I was in Sydney last night for the filming of next week’s SBS Insight show, dealing with teachers and schools reform (for those who haven’t seen the program, it’s a cross between Jerry Springer and Lateline). It’s invariably entertaining to see how a show like this comes together. The key players were Education Minister Julie Bishop and the head of the Australian Education Union, Pat Byrne. Both are charismatic, experienced advocates, who do very well in a forum like this one.Â There were no state education ministers (indeed, no elected ALP representatives), which was odd given that if Bishop’s merit pay plan gets through, they’ll be the ones implementing it.
My favourite guests were Elizabeth Stone, a Rhodes scholar now teaching at Barker College (whose personal story was written up in the SMH a couple of years ago), and the extraordinaryÂ John Fleming, now principal of Haileybury College in Melbourne, who received a DESTÂ award this year for turning around literacy and numeracy scores in Bellfield Primary School, one of the most disadvantaged schools in Melbourne.
Beyond discussing my study with Chris Ryan on declining literacy and numeracy among new teachers, I didn’t say much (like a good schoolboy, I had my hand up, but Ms Brockie didn’t pick me). The show will go to air on Tue 26 Sept at 7.30pm. Look for the continuity cut at the 20 minute mark, when Julie Bishop’s mobile phone started ringing and they had to stop filming.