Nurturing Democracy: Whitlam Forum

The experience of an educational exchange to Denmark in 2011 continues to provide professional direction about what’s important in the life of a school. During my time at Viborg Katedralskole I saw how democratic values were nourished by the culture of the school and of the nation. Denmark is regularly listed as the happiest and […]

Nurturing Democracy: Shellharbour Forum

Active and informed citizens…are committed to national values of democracy, equity and justice, and participate in Australia’s civic life.     Melbourne Declaration The Student Representative Council (SRC) hosted a forum today for the candidates seeking election in the state electorate of Shellharbour where our school is located. The event was packed, attended by all senior […]

Democracy at school

Does your school hold authentically democratic elections? The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is conducting our school elections for the first time in 2014 as our ‘Nurturing Democracy’ program continues into its third year. Students from Year 7-11 will experience the same voting protocols that their parents recently followed at the 2013 federal election. Students will […]

Nurturing Democracy

“The tone of modern political discourse [in Australia] has caused younger generations to become disillusioned with government, and by extrapolation, with democracy.”  SOURCE  “In a result that confirmed the surprise findings of our 2012 Poll, only 59% of Australians say that ‘democracy is preferable to any other kind of government’, and more than one in […]

Our Democracy & Authentic Learning

 “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” I am tempted to write that nurturing democracy has never been more important. It always has been but one senses that in established successful democracies, like Australia, we take much for granted, especially regarding the practical cogs and mechanisms that […]

Local communities & democracy

How do students learn about democracy? Engaging with the people and processes, ideas and the realities of democratic systems, in an authentic manner, has to be at least as important as historical or theoretical knowledge. Our school genuinely wants students to learn about civil society and our democratic governance, wherever possible, by having real experience […]

‘Democracy Day’

The purpose of school is often debated, sometimes poorly, without any clear or  convincing Big Picture view being sketched for the community. Literacy and numeracy, technical and social skills are honorably mentioned, along with the needs of our economy. However much these skills serve the needs of the individual, it is how we belong effectively, […]

The Melbourne Declaration, Democracy and School

…please strive to maximise [my daughters’] potential…so that they can contribute to and enjoy the fruits of living within an Australian society that is fair, just, tolerant, honourable, knowledgeable, prosperous and happy. Dr Paul Brock Goal 2: All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens          ‘Melbourne Declaration’ The Melbourne Declaration on the […]

Education and Democracy

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore The vibrant student participation at Viborg Katedralskole in the wider life of the Danish community continues to delight and impress. The Danish election is on the 15th September and students are very actively engaged, in a variety of platforms, with the political dialogue of […]

On Tolkien and Orwell

On first looking at J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) and George Orwell (1903-1950) they appear to have little in common, as men or writers, other than being peculiarly English authors with evergreen book sales. The year 1937 was a seminal one for both men and useful for highlighting their different lifestyles, politics and literary experiences. Tolkien, the […]

Twitter, Mobile Phones and Mark Pesce

…in the last six months, a lot of people in Australia have discovered Twitter – particularly those folks who, like myself, are interested in what’s up-and-coming on the Web. Nearly all of those folks use Twitter these days, and most of them follow one another. I quickly got swept up into this madness, and am […]

Shared fictions

‘Human power depends on mass cooperation, mass cooperation depends on manufacturing mass identities – and all mass identities are based on fictional stories, not on scientific facts or even on economic necessities.’ ‘When you give up all the fictional stories, you can observe reality with far greater clarity than before, and if you really know […]

MyData: Personalising the Curriculum

Recently I presented DNA: Personalising the Curriculum at the WHAT IF? Embracing complexity through curriculum conference which has reinvigorated my belief that we need to make some profoundly important changes to our approach to educating young people about their “personal data”. I asked the question: what if school empowered students to understand & use personal data? Students should be well-educated about […]

Reflections: Occasional Papers #AI #education #21stcenturyskills #NSWDoE

“As part of the Education for a Changing World project, the NSW Department of Education has established the Education: Future Frontiers Occasional Paper Series. The series will bring together essays commissioned by the department from distinguished Australian and international authors to stimulate debate and discussion about Artificial Intelligence (AI), education and 21st century skill needs.” […]

#UtopiaforRealists #review and my #reading in May

Consider this: The word utopia means both “good place” and “no place.” What we need are alternative horizons that spark the imagination. And I do mean horizons in the plural; conflicting utopias are the lifeblood of democracy, after all. …in the revolutionary year of 1968, when young demonstrators the world over were taking to the […]

My #reading October 2016

The upgrading of humans into gods may follow any of three paths: biological engineering, cyborg engineering and the engineering of non-organic beings. …in an upgraded world you will feel like a Neanderthal hunter in Wall Street. You won’t belong. I read Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari on my kindle and highlighted […]

The KFC Fix

“The 2016 results show reading scores have increased by 0.4 per cent since 2013, writing scores have declined by 0.2 per cent and numeracy scores have risen by 1.26 per cent. Over the same time period, federal school funding has increased by 23.7 per cent.”   Federal Minister for Education, 2016             […]

My #reading: July 2016

Historians indeed hope that their books might entwine intimately with the lives of their readers and that their histories may sit on bedside tables ready to enter dreams. History – that unending dialogue between the present and the past – is essential to human consciousness. It is conducted as part of the daily business of […]

A big task!

Greg Whitby is the only very senior educationalist that I know in NSW who regularly uses social media and blogging to highlight his educational beliefs and values. Greg has blogged, tweeted and generally participated in online discussions for as long as social media has been a concept. He is enthusiastic about technology or rather, how […]

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