Issues and the New Curriculum



At present, there is a lot of problems in the media about violence against other races. Perhaps, to reduce racism and discrimation, we need to actulaly EDUCATE our citizens. This is the proposal in the new curriculum.


See this article for more information and my thoughts: School Classes to Beat Racism



I have heard lots of debate about the amount of funding given to private schools and arguments that private schools should get nothing. I personally feel money should be given equally to all schools.


Please, read this really interesting article about the issue, including my own thoughts: Gonski called to justify funds for private schools





Australian Curriculum

So, I have been looking into the Australian Curriculum to see what it’s all about. I have signed up for the Australian Education Digest in the hopes of getting some interesting articles.

Today, I read a media release from the 26th of August titled ‘Arts at the heart of the new Australian Curriculum’. Basically, it shows that an emphaisis is being put on Arts just like it is put on maths and english.

To see the article, including my annotations, click here.

It made me think of Ken Robinson’s video (which I know lots of us have seen now).

Digital Images: Manipulation

Image by Chris_Short

I’ve been looking at everyone’s manipulate images. They are really great! Some look a bit older, some have been made brighter, some have their styles changed.

So I was thinking about why this would be used in schools. To be honest, unless it is in a media subject or something similar I’m not sure it is that useful in schools. However, the one thing I think it can be used for really well is to look at problems with the media and body image.

I’m sure many of you have come across the Dove Campaign video (click here to see it). It shows the power of makeup and photoshop. A video I found when I was going through YouTube trying to find one I might use when go about this topic with my students is the one below. I know it is quite long, but it is amazing what is done with it. If you’re interested in one where a larger woman is made to look quite skinny, click here – I found it quite confronting.

So, I tried to do a bit of Photoshopping myself.

The first thing I did was crop it to just look at myself (how narcissistic!)


Then, I decided I wanted the background to be a bit lighter…


Then, I decided I would whiten my teeth as they are GROSS.


Finally, I decided I wanted to make my eyes stand out. I know that this isn’t a great job – but if I was better you get the idea of what I was trying to do 🙂

So, the final product next to the start:



So, looking at the questions about the tools we’ve come across:

  • Where and how you could use these tools in a classroom? How teachers and/or students could use these tools?
    These tools would be great in things like history, or various other projects, where you might want people to make their own stories of historical figures and want them to make it look older. Also, you might get them to take pictures of their environment and locate various different types of plants (science). They could take a big picture of the setting, then crop out little close-up pictures of the plants they were identifying.
    As I stated before, you could also use it if you were looking at the wellbeing of students in the school. Use the photoshop manipulation videos to start discussion about what the ‘perfect body and face’ look like etc.
  • What implications does the use of these tools have for the curriculum? What implications does the use of these tools have for pedagogy?
    Digital manipulation can be used in schools to cater to the student wellbeing aspect of the curriculum in an engaging and relevant fashion. Rather than having a teacher stand at the front of a class saying that ‘everyone is beautiful’ and the images portrayed in the media are not accurate they can actually show this and lead the students in discussion. By provided them with somewhat confronting images will make it really ‘stick’ in their head.
  • What are the positives associated with use of these tools?
     These tools can let students make their own pictures and really relate to what the composition of the image is. It could definitely be used in Art when studying image composition. Further, the skills to crop images and change the colours to match a magazine cover is something students would use in many media classes and assignments. They are a bit hands-on too so a bit off the beaten track for students. Normally, these kind of tools where students can play around with things are more engaging.
  • What are the negatives associated with use of these tools?
     I’m not entirely sure that this would be that useful in some classrooms – for example, why would you want to change pictures in a maths or chemistry class. Also, students may get sidetracked trying to over photoshop pictures instead of just cropping and changing the lighting conditions.
  • Why or why not would you continue to use these tools in your classroom?
     Again, I don’t think I would use this in my classroom. Perhaps if I was leading a wellbeing workshop I would, but I really can’t see it as particularly relevant in the Maths classroom. It’s a bit of fun – but I couldn’t see how to tie this into any lesson.