Australian students lagging behind Asian students: report
The crucial difference is that teachers in East Asian countries enjoy higher status than their Australian colleagues, he said. "This is an importance difference, and it is the crucial difference between effective teaching and learning in Australia and these systems. In these systems teacher status is high - not because they work hard, not because it is a stressful job, but because it is considered a true profession where the complexities of diagnosing each student's learning and shaping teaching to ensure that each student's learning continually improves is recognised. Resources are put into it so teachers have the time and resources available to engage in improving teaching.
A tiger education: no pain, no gain
If Asia is our focus, then may I – as a first generation Australian-born Chinese (ABC) – humbly suggest that a wholesale cultural shift in our attitude towards education must take place. If we are to seriously compete with Asia, we must adopt an Asian academic culture of intense competition: a tiger education. A tiger education is not content with merely doing well but demands that we do better. It does not stop to celebrate the 90 per cent, but asks what happened to the missing 10 per cent. It pushes us to compete with the very best and demands whatever it takes to improve. Close enough is never good enough. Where the Australian approach to education is almost all carrot, Asian parents prefer to wield the bamboo stick (literally).
Why don't students learn Indonesian?
But, says Hill, Indonesia still has an image problem. Enrolment in Bahasa fell during the late 1990s Asian financial crisis, when students realised that fewer jobs would be available at multinationals in Jakarta until the economy recovered. Interest never really recovered, in part because more recent discussion of Indonesia focused on violence in East Timor and on terrorism, such as the bombing of Bali in 2002.
“There’s a whole raft of employment opportunities that are opening up but many kids in schools are yet to be made aware of that because much of the image of Indonesia is… hanging over from the 1990s, rather than [an image of] the post-Suharto democratising economy that’s projected to be one of the world’s largest,” says Hill.
7 worst international aid ideas
The benefit of involving celebrities in aid work is often that it works to focus the attention of their fans and the media machine more generally on understanding, for however brief a moment, something that is happening somewhere in the world. Out of that can come the kind of empathy and activism that makes things like the Save Darfur campaign possible.
The celebrity’s contribution, though, hinges on whether they can successfully translate attention on them into attention to the issues. When a humanitarian issue becomes a platform for pushing an energy drink on the back of people’s suffering, we should be ashamed.
DNA helps to flesh out Otzi's past
Since Otzi's mummified body was found 20 years ago, speculation about his lifestyle, how he died and even his sexuality have flourished in German, Austrian and Italian newspapers. One rumour was that semen had been found in his anal canal, prompting headlines about his supposed homosexuality. But Graefen set the record straight.
"This comes from the fact that seeds have been found in his intestine. The words for plant seeds and semen are actually the same in German," she laughs. "People still to this day think this urban legend is true. But this is nothing more than a translation fault."
French football quotes of the year 2011
“Montpellier champions of France? If I was Marseille, Paris, Lyon, Lille or Rennes, I’d stab myself in the arse with a sausage! What an embarrassment it would be for them.”
- Montpellier president Louis Nicollin delves into his bottomless bag of weird and wonderful metaphors to express how he’d feel if his side were to win the league.