Pride and Prejudice named favourite book among English teachers – but only because ‘subject is dominated by women’

Pride and Prejudice has come out on top in a survey of UK English teachers’ top 100 books for children – but only because the subject is dominated by female staff, a senior teaching expert has said.

The Jane Austen classic appeared ahead of other English curriculum staples such as The Great Gatsby and Nineteen Eighty-Four, as well as modern favourites Harry Potter and Twilight.

Chair of the National Association for the Teaching of English Simon Gibbons said the results of the Times Education Supplement survey were a reflection on the high proportion of women in teaching because “people who like that book tend to be female.”

He said: “People tell me it’s a very good book.

“I don’t personally hold that view – I’m just not a massive fan of that period of English fiction. But people who like that book tend to be female rather than male. And there are more female than male teachers, so perhaps that’s a reflection of gender as well.”

Statistics released by Nottingham Trent and Bedfordshire universities earlier this year showed around a quarter of primary schools in England – 4,5000 – are staffed entirely by women, with men making up just 12 per cent of the primary school workforce. Full article

5 ‘design your own game’ websites for students – with consideration for safe & responsible use.

Looking at these game sites its hard to resist something that is “free” and all there for you. One caution with some of these sites is to always look for the chat and social networking within. If the site has one it does present a risk and some difficulty in supervising just who your students are talking to. If the site allows you to control this then set it up to communication only in your classs , school or if agreed with other schools (Could be a unique group of interested students across schools. You can establish hard and fast rules about the set up of the space. Make sure you have parental permission and that they are fully informed and importantly that you set up expected behaviours as you would in your classroom and processes for supervision. (Just as you would in any class)
Just as we advise students look, think and consider the opportunities and the risks.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the use of gaming in the classroom – from the ‘gamification’ of learning to the use of Minecraft to teach everything from physics to strategic thinking.  Since long before education technology even existed, video games have been a hugely successful way to engage students, creating a fun and compelling environment in which they can learn, develop and interact with their peers. But allowing students to actually take control of designing the game themselves takes the concept to a whole new level, allowing them to practice a host of new creative and technical skills. Here are 5 websites – let the games begin!

Apparently its National School Librarian Day!!!

You know when you get an email and it looks a bit dodgy. ….Well I am not sure of the original source, the validity of the reference or even if it’s true but hey Why not? Pity there are no kids at school but I think in a way we have made this a sort of public holiday (Well school holiday anyway) to celebrate. To all those school librarians out there…Thank you for all that you do and have a great break. My favourite resource to share is the Lipstick Librarian

Background Report for the 2013 International Summit OECD

In some countries the concept – not to mention the use – of teacher appraisal sparks discussion just about wherever and whenever it is mentioned. According to what criteria? Who decides? And what should the results of teacher appraisals be used for?

The third International Summit on the Teaching Profession held in Amsterdam on 13-14 March 2013 brought together education ministers, union leaders and other teacher leaders from high-performing and rapidly improving education systems, as measured by the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), to discuss how teacher quality is defined and what standards are set and by whom; what systems are in place for teacher evaluation and how evaluations are conducted; and how teacher evaluation contributes to school improvement and teacher self-efficacy. Full Details 

And here is a presi


Bag the Web – A good place to start a discussion about search

This blew me away when my colleague Peter Maggs sent it to me. Its simplicity yet seemingly clever results. For years in my work I have sort out the perfect search and clustering has always interested me. Clustering is where the results are clustered under themes or topics according to  the meta data (Think library catalogue card info) that is wrapped around the webresource. Really smart ones could search through the text (as google does) but does all of this through the most creditible webresources including blogs and other social media sources. Worth a look to present students with a view of another type of search and to challenge and inquire about what they know and understand about the search.

This is not so much about getting fabulous search results but more about starting the discussion around what students know about search – in most cases Google.

Try it out at have fun! Sandy

PISA in Focus – Grade expectations

PISA is an international study that was launched by the OECD in 1997. It aims to evaluate education systems worldwide every three years by assessing 15-year-olds’ competencies in the key subjects: reading, mathematics and science. To date over 70 countries and economies have participated in PISA.

This Pisa Report presents the international challenges around marking tests and what that means for the countries who participate in PISA. m

Marks are more than just a source of anxiety – and pride – among
students; they are a way that society communicates its values concerning
education and the skills needed to be good learners. Marks serve the primary
purpose of promoting student learning by informing students about their
progress, alerting teachers about their students’ needs, and certifying the
degree to which students have mastered the tasks and competencies valued
by teachers and schools. Full document



National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence 2013

Over 1400 schools across Australia have registered for the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, Friday 15 March 2013. What a fantastic response!
This annual day provides a focus for schools who want to say Bullying. No Way! and to strengthen their everyday messages that bullying and violence at school are not okay at any time.
The annual National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence is organised by all Australian education authorities through the Safe and Supportive School Communities Project.

Introduction to Australian Social Trends

Australian Social Trends draws on a wide range of data, sourced both from ABS and other agencies, to present a picture of Australian society. This publication aims to inform decision-making, research and discussion on social conditions in Australia. It covers social issues of current and ongoing concern, population groups of interest, and changes over time.

The selection of articles aims to address current and perennial social concerns and to provide answers to key social questions. Some topics are revised as new data becomes available. The aim of this approach is for each report to remain responsive to contemporary concerns, while accumulating a more comprehensive picture of Australian social conditions over time. For this reason, articles often include cross references to other relevant articles in the current issue, and in previous issues. All Australian Social Trends articles are available via the ‘Article archive‘ page.

Australian Social Trends is structured according to the ABS Wellbeing Framework which identifies areas of social concern, population groups and transactions among people and entities within their social environments (see ABS Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics, 2001 - cat. no. 4160.0). The broad areas of social concern are:

  • population
  • family and community
  • health
  • education and training
  • work
  • economic resources
  • housing
  • crime and justice
  • culture and leisure
  • other areas – including environment, religion, and transport and communication.

Global2 on your iPad or android device

The Edublogs app is designed to be used with Edublogs and Edublogs Campus blogs. Global2 is an Edublog Campus.

All you need to do to use it with a Global 2 blog is:

  1. Download the Edublogs app –
  2. Launch the Edublogs app and click on Add Edublogs Campus site –
  3. Add your blog URL, username, password and tap Save.

You’ll find our comprehensive support documentation here – You can also access this Help Guide directly inside the Edublogs app.

The WordPress for Android App also works really well with Global2

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations – Sound Infusion receives award in Vienna

Sound Infusion encourages intercultural dialogue in a fun, flexible and informative way to support school curriculums through innovative web 2.0 based technologies. Online support material include videos, photos, text-based information and web-links that allow users to further explore and discover the myriad of cultures that can be found in societies through music. Sound Infusion also comes with extensive Teacher Resource Notes which assist teachers in seamlessly incorporating the application into a school’s educational program.

Sound Infusion complements the broader aims of Cultural Infusion which is dedicated to creating intercultural contact for a positive change and aims to build harmony and wellbeing through a range of sustainable arts and engagement programs. Cultural Infusion’s “Discovering Diversity” education program is delivered to an annual audience of more than 200,000 students.

Sound Infusion received an Honourable mention in the awards in Vienna this week. See all Projects 

Sound Infusion was developed as a partnership between The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Cultural Infusion