Education for Older Kids

Grattan Institute research reveals teachers face wide range in ability within class

Alexandra Smith Achievement levels in a single year can be so vastly spread that teachers grapple with a five to six-year difference between their most advanced and least advanced students.

Children could be exposed to predators on government website

Among the

Bill O'Chee Children at risk of exposure to predators through government-run website.


Single-sex schools: we wouldn’t segregate kids by race, so why do we still do it by gender?

Single-sex schools: there's no place for single-sex schooling in the Australian education landscape

Anna Dabrowski & Gregory Donoghue Several single-sex institutions are making a move towards coeducational education, reflecting a trend in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Sex education

What if teenage girls helped write their own sex ed curriculum?

A new survey, aimed at 16 to 21-year-old women, is capturing insights into how high school sex education can be improved - from the very people who matter most.

Nina Funnell and Katrina Marson A new survey shows how high school sex ed can be improved - from the very people who matter most.

Kids prefer maths when you let them figure out the answer for themselves

New research for primary and junior secondary schools shows kids prefer to nut out maths problems without the teacher’s help.

Peter Sullivan A common view is that students learn maths best when teachers give clear explanations of mathematical concepts, usually in isolation from other concepts, and students are then given opportunities to practise what they have been shown.

School uniforms – a blessing or a curse?

The case for and against school uniforms.

Eva Dobozy The majority of public and private schools have uniform and dress policies with varying degrees of strictness.

Too many school students are overconfident

Can being too confident at school be detrimental to your child's education?

Lazar Stankov and Jihyun Lee Many recent, large-scale and international studies confirm that there are things outside of a child's natural intelligence that affect their academic performance.

Declining NAPLAN participation rates are likely skewing the data


Jo Anderson and Chris Boyle The data is used to inform education policy and strategies to improve student learning in literacy and numeracy but is it becoming increasingly unreliable?

Principal takes students to sex shop for educational excursion

No place for children.

Kerri Sackville The principal of a Minneapolis school took her students on an excursion to a sex shop to create a 'safe space' for the class to discuss issues around sex.

Weird things people thought about sex as kids

Weird things people thought about sex as kids.

Livia Gamble A new video shows parents exactly why kids should be taught about sex.

Compulsory science and maths is great but there’s more to be done

Engage students with science in primary schools.

Ragbir Bhathal Compulsory maths and science in years 11 and 12 will have a lasting benefit, but we need to boost the skills of teachers and start teaching science even earlier.

Mobile phone ban helps underperforming students: study

Students at a school in Melbourne use their mobile phones in class.

Michael Koziol New research in the UK suggests mobile phone use in the classroom can have a negative impact on test results for under-performing students.

High school quarterback keeps promise, takes friend with Down syndrome to prom

Prom: High school quarterback Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz.

Livia Gamble When Ben Moser met Mary Lapkowicz in the fourth grade, Ben always made sure she was included.

School refusal is not the same as wagging


Chris Boyle, Jo Anderson & Natalie Swayn School refusal is an often misunderstood and serious difficulty for many students.

The letter Andrew Chan wanted all Australian teenagers to read


Livia Gamble Even after his death convicted drug smuggler Andrew Chan hoped to make a difference.

Dad responds to school's firm stance on kids missing school for a family holiday


Livia Gamble Parents say its family time, while teachers claim it's a burden, but is it okay for kids to miss school for a family holiday?

What it was like to be a dad fighting in World War One

Some campaigns weren’t as wholesome as others.

Rebecca Bowyer There's no telephone, no Skype, no endless stream of happy snaps shared on Facebook or Instagram. The only way for a child growing up in World War I to keep in touch with their dad was to send a postcard and hope for a reply.

Mum live tweets her son's sex-ed class, goes viral

Shocked: Alice Dreger Tweeter he son's ex-ed class.

Livia Gamble Alice Dreger was shocked at the school's abstinence only stance and began tweeting the contents of the lesson.

'I wish my teacher knew': Teacher shares students' heartbreaking notes


Livia Gamble Trying to get to know her students a little better, a Colorado third grade teacher created a lesson plan called "I wish my teacher knew" and the results are heartbreaking.

A teenage maths equation from Singapore that has stumped the world

The question as it appeared in the Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad test paper last week.

A high-school maths question has stumped numerically literate people around the world.

Don’t blame kids if they do not enjoy school, study


Livia Gamble A lack of motivation in school might not have anything to do with children and there teachers and everything to do with their parents.


What you need to know about mindfulness in schools

Peaceful change: mindfulness is being taught in more schools here and overseas.

Colleen Ricci The Mindfulness in Schools Project, based in the United Kingdom, is one of many initiatives bringing mindfulness meditation into classrooms around the world.


Spelling bees don’t teach kids literacy, or much else

Waste of time: Instead of studying for a spelling bee focus on real-world tasks like reading literature or writing stories.

Nathaniel Swain Channel Ten's newly announced show, The Great Australian Spelling Bee, will attempt to make education entertaining, by missing the point altogether.

Finland’s school reforms won’t scrap subjects altogether

A move towards ‘phenomenon-based’ teaching has been divisive in Finland.

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?

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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

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