Clever marketing strategies, well designed t-shirts, coloured cars, and a social media campaign have increasingly asked members of the Australian public to position themselves as "Giving a Gonski" (see http://igiveagonski.com.au/what-s-gonski/). To badge oneself with this term, is to demonstrate visible support to proposed changes to the funding of Australian schools. I want to give a Gonski, as an educator who works closely across the schooling sector, but I can't because it is a complex discussion which is inaccessible to the average person.
It is easy to feel confused, disillusioned and a little disheartened by current critiques and critics of school education as it is portrayed in the media. There are many competing agendas, and a series of conflated issues raised by policy makers, politicians, media commentators and many graduates of the school sector. There is a lack of clarity in the language we use, and feelings we have about education as a society. in some respects, we may have lost sight of the significance and power of a strong, vibrant and robust schooling system, as an asset of our country.
I love education. I am committed to contributing solid, innovative and rigorous education for pre-service teachers. I have rich partnerships with many amazing schools across public and private schooling sectors. I have a deep commitment to social justice, and believe that for every success we experience in life, we should contribute something back for a "greater good" in/for society.
My research and thinking, and even my identity with regard to social networking has evolved, but not in a way I have anticipated. Over the past three years, I have offered a number of conference addresses and keynote presentations focussed on the use of social media and networking in education. I have co-authored chapters in books about the challenges, potentials and pitfalls, and often humorously reflected upon myself as s stalker-mum or stalker-teacher.
This post was published in ACEL's weekly online newsletter (22/08/20110
In a recent newspaper article (Long way to top 10, The Age (Melbourne, Australia)
I think I just made up a word – edu-politics – but maybe I didn’t . . . but it doesn’t seem to matter in the madness of the current election campaigns. ...
Currently, there is significant debate over the recent announcement by Victoria’s Shadow Education Minister, Martin Dixon, that a Coalition Government would enforce truancy laws and fine the parents of students who are absent from school over extended periods of time, or who are regularly absent. The application of these fines would occur where an unidentified person decided that the reasons provided for absence were unacceptable. The basis for such a decision is as yet unclear, and it is not this issue that I am addressing here. As things become clearer, I am sure there will still be much to be clarified.