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Issue 70, June 2017
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Australia’s STEM report card
TRB employee and UniSA academic, Debra Panizzon, has recently returned from a conference in the US funded by the National Science Foundation where she presented her paper ‘Australia’s STEM report card’.
Chief amongst her findings is that, despite government complaints that Australian students are ‘failing’ in the Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA) we maintained our status quo when PISA results are compared across 2003-2012. It is only in the last 2015 round of PISA that a drop in overall student achievement is identifiable. Put into perspective, only a small proportion of countries significantly outperform our students in the subjects tested in PISA.
The paper further analyses the PISA data by examining the ‘hard evidence’ that is identifiable around gaps and inconsistencies in student achievement in relation to socioeconomic status, gender, Indigeneity and geographical location.
These same gaps are consistent with the results from both Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and NAPLAN. Importantly, the gaps are not new with various government policies over time attempting to address the gaps albeit with limited degrees of success. However, access to these international and national data sets sheds new light on the actual extent and size of these gaps.
The challenge for our educational professionals is to find ways to address the needs of these groups thereby ensuring greater equity for all Australian students regardless of their cultural background, where they live or their economic status, something that is vital to the future of this country.
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Professional learning opportunities
Bronwyn Custance presents How Language Works: Success in literacy and learning - a comprehensive and innovative professional development program for educators seeking to extend their understanding about language and literacy. Being held in the school holidays and also in Term 3. Click here for more information.
The TRB is holding three free sessions on Registration Renewal (1:00pm-2:30pm) and Transitioning from Provisional to (full) Registration (3:00pm-4:00pm):
  • Hickenbotham Oval, 1 Lovelock Drive, Noarlunga, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Monday 10 July
  • The Hartley Institute, Prince Alfred College, Kent Town, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Wednesday 12 July and;
  • UniSA, Mawson Lakes, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Thursday 3 July
To book your preferred location click on the links above.
Natural Maths in the school holidays with Ann Baker. Ann is running An Introduction to Natural Maths, 9:00am – 3:00pm on Tuesday 18 July, $136 and an Early Years Number Sense workshop for preschool/junior primary teachers, 9:00am – 3:00pm on Wednesday 18 July, $136. Both are being held at the EDC, 4 Milner Street, Hindmarsh. Find out more here.
DECD is holding their Inclusive Ed Expo from Monday 10 July Wednesday 12 July. At the Education Development Centre, 4 Milner Street, Hindmarsh on 10 & 11 July and at the Special Education Resource Unit, Henley Beach on the 12 July. Students, SSOs and parents - $25, teachers and support services - $30. Find out more by visiting the SERU website. DECD staff click here to register. For all non-DECD staff please call 8235 2871 or email Julie Cakebread to register.
The Mathematical Association of South Australia is holding a 2017 Early Career Teachers of Mathematics Conference. At St Peter’s College Junior School, North Terrace on Friday 21 July. $110 teachers, $55 pre-service teachers. Register here by 29 June.
The Kodaly Early Childhood Music Conference Sing, Play, Learn, for all early childhood educators, is being held on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 of July at the Trinity Gardens Children’s Centre. $250 for two days or $150 for one day. To register click here or email Margaret Lange
The Hartley Institute is holding:
All workshops are being held at 54 Capper Street, Kent Town.
Edufolios is holding the following:
Autism SA workshops
  • Understanding the Autism Spectrum, Wednesday 12 July, 9:30am-12:30pm.
  • Strategies to support individuals on the Autism Spectrum, Wednesday 12 July, 1:00pm-4:00pm
Both sessions are being held at 262 Marion Road, Netley. $85 members, $90 non-members. Register at
$20,000 DECD Masters for Teachers Scholarships – applications are now open. Are you are a permanent DECD teacher looking to start a Masters degree in 2018? The DECD Masters for Teachers Scholarship program could assist you! Over 50 scholarships are available. Find out more and access the application form here.
A one day Brain Gym® Workshop is being held on Saturday 15 July at Thebarton Community Centre, South Road, Torrensville, 9:00am-5:00pm. 
A four day Brain Gym®101 course will run from Saturday 15 – Tuesday 18 July. Cost $680. Contact Heather Gibbons for more information and to register: or call 0407 978 335.
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