There is deep and abiding interest in matters of an educational nature. Increasingly print, radio, and television coverage refer to educational issues. Some people pay little attention to what is being reported about education because they feel it to be inconsequential. There is also a belief that what is reported, misconstrues facts. That to some extent may be the case; however it is important to be aware of the way education is trending within the community.

Retaining information about education can be useful. There are various ways and means of doing this, but it works best if collation is organised regularly (almost on a daily basis).

Newspaper items can be clipped and pasted in a loose leaf file, indexed book, or similar. Indexation is important as it allows you to quickly refer to things you may need to recall.

Photographing news clippings using an iPhone or iPad, saving them to your pictures file, then creating an album for clippings is another method that works well.

Scanning clippings and saving them onto USB stick is a method that works well. Again, indexing the USB file helps. It may be that you choose categories to index under, rather than an “A” to “Z”approach.

Clippings files can be backed up on iCloud or otherwise saved onto computer or USB.

From experience, the use of newspaper clippings when it comes to social and cultural education, cruising for general knowledge, for stimulating discussion in class, are but three ways in which they can be of use. Clippings can also be used to stimulate the content of debates, the writing of persuasive arguments for older students and so on.

Awareness of issues can stimulate professional discourse including helping to shape the way in which members of staff develop collaborative programming to support teaching in schools.

I believe teachers would find a study of media and the establishment of a clippings file useful and worthwhile.


Information that NAPLAN faces the axe in an educational testing overhaul (Weekend Australian 29,30 August) is very good news. Replacing NAPLAN with with a less subjective, more appropriate and relevant approach to measuring student progress will gladden the hearts of educators, students and their parents alike.

While many educational challenges have been foisted on students and teachers by the impact of COVID-19, postponing NAPLAN this year was the one bright spot. This irrelevant and in reality, purposeless testing program should never be resumed.

Introduced in 2008, the same year that the Melbourne Declaration proposed a holistic approach to education, NAPLAN immediately challenged the intention of that declaration’s authenticity. The social, emotional and moral/spiritual aspect of the Melbourne decision were set at naught by a test focussed on a narrow academic band, at specific year levels.

NAPLAN was supposed to be a comparative measure of student accomplishment at a particular point in time each year. Instead, it became the ‘b’ all and ‘end’ all of education everywhere around Australia. Months were devoted to readying students for the test and countless weeks spent afterward in anticipating then dissecting results. Rather than facilitating education, NAPLAN became its most major distractor.

May this debilitating testing regime never again see the light of day.