Why do Australian states need a national curriculum, and do teachers even use it?

The Commonwealth designs the national curriculum, the states implement it. Curriculum debates are not just an academic argy-bargy over what should or should not be included, but also reflect a “nation’s soul”. It is an insight into what we value. Hence the many heated debates about what is “important” for young people to learn become value laden.

Researching the arts and wellbeing: Challenges and opportunities

The wellbeing boost we receive from creative arts activity is well-known. But finding ways to tease out the complex and interacting active ingredients that constitute these benefits, appraise their impact on our mental health, and share them among all Australians, remains a challenge.

How to bridge the teacher and academic divide online

Teachers and academics often do not mix.  This hurts teachers’ engagement with research and its application in the classrooms. We need to bring together teachers, academics, and others within shared spaces to develop collaborative approaches to research and to actively engage with it. Important within this is the idea of a pracademic: a person capable of working between and within the teaching profession and the world of research.

INSIDE THE MUSICIAN. Aviva Endean: Thank you Peggy! The gift that keeps on giving.

Aviva Endean is an artist dedicated to fostering a deep engagement with sound and music, with the hope that attentive listening can connect people with each other and their environment. She works as a composer, clarinettist, improviser, and performance-maker, and creates unusual, spatially engaged, and participatory contexts for listening. She recounts her experience as artist in residency in the Peggy Glanville-Hicks House in 2021.

In education we are now measuring motivation rather than learning

The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is seen as the gold standard for assessing the performance of education systems — but new research shows that its results are highly influenced by students’ lack of motivation to achieve high scores. The same may be true of Australian NAPLAN results.

The further hollowing out of ethics and education in Australia’s universities

By what calculus does the Australian government arrive at the decision to decimate (indeed, double-decimate) the academic population as an act of fiscal responsibility, and with it the educational future of the country, while engaging in a future submarine project which is a byword for unaccountable profligacy?

Can artists revive dead city centres? Without long-term tenancies it’s window dressing

Melbourne’s rising occupancy costs have been forcing artists out of the city, in a pattern well known around the world. As a response to COVID, spaces are becoming vacant and city and state governments are giving temporary additional arts funding, but not with any long term policy plan. There is an opportunity to rethink and secure vacant properties to house arts activity into the long term.