Posts Tagged ‘ education ’

Star Wars Jedi Knights course offered by Queen’s University Belfast

Sep 12th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Offbeat

A university is offering a course that will use the psychology of the Star Wars Jedi Knights to teach students communication skills and personal development. According to publicity material, the course ‘Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way’ teaches the “real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks”.

Obama Looks to Lessons From Chicago in His National Education Plan

Sep 10th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Election 2008

Were he to become president, Senator Obama would retain the emphasis on the high standards and accountability of President Bush’s education law, No Child Left Behind. But he would rewrite the federal law to offer more help to high-need schools, especially by training thousands of new teachers to serve in them, his campaign said. He would also expand early childhood education, which he believes gets more bang for the buck than remedial classes for older students.

Nine months of nothingness

Sep 10th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

With the mood turning against Labor in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Kevin Rudd may need a new plan. How about an action plan? For more than nine months, like a period of gestation, we have waited in anticipation for the change that the Prime Minister claimed this country needed after the Howard years. Smarting from attacks that his Government lacked direction, Rudd hurriedly rushed out a few planks in his education revolution a few weeks ago.

The big picture on education funding

Sep 9th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Total government spending for each Victorian government school student in 2005-06 was $10,352. Total spending for each non-government school student was almost half that figure — $5614. Independent school parents pick up the difference and in Victoria they are going to have to make an even bigger sacrifice.

School Chief Wins $1 Million On Game Show

Sep 7th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Offbeat

Kathy Cox appeared on the third season premiere of Fox’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” The Republican superintendent drew criticism for appearing on the show from some who said she had better things to do.

Refocusing on schools in need

Sep 4th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Rudd Government’s push for greater transparency in the performance of schools has been widely read as copycat politics. Successive Liberal ministers were determined to “out” poorly performing schools. How is Kevin Rudd different?

Computers don’t make an education revolution

Sep 4th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Federal Education Minister Gillard claims the debate about resourcing is over. She echoes political opponents who haven’t given a damn about educational equity since the Menzies era. The debate, according to Rudd and Gillard, is now about values and tough love — which means tough times for many government schools.

New US chattering class rises

Sep 4th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The United States is changing and the Democratic liberals might be able (just) to win a national election without the overwhelming support of the alienated white working class. If such a victory doesn’t happen this time, it will soon. The US, like Britain, is seeing the rise of what one might call a mass chattering class.

Rudd’s big idea: change nothing

Sep 3rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Kevin Rudd fought the election by promising “fresh leadership” that would make our lives better without involving unpopular change. Indeed, he promised to retain vast swathes of John Howard’s policies. In short, he promised change without change. The public’s slowly growing disillusionment with the Rudd Government represents its dawning realisation that change without change isn’t possible.

Full marks for old-school Rudd

Sep 2nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Julia Gillard flagged Labor’s intentions in school education during an interview on the ABC in August. At the moment state and territory governments, supported by teachers’ unions, refuse to provide meaningful statistics. So it is impossible to determine which schools are achieving the best results and which are the best managed.