Of Lanes and Leighs

There’s a little piece in today’s Oz about my ARC grant on teacher quality, for those interested in the topic. I’m fortunate it was written by Bernard Lane, who I regard as one of the most thorough and thoughtful journalists in the country (he had the High Court reporting job for the Oz when I was an associate, and was the only one who could consistently sum up 100-page legal judgements in 500 words without ever putting his pen wrong).

Also today, Andrew Leigh the Los Angeles-based screenwriter has a piece in defence of bloggers in National Review Online. I can but defer to my homonymous colleague.

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3 Responses to Of Lanes and Leighs

  1. Sacha Blumen says:

    Hi Andrew: a personal comment – it was a nice story in the Oz – and given how topical this subject is (well, it’s probably always topical), it can only be beneficial to have as many thoughtful and evidence-based contributions to the discussion as possible.

    People in a variety of professions may well have a variety of habits of mind, or prejudices or attitudes which may lead to different approaches to looking at a question. These different approaches may help to inform us on this topic.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    Sascha, did I come across as dogmatic? That’s bad if I did, since I certainly don’t feel that way. Like you (I think!), my view is that we need to look at both getting smarter people into the classroom, and ensuring that those in the classroom do as good a job as possible. I’m just worried that too much of the existing research ignores the first issue.

  3. Sacha Blumen says:

    No, you didn’t across as dogmatic – it sounded fine to me 🙂 – ahh – the demon of self-doubt! necessary in small amounts but debilitating in too-large amounts (I have the latter issue).

    I don’t know a great deal about the things that affect how kids learn, but something I’ve thought is that it’s necessary for teachers to have a really good understanding of their subject matter before teaching it, otherwise misconceptions can easily creep in (especially in something like maths) and kids learn “wrongly”. How about this idea (it’s strictly a personal musing and probably wouldn’t work as it would dry up the supply of teachers) – each secondary school teacher has to have an honours degree in at least one of the areas they teach.

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