Listened TER #153 – The Screens that Ate School with Anna Krien – 2 Aug 2020 from
Anna Krien speaks with Steve Kolber about her piece The Screens that Ate School. Her focus is the private infrastructures of public education and some of the assumptions that go unquestioned, such as the place of big tech within public education, the infiltration through various accreditation processes and lack of clarity when it comes to privacy.

This is a topic touched upon by Ben Williamson and Anna Hogan in response to the pandemic.

As someone who has been through Google’s accreditation process, it is interesting to think about this. Personally speaking, my school was not a ‘Google School’, far from it. The problem I have is that I wonder what a world looks like without Google/Apple/Microsoft? I am more than happy to have a conversation.

Listened TER #151 – Professional Coaching for Teachers with Chris Munro – 7 June 2020 from Teachers’ Education Review

I really enjoyed this curious conversation between Chris Munro and Steven Kolber about all things coaching. It touched on so many questions, such as the impact of coaching, can anyone be a coach and the different perceptions of coaching. In some ways the interview itself captured coaching as a way of being with humility and respect throughout.
RSVPed Interested in Attending Have your say in TER Teachmeet: What we’ve learnt so far

What:Β TER Teachmeet: What we’ve learnt so far

What do I need to do:Β Record either a 2 or 7 minute reflection on something you’ve learnt as a result of the remote learening experiences of 2020, and send it in to be included in the episode.

When:Β Submissions due by 12 July, 2020. Episode online 19 July, 2020.

How:Β For now, please complete thisΒ Expression of Interest form. More information will be emailed to you shortly after.

Congratulations on the journey Cameron. Looking forward to hear what people have to say.
Listened TER #143 – Changing Australian Education with Alan Reid – 08 Dec 2019 from Teachers’ Education Review

00:00 Opening Credits
01:31 Intro – PISA results released
14:28 Kolber’s Corner
28:36 Feature Intro
30:40 Interview – Alan Reid
01:15:13 Acknowledgements and Sign-Off

Cameron Malcher opens the episode with a discussion of PISA and why we always get sucked into debates about reform, rather than questioning the assumptions that PISA is built upon. Malcher follows this with a discussion with Alan Reid in which they unpack his new book, Changing Australian Education: How policy is taking us backwards and what can be done about it. Reid talks about some of these current problems in a piece in The Conversation, in which he suggests two challenges: having a consistent idea about what is meant by educational accountability and being clear about the imperfections associated with PISA and the associated results.
Listened TER #139 – Re-Imagining Education for Democracy with Stewart Riddle – 30 Sept 2019 from Teachers’ Education Review

Visit the post for more.

Stewart Riddle discusses the issue of democracy in education captured in a book Re-imagining Democracy in Education. He suggests that liberalism has been too tilted towards the individual, in a democratic approach every school would be a good school, not just those with the ‘right’ community or outcomes. The challenge is that there are many facets where this plays out, from student strikes to questions around surveillance.

For more on democracy and education, there is going to be another summit on the topic:

Listened TER #137 – Banning Mobile Phones in Schools with Dr Michael Carr-Gregg – 07 July 2019 from Teachers’ Education Review

Cameron Malcher speaks with Dr Michael Carr-Gregg about the Victorian government’s decision to ban mobile phones from 2020. Carr-Gregg discusses some of the issues associated with cybersafety in and out of the classroom. He also makes mention of eSmart Curriculum and Digital Licenses as useful resources to support tackling some of these issues.
Replied to

In regards to reporting, @ACEReduau is doing some work in this area that might be worth checking out
Listened TER #128 – Teachers and Social Media with Stewart Riddle – 17 Feb 2019 from TER Podcast

Dr Stewart Riddle discusses issues facing teachers engaging in social media, and questions the notion of who gets to speak on behalf of teachers.

Stewart Riddle talks about the collapse in dialogue online, especially in regards to solving social problems. He discusses the rise in educelebs, where the focus becomes on the individual, rather than the change at hand. See for example Darcy Moore’s discussion of the ‘cult of John Hattie‘. Riddle questions our understanding of how problematic being on Twitter can be. He discusses @RealPeerReview and the role that serves in fuelling mass criticism. Riddle is mindful of pointing out that this is not that experience of everyone and that there is still an eduTwitter focused on sharing practice and resources. Something captured by Ian Guest. This is another post to the list associated with toxic Twitter.
Listened TER #126 – LGBTI+ Youth in Schools with Benjamin Law – 21 Jan 2019 from TER Podcast

Main Feature: Benjamin Law shares his experience of being a gay teenager in an Australian school.

Regular Features: Marco Cimino discusses his podcast Oh the Humanities! (and Social Sciences), Cameron discusses a UK study on managerialism and teacher professional identity and well-being.

Listened TER #118 – Jane Caro on Education – 02 Sept 2018 from Teachers’ Education Review

In this episode, Dan Haesler talks with author and public education advocate Jane Caro, about her life and career that led her to become such an outspoken defender of public schools, and some of her opinions on the state of education today.

Listened TER #119 – Responding to Challenging Behaviours with Elizabeth Saunders – 16 Sept. 2018 from Teachers’ Education Review

Elizabeth Saunders discusses the issue of students with challenging behaviours and how to respond to and engage with such students in order to overcome obstacles and maintain focus on learning in the classroom.

Cameron Malcher speaks with Elizabeth Saunders about her work on challenging behaviour in the classroom. This comes back to the right to learn and be safe. What this looks like differs based on classroom and context. Saunders points out that this often comes back to differentiation and other proctive measures, rather than having students removed and isolated. It is interesting to listen to this interview alongside those from Katherine Birbalsingh and Paul Dix.
Bookmarked TER #115 – Teaching Game Design with Bill Cohen – 22 July 2018 (Teachers' Education Review)


  • 00:00 Opening Credits
  • 01:31 Intro
  • 01:44 Selective Schools
  • 18:46 Feature Introduction
  • 20:31 Interview – Bill Cohen
  • 01:09:12 Sign Off
Cameron Malcher interviews Bill Cohen about game-design. Cohen goes beyond the usual coding and computer-aided approaches to focusing on ‘low-tech’ games. This included engaging with boardgames and outdoor games. This play-based approach focuses on developing clear metalanguage, feedback for mastery and working with an iterative design process. This reminds me in part of Amy Burvall’s notion of ‘rigorous whimsy‘ and BreakoutEDU. Some resources Cohen shared include Boardgame Geek and Lady Blackbird, while in a seperate post, Clare Rafferty has shared a list of games associated with History.

If there is one thing that I have learnt as a teacher is that nothing leaches out fun mor than dropping a layer of education over the top of it – Bill Cohen (50 mins)

Malcher also provides a reflection on the place and impact of select entry schools on equity and equality.

Replied to

I was listening to the Wellbeing episode the other day and reminded just how long the podcast has been going. Means a lot and I still have my mug at my desk each and every day.
Listened TER #113 – Undertaking a research degree while teaching – 27 May 2018 from Teachers' Education Review

Amanda Heffernan, Scott Bulfin and David Bright of Monash university discuss their experiences of completing research degrees while teaching, and offer advice for anyone considering pursuing a research degree while still working in a school.

terpodcast banner

This is a useful insight into completing an education based PhD. It reminds me of a chat that I had on Twitter a few years ago with Alec Couros, Steve Wheeler, Ian Guest and Julie Bytheway.

Still not sure I’m any closer though.

Listened TER #112 – Perspectives on Gonski 2 – 13 May 2018 from Teachers' Education Review

With the release of the “Gonski 2.0” report, there have been many conversations about just what is the ideal vision for the future of Australian education. But in considering the many recommendations included in the report, what would it even mean to implement them? And is there broad agreement that they do actually represent the best vision for the future of education in Australia?

For this special episode, we bring together 4 different perspectives on the report and its findings, including:

This is an intriguing conversation and provides a number of perspectives on Gonski from academics who has been following the topic for several years.
Listened TER #111 – Learning and Wellbeing with Helen Street – 29 April 2018 from Teachers’ Education Review

Links and notes coming soon! Timecodes: 00:00:00 Opening Credits 00:01:31 Intro 00:02:28 NAPLAN in the news 00:15:04 Feature Introduction 00:16:32 Off Campus – Dan Haesler 00:18:44 Dr Helen S…

Cameron Malcher provides a useful summary of the recent discussions of NAPLAN in the news:

Listened TER #109 – How large-scale tests affect school management with Marten Koomen – 04 March 2018 by Cameron Malcher; Marten Koomen from Teachers’ Education Review

Cameron Malcher speaks with Marten Koomen about his research into the process by which large-scale tests like PISA and NAPLAN affect school management and curriculum.

Marten Koomen frames the conversation around a discussion of collectivism, neoliberalism and skepticism. For collectivists, school is the responsibility of the state, whereas neoliberals consider it as another product to be consumed. While without effective governance, skepticism ends up in tragedy. Our current climate is very much in response to neoliberalism, however:

We are all part collectivist, individualists neoliberals and skeptics, so to identify in one corner is disingenuous.

The key question that Koomen tries to address is: How did Victoria go from a state that was a leader in content knowledge and democratic values to the launch of a content-free platform driven by the terror of performativity? As he explains,

They had this idea of the net, but no idea of the content … a complete infatuation with the technology.

Discussing PISA, Koomen provides some background to computer-based testing and the ‘Koomen Model’. The model involved providing schools with standardized devices for the consistency of data. It failed based on pressure.

In part, Koomen’s model tells us something about the data and what it tells us. There are groups out there that want the outcomes without the content or context. Koomen returns again and again to the difference between entity realism vs. constructivism:

Entity Realism = things are real

Constructivism = things agreed upon

Realists ignore context as it is not mapped back to a central curriculum. It also allows for the insult of the human spirit through comparison of outcomes, ratio and market results. For example, NAPLAN uses Item Response Theory, a format that does not allow any direct recall or reference to learning and development. This leads to the situation where a student can ‘improve’ yet remain on the same score. Margaret Wu explains this in her chapter in National Testing in Schools, while Sam Sellar, Greg Thompson and David Rutkowski elaborate on it in The Global Education Race.

For Koomen our decline in these scales comes back to a focus on the market:

Neoliberalism considers content as: self-evident, real, axiomatic, socially constructed and marketable. In a way that supports the status quo.

This leads to conversations with students in regards to points on a scale, rather than aspects of context and development. For example, it is easier in the media to talk about a change in ratios or job rates, rather than the collapse in the car industry and what impact that has for the state. This allows for the rise of education conferences based around data with little reference to the local context.

The answer Koomen closes with is to work together though associations to make systemic change.

Listened TER #108 – ACARA’s Literacy & Numeracy Progressions with Hilary Dixon – 18 Feb 2018 from

Main Features: ACARA’s Acting Director, Curriculum, discusses the new literacy and numeracy progressions, their relationship to curriculum, and intended applications in teaching and assessment practices; Annabel Astbury outlines the ABC’s new education initiative.
Regular Features: Off Campus, …

00.000 Opening Credits
01:31.214 Intro
01:55.324 Off Campus – Dan Haesler
12:48.141 Education in the News
20:44.068 ABC Education – Annabel Astbury
28:50.180 Feature Introduction
30:52.440 Interview – Hilary Dixon
59:28.218 Announcements
1:01:52.482 Quote & Sign Off

In this edition of the TER Podcast, Cameron Malcher interviews Hilary Dixon about the new Literacy and Numeracy Progressions released earlier this year from ACARA. Although the interview discusses what the progressions are, it also provides a critical context to their creation and where they might sit within the wider debate around NAPLAN and back-to-bacics curriculum.