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2017 (15) 6 June 2017

ET News Digest
Your Weekly Education Newsletter
Bad Grades
– Ben Lawless argues that using grades prioritises achievement over progress

The Australian federal government requires schools to report twice a year on student achievement using an A-E system (Australian Education Act, 2013). Research and experience suggests this is not the best way to use assessment to improve learning, nor the best way to communicate assessment information.

The case presented in this article is that grades aren’t the best method because they measure current achievement, not progress, they’re linked to problematic age-based norms and in many cases, don’t provide a valid comparison. Grades also harm students’ motivation. Read More
Principals lead in raising literacy levels
A reading program focusing on school principals as leaders and change makers is raising literacy levels across Australia.

The program’s key strengths were the five modules delivered throughout the year together with about 10 hours of coaching, support and follow-up activities in between the workshops. Read More
ACT Auditor-General releases disappointing school report
ACT Auditorā€General, Dr Maxine Cooper, presented a performance audit report on Performance information in ACT public schools to the Speaker, for tabling in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

"ACT public schools are performing below similar schools in other jurisdictions despite expenditure on a per student basis for public schools being one of the highest in the country,*" said Cooper.

"Since 2014 reviews of ACT, public schools have consistently identified shortcomings in their analysis of student performance information and their use of data to inform educational practice. These shortcomings indicate a systemic problem." Read More
Non-typically developing children benefit from video games
A research paper, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, reviewed 19 studies that investigated whether the use of active video games could help children's development.

Project supervisor Dr Lisa Barnett said the analysis showed active video games could have a positive effect for helping non-typically developing children improve their balance, a critical gross motor skill – as long as they were supervised. Read More
New teaching roles in SA
The SA government is calling for recent education graduates and current teachers to apply for over 130 ongoing teaching roles.

The permanent employment positions have opened in country and metropolitan government schools across South Australia.

There are a range of incentives and entitlements for those choosing to work in rural and remote schools, such as relocation and housing subsidies, financial benefits and additional salary raises. Read More
Breakfast proves to be the most important meal of the day
Victoria's School Breakfast Clubs have now served more than two million meals across the state at 500 of the state’s most disadvantaged schools.

Since the program started, nine out of 10 teachers have seen improved student concentration, seven out of 10 have noted improved attendance and more than eight out of 10 teachers say they now have better relationships with their students. Read More
Using mobiles at night bad for teens
Research conducted by Murdoch and Griffith Universities tracked changes in late-night mobile phone use, sleep, and mental health indicators over three years in a large sample of Australian teens.

The researchers found that adolescents’ late-night mobile phone use was directly linked to poor quality sleep, which subsequently led to poorer mental health outcomes, reduced coping, and lowered self-esteem. Read More
NSW HSC new options in science
NSW will offer Year 12 high school students a high level science course that allows them to carry out a scientific research project and study with research institutes and universities.

NESA also announced five new Science Life Skills Stage 6 courses that will be available from 2018. The new Science Life Skills Stage 6 Syllabus includes the following course options: Chemical World Science Life Skills, Earth and Space Science Life Skills, Investigating Science Life Skills, Living World Science Life Skills and Physical World Science Life Skills. Read More
Anything is Possible at the Victorian State Schools Spectacular
Three thousand young performers from more than 200 schools will showcase how Anything is Possible at the Victorian State Schools Spectacular on Saturday 16 September.

The Spectacular provides students a performing arts opportunity, encouraging development of their creative skills, discipline, perseverance and confidence over months of rehearsals. The environment is non-competitive allowing students to learn from each other as much as from the mentors. Read More