Like all seven-year-olds, my eldest daughter Mia is full of surprises. One evening when she was four, I found her on the couch apparently whispering to the pages of an open book my mother had brought over. I got close enough to realise that she was reading it.
This was the girl so afraid of the alphabet only a year before that she would put her hands over her ears and run from the room when Sesame Street announced its letter of the day. How would she ever learn to read, my wife and I pondered. It turned out that Mia taught herself. It was a lesson in turn for us – not least for me to remind my mum not to leave her trashy airport novels lying around.
Our world was knocked sideways forever the day Mia, when two, was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. We were in denial, probably out of pure shock. Because we knew no better, we thought an autistic child was one who never said a word, was in nappies until adolescence and was completely locked in their own world and unable to engage with the outside one. There are certainly people whose lives are like that, but that was not Mia.
Latest 2 of 29 commentsView all comments
Dry ice. Wrong in so many ways. Wrong in an 80s dance floor sort of way. Wrong in a dodgy magic tricks sort of way. Yes, it keeps things super cold. But it can also be used as a bomb.
And as a casual teacher found out the hard way, it can also burn students’ hands if you make them hold it. The NSW casual teacher has been sacked after he dared his science students to hold the -78.5 C highly compressed carbon dioxide for as long as possible. Two students were hospitalised with minor burns. One may need a skin graft.
Latest 2 of 150 commentsView all comments
Last week on The Punch, conservative education writer Kevin Donnelly laid into a report proposing a new model of universal funding for public and private schools. Here, the report’s author, Jennifer Buckingham from the Centre for Independent Studies, sets the record straight.
School choice means different things to different people. In essence, it refers to the principle that parents should have the right and the means to choose their child’s school, and that this choice should be not be restricted to government schools.
To adhere to this principle, a school funding system must have several key features.
First, it must be child-centred. The amount of public funding provided for the education of each student must be based on their individual needs and circumstances. Second, the type of school attended, whether government or non-government, should not affect the level of funding. Third, students should be able to enrol at any school of their choice. And funding entitlements should follow students.
Latest 2 of 48 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…