even higher.And it’s understandable that graduates should be uncertain about the economic value of their degrees at a time when so many uni leavers are taking so long to find a full-time job – which is partly because the past few years of weakness in employers’ demand for workers is being borne mainly at the entry level, and partly because universities have lowered the average value of their degrees by lowering entry standards and by educating far more people for particular occupations than are ever likely to be needed.

Source: The young are mostly right, they are getting a bad deal

I was a poor kid at a wealthy private school. It gave me social mobility, but also a sense of shame | Education | The Guardian

Scholarships at private schools might be highly sought after, but they cause otherwise progressive people to support institutions that maintain structural inequality in society

Source: I was a poor kid at a wealthy private school. It gave me social mobility, but also a sense of shame | Education | The Guardian

Art school is expensive and career options are limited, so why do students still go? – RN – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

With university fees set to rise, and job prospects in the arts sector remaining bleak, many aspiring creative types are faced with a dilemma: is going to art school worth it?

Source: Art school is expensive and career options are limited, so why do students still go? – RN – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

NAPLAN results show it is time to hand trust back to teachers – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Politicians need to recognise that decisions made about education are best made by educators, Gabrielle Stroud writes.

Source: NAPLAN results show it is time to hand trust back to teachers – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Finland Set To Become First Country To Remove All Traditional School Subjects

Finland’s education system is always in the top ten in international ratings and is considered one of the best in the world. The authorities have decided to make changes in their already excellent school system.

Source: Finland Set To Become First Country To Remove All Traditional School Subjects

Conservatives are a product of Direct Instruction – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It’s not surprising that conservatives are fans of Direct Instruction.  It’s their whole life. Many of them are religious.  They do not/cannot question the belief drilled into them from birth for fear of being labelled an heretic or being excommunicated or at least having to do penance. Many conservatives are fans of more standardised tests…

Source: Conservatives are a product of Direct Instruction – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Feed a man a fish – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Image from afr.com

Those who missed the ABC’s Lateline last Wednesday night lost the opportunity to learn about a private (they would prefer the term ‘independent’) school in Sydney that actually seems to want to make a difference. Barker College, a co-educational school in the Anglican tradition, based at Hornsby in Northern Sydney owns and operates the Darkinjung…

Source: Feed a man a fish – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Bavaria may introduce Hitler’s Mein Kampf in schools to ‘immunize’ youngsters.

The Bavarian parliament has held a discussion on whether Hitler’s notorious ‘Mein Kampf’ should become a part of the school curriculum. The idea was blasted by the country’s Jewish groups who called the book an “antisemitic concoction of hatred.”

Source: Bavaria may introduce Hitler’s Mein Kampf in schools to ‘immunize’ youngsters — RT News

Education that teaches girls sex should be ‘pleasurable’. What took them so long? | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

An education resource that teaches girls and boys that sexual intimacy should be pleasurable shouldn’t be revolutionary in 2016 – but it is

Source: Education that teaches girls sex should be ‘pleasurable’. What took them so long? | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

“The Disorder Is In The System, Not The Children” Teacher Quits With Epic Rant AnonHQ

By John Vibes at trueactivist.com   Teacher Wendy Bradshaw pointed out that how the structure of modern schooling is abusive to children, and that children who are labeled as “bad” are many times just having trouble fitting into the rigid structure that is being forced on them. Her …

Source: “The Disorder Is In The System, Not The Children” Teacher Quits With Epic Rant AnonHQ

A literacy deficit – Background Briefing – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Half of all adults in Tasmania cannot read or write properly, and many of their children are following in their footsteps as badly needed school reforms are frustrated. Sarah Dingle investigates.

Source: A literacy deficit – Background Briefing – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Vocational education, the biggest get-rich quick scheme in Australia

Australia’s shonkiest get-rich quick scheme

It’s grown from nothing to costing taxpayers $4 billion this year, and growing fast, and there are few controls. Now the salesmen and shysters are in charge of Australia’s vocational education system.

Source: Vocational education, the biggest get-rich quick scheme in Australia

Education the Liberal way:With No Other Choice, This Student Resorted to Prostitution to Meet NYU’s Soaring Price


MANDY

 Last Tuesday, September 1 — the day before classes started at New York University — there was an extraordinary rally in Washington Square Park to protest Wall Street’s stranglehold on U.S. higher education.

In several ways, this rally was unprecedented. First, it was a massing of communities not only from one threatened university, but several institutions starkly misdirected by their buccaneering boards and pampered managers: NYU, Cooper Union and the New School, three downtown New York City schools severely damaged by their trustees’ serial construction plans and other wild investments.

From those three schools, moreover, there were groups that represented all who’ve been screwed over by the neoliberal seizure of our universities: students — both undergraduate and graduate — increasingly ripped off, and crushed by debt; the ever-growing army of untenured faculty, earning fast food pay to do the lion’s share of teaching; the tenured faculty, squeezed out of governance, and making ever less (while topmost bureaucrats make more and more); and all those staff who struggle in the trenches every day to keep their institutions functioning, despite the serial slashing of their ranks and budgets.

And while unprecedented in its academic reach, including all essential groups within the university, this rally was unprecedented also in its reach beyond the university, to all those living in the shadows of those three metastasizing campuses — and countless other towers now lunging skyward citywide. Along with many Greenwich Village neighbors who were in the park that day, there were activists from neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Chinatown, TriBeCa, Chelsea and the Lower East Side, joining to protest those huge construction projects financed, in particular, by
student debt.

Although NYU is a notoriously grasping “not-for-profit” university — infamous for its eye-popping prices, slim financial aid, and the inordinate debt burden of its graduates, as well as for its bulging real estate portfolio, rampant global ‘growth’ à la McDonald’s, lavish ‘compensation’ (including summer mansions) for its top executives, and cozy unions with authoritarian regimes — its sordid reputation shouldn’t blind us to the fact that NYU is not essentially unlike most other U.S. universities today, but different from them only in degree.

University professors nationwide are well aware of this relationship. This is why our rally won strong statements of support from campuses beyond downtown Manhattan — another first, with faculty at several public universities condemning the corruption of three private schools. Thus, along with certain stellar individuals who teach at Yale, Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of Chicago, those joining us included the faculty unions at Rutgers, the University of Illinois/Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin (now in the cross-hairs of Scott Walker).

Wherever they may teach, the faculty who stood with us last week, in person or in spirit, all recognize that NYU now represents the avant garde of everything that’s wrong with U.S. higher education; and that this trend must be opposed, and then reversed, by those of us who know enough to educate our students, and care enough about them to protect them from a system that is eating them alive.

There was a moment at the rally when the nature of that beast was suddenly, and unforgettably, revealed; when “Mandy,” an anonymous NYU junior, took the stage (face hidden by a mask from Eyes Wide Shut) to tell exactly how, and why, she had no choice but to become a prostitute to meet NYU’s soaring price.

Her story — of a shattering ordeal that’s more widespread at NYU than any other school in the United States (as several media outlets have reported) — left many standing there in tears. It is below in her own words.

***

Good Afternoon, and thank you for attending today’s rally.

I would tell you my name, but if I did, I would have to ask which one you wanted.

Are you asking for Alex, the name I had while working in a dominatrix den in Midtown?

Or are you asking for Johanna, the name they gave me while I was a body-rub girl in an Upper East Side Tantra House?

Maybe it’s better if I just stay nameless.

There are students here who work two, sometimes three jobs just to get by. There are students here who sleep in the lower levels of Bobst because they have nowhere else to go. And there are those of us, like myself, who have turned to Backpages, Craigslist, and Seeking Arrangement because we felt we were running out of options.

Before I became a prostitute, I was an accomplished student. I had perfect grades. At the end of my first semester at NYU, I had been used as a poster child by the university. I had been asked to attend several events with John Sexton, encouraging alumni to donate to one fund or another. When my only parent was injured and therefore unable to work, my professors rallied behind me and wrote to the administration on my behalf, asking for support. They were ignored.

I managed to keep my situation stable for a year, but this winter things became so bad I found myself homeless, and later, jobless. It took everything I had to pay NYU’s fees for the next semester and to settle into a new place. As a first generation college student, I was determined not to let my circumstances prevent me from continuing my education. I didn’t care what the cost was.

I explained my situation to the professors and counselors here at NYU. My grades suffered from all the time I had to devote to my new jobs. I missed classes so I could cover shifts. My essays were almost always late. I was losing my grip, exhausted after days that started at seven and ended in the early hours of the morning.

There wasn’t much left to do. My counselors were kind but could offer no help. Despite my past academic performance, my contributions to the university, and overwhelming support from the faculty, the school would decidedly do nothing to help me.

So I did my best to find jobs that could support me while I finished my degree, though nothing could pay for both school and rent. I became desperate. I started responding to ads on Craigslist promising hourly payments from $80 to $110. I tried to transfer, but no university I applied to – whether they be public or private – would take NYU’s credits. I couldn’t just take time off or leave, since I would still have to pay for $20,000 worth of loans. I had exhausted all other resources. I thought if I wanted to finish school, there was nothing else I could do.

By the time I started working as a dominatrix, I had less than two weeks to make rent. I made the money in two days.

I was doing well, but I couldn’t stay at the den. Friends and strangers alike asked too many questions about what I was doing, why there were bruises on my arms and legs. I started to work at a Tantra House instead, where they charged higher fees, had less competition, and wouldn’t leave marks on my body. The men who visited me there were typically over thirty, married, and involved in business. They were strangely unafraid to talk about themselves and their personal lives. Perhaps they thought I was trustworthy, or maybe they thought I would be too afraid to talk about what I knew, lest I admit to the things I was doing.

But I’m not afraid, at least not anymore. I learned at the dominatrix den and at the Tantra House, almost every single girl who worked there was a student struggling to pay for school or to pay off her crippling student loans. Some were Sarah Lawrence girls, some went to CUNY or Cooper Union, but the vast majority go to or went to NYU.

My story is a common one, and that is why I need to tell it. Student prostitution is not a rarity – an outlier to be dismissed. Many of you know someone who has worked as a dominatrix, a masseuse, a stripper, or as an escort. If you don’t, you know someone who does. It is an epidemic. We came to these universities to better ourselves, to work for a better life. No girl should have to sell herself to make that better life a reality.

I did it because I believed I had earned my place here. I did it because I refused to believe that my family’s socio-economic status should prevent me from getting the best education I could. I did it because I believed that if I worked hard enough, I could make it through. And I did it because I thought in the end, maybe one day, I could forget.

I was one of the lucky ones. At the start of the summer, I had made enough money to walk away from sex work, at least for a few months. Now school is starting again and the process of looking for a well-paid part-time job starts all over. I am lucky. I am out. But I’m afraid that if things don’t go well, I might have to go back.

To some members of the administration of NYU, I am another one of the faceless, nameless students paying for their summer homes and expansion projects, unaware that the money they’ve taken from me and countless other girls has been earned from prostitution.

To the other members of the administration, I’m Alex. Or maybe some call me Johanna.

13 million children denied education by Middle East wars – Coalition lays the seeds of future anger

In a report on the impact of conflict on education in six countries and territories across the region, the United Nation’s children fund UNICEF said more than 8,85

Source: 13 million children denied education by Middle East wars – Your Middle East