Education for Older Kids

Finland’s school reforms won’t scrap subjects altogether

Pasi Sahlberg Stay calm: despite the reforms, Finnish schools will continue to teach mathematics, history, arts, music and other subjects in the future.

Are you guilty of doing your child's homework?

Are you too quick to step in when your child has homework?

Armin Brott Various studies have found that somewhere between a quarter and half of parents do their kids' homework for them. Here is why you should stop.

NSW needs 385 new classrooms every year for a decade


Alexandra Smith NSW will need an extra 385 primary school classrooms every year for the next decade to cope with booming enrolments, and more students will be forced back to the public system because Catholic and private schools will run out of room, a new report warns.

Gender discrimination through my son's eyes

Different perspective: How our children view gender discrimination.

Miriam Porter Explaining to my son why girls and women don't have the same rights as boys and men is hard, since I don't fully understand it myself.

Brave nine-year-old to get award for quick thinking that saved his mum

Brave boy: Quinn Morton-Sands, 9 phoned for help when mum Emma Sands had a serious fall.

Anna Williams A New Zealand boy is being recognised for his bravery after he looked after his two younger sisters and called emergency services when his mother fell down the stairs.

Unschooling: What is it and how one family does it

Unschooling: Children are natural learners.

Andrea Orr Thirteen-year-old Fin Hewitt and his 10-year-old brother Rye sport belt knives instead of backpacks.

The upsides of dyslexia

Confidence boost: Focus on what students with dyslexia can do, not only on what they can't.

Mihal Greener Difficulties in reading and writing can come across as only obstacles but research recently published in Scientific American identifies the upsides for children who have dyslexia.

Why Australia should have fewer selective schools

Selective schools: Lessons we can take from Canada.

Laura Perry When the gap between good and bad schools widens, so does the social class of its students, to the detriment of society.

NAPLAN writing test to change after controversy

Children at Alphington Primary school sitting the Naplan test.

Tom Decent The writing question in this year's NAPLAN test will be different for primary and high school students. 


Finland scraps cursive writing lessons in favour of typing classes

Running-writing dropped: Finland is replacing cursive writing for typing lessons.

Mary Ward Cursive handwriting classes will be scrapped in favour of computer typing classes in Finnish primary schools.

9-year-old girl writes poem dark beyond her years

Creativity corner: Girl, 9, writes dark poem.

Livia Gamble The Los Angeles Times published the poem by Gabi, 9, in its "Creativity corner" and in contrast to the other young writers, it's quite grim.

School students forced to drop pants for inspection

Eliza Medina was forced to lower her pants at school.

Mary Ward A Texas elementary school has forced children to remove their pants after fecal matter was left on the floor of the school's gym.

A tribute to my inspirational teachers

Inspired: The teachers that change us.

Donna Webeck Everyone has at least one - a teacher from their past who they credit with changing both their outlook on education and life as a whole.


The problem with tutoring

Tutoring students: Why it isn't always necessary.

Antonia Kidman It seems parents are commonly employing tutors to help their children keep up or get ahead of peers but is the extra cost really warranted?


Public schools are as good as private: study

Study reveals public schools are as good as private.

Public schools are just as good as private schools in getting results with students from similar socio-economic backgrounds, a study has found.

Creativity in schools is good, so what’s the hitch?

Why don't governments work more to esnure creativity is fostered all the way through school?

Anne Harris Creativity is changing the way we think about the arts, pedagogy and publics – but why is it important and why do schools suddenly think they need it?

Boys will be boys? Misbehaviour at school isn't a biological issue

Bad boys: perhaps biology plays less of a role than we thought.

Amanda Keddie Boys are more likely to play up at school, but it’s more of a social problem than a biological one.

A teacher's spelling doesn't necessarily affect their teaching

Future teachers ... how important is spelling to teaching?

Stewart Riddle A former teacher comments on the recent reports that aspiring teachers have lower literacy levels than the school students they will be teaching.


Personality matters more than intelligence when it comes to doing well at school

Should schools be focusing more on personality than intelligence?

Livia Gamble Being smart is one thing, but it's what kids' are prepared to do with their intelligence that counts.

Why we should ditch single-sex schools


Dom Knight The biggest problem with limiting oneself to the company of men, writes Dom Knight.

Comments 8

School should be about more than just measuring intelligence

Non-cognitive skills testing in schools: are we missing something?

Nicholas Biddle & Sarah Ball We know the hard workers give the naturally gifted a good run for their money. But, this hasn't always been reflected in policy or how we instruct our teachers.

One little girl's thoughtful letter to her teacher


Shaza Barbar Teachers may receive many cards and letters from their students but this supportive and thoughtful letter from one nine-year-old girl to her teacher has caught people's attention.


An open letter to Year 6 kids on their last day of primary school

Time to celebrate ...

Maria Tedeschi Yesterday was tough. We can see that. You’ve finished your time at primary school and it’s an end you probably didn’t ask for.


Taliban attack on school in Pakistan kills dozens of students

Relatives of a student, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, comfort each other outside Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

Saad Khan and Jibran Ahmad Taliban insurgents have killed at least 140 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan. Warning: images may be disturbing.

What #illridewithyou can teach our kids


Saman Shad When we discuss with our children the events of the Sydney siege we should also take it upon ourselves to explain how it started a movement.


Study shows public schools beat private rivals in HSC comparison

Students at Ambravale High School sit their first HSC exam - English paper 1.

Amy McNeilage Out of the 60 most advantaged schools in the state, public schools scored above 90 in 38 per cent of their exams, on average, while the rate was 26 per cent in private schools.


Conversations I never had with my mother


Josefa Pete Not one of us can deny that parenting has changed over the ages. From the expectations we place on ourselves as parents, to the dynamics of how a family works and even the conversations we have with our children.

Why the world loves Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi with their Nobel peace prizes.

Radhika Sanghani As Pakistani schoolgirl education activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, collects the Nobel Peace Prize, we re-live her top moments and quotes.

Young Australian teachers recruited to help UK cope with "ghastly" shortage

Filling the gap: Kaitlyn Young and Emily Kerr-Laslett from Canberra will be travelling to the UK to work as casual teachers.

Amy McNeilage Young Australians are increasingly being recruited to work in schools in Britain after there being an acute shortage of qualified teachers.

‘Chalk and talk’: Direct teaching might be the best

Traditional models of teaching, which involve the teacher leading rather than guiding the children, could be more effective.

Kevin Donnelly It seems we have been misguided in abandoning the traditional, teacher-directed method of learning where the teacher spends more time standing at the front of the class, directing learning and controlling classroom activities.

Most of us don't fulfill our childhood dreams

When I grow up ...

Catherine Rodie Only 6 Percent of us have the jobs we wanted as kids – but is that a bad thing?

Comments 3

Teachers victims of cyber bullying too

Cyber bullying poses a threat to teachers too.

Livia Gamble While a lot of focus has been on children being bullied in schools, a new survey revealed teachers can be victims of cyber bullying too.

Primary school banning the 'cotton wool'

SENSIBLE RISKS: Mt Biggs pupils enjoy their BMX track. Ben Davis, 11, makes a jump over Dan McKellar, 12, and Justin Mauder, 11. Travis Scandle, 11, at left, and Jack Carter, 10, watch from the sides.

Lucy Townend Mollycoddling is off the agenda at this school, where tackle rugby, tree climbing and racing BMX bikes are allowed.


How to research your family history

Getting kids to interview their grandparents is a great place to start.

Nicole Thomson-Pride In remembrance of the ANZAC Centenary, there has never been a better time for children to start researching their family’s history.

Lonely Planet for young adventurers


KATE GEENTY Lonely Planet is aiming to grab adventurers at a young age, with a new series of books aimed at readers five and up.

Principal says school doesn't work for most kids

Why school doesn't set all students up for success.

Rebecca English Here is why Templestowe College principal Peter Hutton believes secondary school only works for about a "third of students".

Comments 2

Watch: Dance company's powerful anti-cyber bullying video


Livia Gamble A dance company has created a powerful anti-cyber bullying short film to raise awareness during National Bullying Prevention Month.

Comments 1

Things modern kids do that we never did

Seeing the world ...

Megan Blandford Our kids’ lives look vastly different from our bike-riding, Vegemite-sandwich-eating childhood but here is why it's a good thing.

Comments 2

New curriculum preparing teens for the work force


Livia Gamble A new curriculum has been developed to prepare teens for the work force.

Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai a formidable force for girls' rights

Malala Yousafzai: Formidable force for girls' rights.

Schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai's courageous fightback from being shot by the Taliban has transformed her both into a symbol for human rights and a campaigner in global demand.

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi

Malala Yousafzai

Children's rights activists Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday.

E-homework is widening the gap for disadvantaged students

Not all students have the same access to resources outside class.

Eva Dobozy Homework tasks that require an iPad or laptop may disadvantage low socio-economic status students.


Trimming "Tiger Mum's" claws

Study claims punitive 'Tiger Mum' parenting doesn't work.

Rachel Clun A new study has refuted the idea that the punitive, "Tiger Mum" style of parenting works.

Active boys perform better in classroom

Academic benefits to being active for kids.

Letitia Rowlands Want to help your sons achieve the best academic results possible? Then put the car keys away and get them to walk or ride their bike to school. 

Do parents know what's best for schools?


Jennifer Chesters Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon semms convinced that giving parents' councils more power will result in better outcomes but Jennifer Chesters suggests otherwise.


School organises training session for girls with 'Lingerie League'

Lingerie football

Catherine Rodie A South Australian high school invited the ‘Lingerie League’ – a sport where women play football in their bikinis - to practice with their female year nine students.

How to stop homophobic bullying in schools


How should schools respond to incidents of teasing and bullying related to gender and sexual identity? Telling them it's wrong isn't the answer.

School system worse now than when Gonski wrote report


Amy McNeilage The Australian education system is in worse shape now than when David Gonski handed down his damning assessment of it three years ago, with academic performance sliding and the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students widening.

Home schooling: an idea worth promoting

Not the answer: Regular schools are way too restrictive for many children, who are better suited to being home-schooled.

James Athanasou The main aim of home schooling is to offer an alternative. It is ideal for anyone who believes our current school system is not suitable for their child.


NAPLAN results are 'only a snapshot of how your child was going'


Amy McNeilage An analysis of NAPLAN data reveals one in five 14-year-olds in NSW is performing so poorly in writing that they should be receiving targeted intervention.


Why your child's grit could be more important than their IQ

Why grit sets children apart.

Kym Campradt Angela Lee Duckworth discovers the single most significant predictor for success in children and it isn’t social intelligence, physical health, attractiveness or even IQ.

Better than textbooks, apps are providing students with resources and knowledge

Sharpening skills: Manu Multani, left, and teacher Rick Connors from Wanganui Park Secondary College in Shepparton. Apps give students more control over their learning and, for country students, access to opportunities they might otherwise not have.

Cynthia Karena Teachers used to be the main source of information in classrooms but now apps are providing students with direct access to resources and knowledge.


NAPLAN results don't tell us the whole story


Suzanne Rice Results are out for NAPLAN 2014, and already the discussions have started around the meaning of those results.


Girl, 9, accidentally shoots dead instructor

Girl at range.

Lauren Raab A nine-year-old US girl has accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi.

How schools across the country are helping themselves


Maxine McKew Australia has lost bragging rights in being able to claim status among the high-performing education systems. But there’s reason for optimism. There are class acts all across the country, and in some unlikely places.


High school students being grouped on test results

The Age
picture Justin McManus.
Naplan Test.
Children at Alphington Primary school sitting the Naplan test.

Alexandra Smith High school students are being grouped in classes based on NAPLAN results, as comprehensive NSW high schools are increasingly doing their own selective testing, ignoring research that reveals streaming can do more harm than good.


Report finds Victorian teachers must learn to set quality homework

Homework: new teachers may not be setting the right kind.

Benjamin Preiss Teachers, you have a new assignment - learning to set better homework.

Fairfax launches Boots for Kids

Nicko King and his new boots.

Tom Decent Boots for Kids is a campaign asking Fairfax Media readers to donate footy boots at the end of the season, so we can get them to indigenous kids in rural and remote areas who have none.


How to be your teen's career coach


Tiffany Dunk In today’s school system, the pressure is on for teens to choose their career path years before they’re ready to leave the classroom.


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