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A Random Collection of sites
Places I like to shop, search for ideas, recipes and designs
Curated by Kim Flintoff
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Public schools losing out in political power plays

While many advocates of choice policies argue lower-income students also attend private schools, lower income students are the minority in these schools. The public sector educates 36% of students who represent the lowest socio-economic status bracket in Australia. This is contrasted to the Independent sector, which educates 13% of the lowest socio-economic status bracket. The proportion is higher in the Catholic sector, at 21%.

The Independent school sector receives a total of 42% of its net recurrent income from both federal and state government. This equals approximately A$8.2 billion to educate 14% of the population.

In terms of the private sector overall (incorporating both the Independent and Catholic sector) the amount of funding private schools receive annually is approximately A$12.8 billion, according to the 2017 Productivity Commission Report. The extra injection of funding by the Morrison government (A$4.6 billion for both Independent and Catholic), is a sizeable sum on top of this.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
While many advocates of choice policies argue lower-income students also attend private schools, lower income students are the minority in these schools. The public sector educates 36% of students who represent the lowest socio-economic status bracket in Australia. This is contrasted to the Independent sector, which educates 13% of the lowest socio-economic status bracket. The proportion is higher in the Catholic sector, at 21%. The Independent school sector receives a total of 42% of its net recurrent income from both federal and state government. This equals approximately A$8.2 billion to educate 14% of the population. In terms of the private sector overall (incorporating both the Independent and Catholic sector) the amount of funding private schools receive annually is approximately A$12.8 billion, according to the 2017 Productivity Commission Report. The extra injection of funding by the Morrison government (A$4.6 billion for both Independent and Catholic), is a sizeable sum on top of this.
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The Secret State: How you are kept in the dark

The Secret State: How you are kept in the dark | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it

From hospitals to schools, the courts to your council, finding out what's really going on in Victoria is increasingly, and deliberately, made difficult.

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Imagine if you could turn almost any surface into a solar panel: office windows could power the buildings that house them. Your backpack could charge the devices inside while you walk down the street. In a disaster, the tent walls of emergency shelters could generate enough energy to improve conditions for the people inside.

What if solar power was so cheap and efficient that even cloudy places like the Pacific Northwest could rely on it? Scientists at the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington are making this future a reality by developing light, thin, cheap, flexible solar panels you can print like newspaper.

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10 Things Everyone Should Know About Autism | For Better | US News

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Autism | For Better | US News | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it

April is Autism Awareness Month, and while I'd love to share all the clinical information and research findings available on autism, that feels akin to trying to summarize the entire encyclopedia in one page. Instead, I offer 10 things I wish everyone knew about autism.

1. If you've seen one child with autism, you've seen just that: one child with autism. 

2. We can often diagnose autism reliably by 2 years of age, but the signs can be subtle and require expertise with this age group to recognize. 

3. Autism is not caused by bad parenting. 

4. So what causes autism? 

5. Better outcomes are associated with earlier diagnosis. 

6. At present, the evidence-based treatments for autism are educational/therapy related and not medical. 

7. There are no biomedical treatments for the primary social impairment of autism, only some of its peripheral symptoms (such as hyperactivity, anxiety, mood symptoms and sleep problems). 

8. There are other conditions that go along with autism. 

9. Above all else, children with autism are children. 

10. What does the future hold for an individual child with ASD?

Kim Flintoff's insight:
April is Autism Awareness Month, and while I'd love to share all the clinical information and research findings available on autism, that feels akin to trying to summarize the entire encyclopedia in one page. Instead, I offer 10 things I wish everyone knew about autism.1. If you've seen one child with autism, you've seen just that: one child with autism. 2. We can often diagnose autism reliably by 2 years of age, but the signs can be subtle and require expertise with this age group to recognize. 3. Autism is not caused by bad parenting. 4. So what causes autism? 5. Better outcomes are associated with earlier diagnosis. 6. At present, the evidence-based treatments for autism are educational/therapy related and not medical. 7. There are no biomedical treatments for the primary social impairment of autism, only some of its peripheral symptoms (such as hyperactivity, anxiety, mood symptoms and sleep problems). 8. There are other conditions that go along with autism. 9. Above all else, children with autism are children. 10. What does the future hold for an individual child with ASD?
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Elizabeth Farrelly: Why private schools should be banned

Elizabeth Farrelly: Why private schools should be banned | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Three arguments are usually advanced for private schools. One, choice. Parents should be free to choose expensive or religious education for their kids if they wish. Two, quality. Private schools offer better education and, regardless of politics, the kid's interests should prevail. Three, burden: private schools, far from siphoning wealth from the public system, lightens its load.

None of these arguments stack up. Take choice. Choice relies on comparison, product to product. But education is not shampoo. You can't try a school for a few weeks or years and know that how your kid tracks is a direct result, or how things might have been different elsewhere. So comparison is illusory.

Indeed, a new paper suggests that the focus on choice and competition may itself be distracting us from the content and purpose of education, in favour of its trappings.

Which goes directly to the quality argument. Many parents send their kids to private schools, even when they don't approve, because they think the education is better and there's at least a modicum of discipline. And yes, private schools are more able to impose order and sack teachers for non-performance. But, given that these students are already more biddable and more literate, it's impossible to prove any net educational benefit.

Three years ago, David Gillespie (author of Free Schools) argued persuasively that, once you correct for socioeconomic advantage, even the most expensive schools add nothing to educational outcome. This may be one reason why – it's now reported – more wealthy parents are choosing to put their kids in the public school system.

Across the board, though, quality is low and falling, with consistently dropping international test scores in maths and science. Even a recent and welcome improvement in reading, mainly because girls love books, still takes us only to about the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average. Could do better.

And that leads immediately to the idea of burden. Does anyone suggest sport's Big Money dudes – the sponsors and gravy-trainers, the owners and big-bucks players – are taking the burden off the public sport system?

No, they're creaming off the talent, quarantining it from public access for vast private profit and getting a public leg-up on the way. This is so wrong on so many levels. What's weird is that we can see it with sport, but with schooling – where the bill is six times the size, and annual – we're blind.

But honestly – burden? According to the ABC, almost a quarter of the $53 billion funding of schools ($12.7 billion) goes to private schools – which educate roughly a third (34 per cent) of populace. So each private school student sucks almost two-thirds as much as each public one. Before the benefit of their $30,000 in fees.

In other words, for every private school student the burden decrement on the public system is fairly small, but the personal advantage is immense.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Three arguments are usually advanced for private schools. One, choice. Parents should be free to choose expensive or religious education for their kids if they wish. Two, quality. Private schools offer better education and, regardless of politics, the kid's interests should prevail. Three, burden: private schools, far from siphoning wealth from the public system, lightens its load.

 

None of these arguments stack up. Take choice. Choice relies on comparison, product to product. But education is not shampoo. You can't try a school for a few weeks or years and know that how your kid tracks is a direct result, or how things might have been different elsewhere. So comparison is illusory.

 

Indeed, a new paper suggests that the focus on choice and competition may itself be distracting us from the content and purpose of education, in favour of its trappings.

 

Which goes directly to the quality argument. Many parents send their kids to private schools, even when they don't approve, because they think the education is better and there's at least a modicum of discipline. And yes, private schools are more able to impose order and sack teachers for non-performance. But, given that these students are already more biddable and more literate, it's impossible to prove any net educational benefit.

 

Three years ago, David Gillespie (author of Free Schools) argued persuasively that, once you correct for socioeconomic advantage, even the most expensive schools add nothing to educational outcome. This may be one reason why – it's now reported – more wealthy parents are choosing to put their kids in the public school system.

 

Across the board, though, quality is low and falling, with consistently dropping international test scores in maths and science. Even a recent and welcome improvement in reading, mainly because girls love books, still takes us only to about the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average. Could do better.

 

And that leads immediately to the idea of burden. Does anyone suggest sport's Big Money dudes – the sponsors and gravy-trainers, the owners and big-bucks players – are taking the burden off the public sport system?

 

No, they're creaming off the talent, quarantining it from public access for vast private profit and getting a public leg-up on the way. This is so wrong on so many levels. What's weird is that we can see it with sport, but with schooling – where the bill is six times the size, and annual – we're blind.

 

But honestly – burden? According to the ABC, almost a quarter of the $53 billion funding of schools ($12.7 billion) goes to private schools – which educate roughly a third (34 per cent) of populace. So each private school student sucks almost two-thirds as much as each public one. Before the benefit of their $30,000 in fees.

 

In other words, for every private school student the burden decrement on the public system is fairly small, but the personal advantage is immense.

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Same-sex marriage: Kelly and Sam's wedding the culmination of a dream | Community News Group

Same-sex marriage: Kelly and Sam's wedding the culmination of a dream | Community News Group | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Kelly and Sam Pilgrim-Byrne will marry on the steps of State Parliament on Monday night
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Pillars of Academia: The colleges that produce the most altruistic students, by state - Pillrs

Pillars of Academia: The colleges that produce the most altruistic students, by state - Pillrs | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Pillrs aims to empower socially minded people to make a huge impact, right from their couch. So naturally, one day after a few too many hours of bug fixing and development, someone asked an interesting question:

Which college create the most altruistic students?

Having no idea – most of us went to colleges that are “the best in the world (as long as you don’t count anyone better)” – we turned to the Washington Monthly university rankings, which ranks schools on: social mobility, research, and service. It was there that we found the answer.

So without ado, here’s the map of the top school in each state for altruistic / community service minded students.
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What a great way to rank and value schools!

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GDPR: A Data Regulation to Watch

What Is the GDPR?
The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), adopted in April 2016, is a regulation that is intended to broadly and conclusively provide data privacy and security protection for residents of the EU. It becomes effective May 25, 2018. The GDPR is binding on all 28 EU member states and will immediately repeal previous data regulations, including the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive.1 The GDPR has a wider reach and broader scope than the EU Data Protection Directive. The GDPR can in many cases apply to U.S. higher education institutions if those institutions control or process data about residents of the EU. Unlike prior laws, the GDPR takes the position that residents of the EU should not be deprived of security and privacy protections solely because a business or organization that targets those residents is located elsewhere.
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Revealed: the minimum income for a healthy life and how the dole falls way short

Revealed: the minimum income for a healthy life and how the dole falls way short | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Speaking of the cost of living, how much do you need to live on? Surveys show most people's answer is: just a bit more than I'm getting at present. Trouble is, they keep saying that no matter how much their income rises.

One way to convince yourself you're not doing all that well is to compare what you earn with people of your acquaintance who're earning a lot more than you.
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Digital 5 A Day

Digital 5 A Day | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
The Digital 5 A Day provides a simple framework that reflects the concerns of parents/ carers as well as children’s behaviours and needs. It can also act as a base for family agreements about internet and digital device use throughout both the holidays and term time.

Based on the NHS’s evidence-based ‘Five steps to better mental wellbeing’, the 5 A Day campaign gives children and parents easy to follow, practical steps to achieve a healthy and balanced digital diet.
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How our projects shape our personalities — and how we can use them to remake who we are

How our projects shape our personalities — and how we can use them to remake who we are | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it

Many of us believe there are two driving forces behind the person known as “you”: nature and nurture. But, according to personality and motivational psychologist Brian R. Little, there’s a third: projects.


There are two ways in which you can think about your personality. The first is in terms of the personality attributes that you have, or your openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeability and neuroticism (what I call the Big Five personality traits). The second is in terms of what you do, or your personal projects: for example, “get over my social anxiety,” “deliver an awesome pitch in my sales meeting,” or “stop procrastinating.” By studying our personal projects, the “doings” of daily lives, we can get a different perspective and greater scope to reflect on our lives than the study of our “havings” alone.

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Interesting new insight, or tomorrow's neuromyth?

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Transgender men who lived a century ago prove gender has always been fluid

Transgender men who lived a century ago prove gender has always been fluid | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
In 1914, Ralph Kerwineo, a self-assigned man from Milwaukee, had a dalliance with a woman who was not his wife, prompting his actual wife to report to the authorities that her husband wasn’t biologically a man at all. Kerwineo was arrested for disorderly conduct, but later freed. He was told by the judge he ought to dress as a woman while in Milwaukee if he wanted to stay out of trouble.
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More than 'slacktivism': we dismiss the power of politics online at our peril

More than 'slacktivism': we dismiss the power of politics online at our peril | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
The sharing of political opinion on social media is now ubiquitous. But what does it mean for democracy?

For years, debate has raged about the significance of symbolic, expressive political activity at the level of the everyday citizen.

Critics fear it is simply self-satisfying “slacktivism”. It gives people an easy way to feel they’re contributing to a cause while substituting for more intensive political participation.

Conversely, optimists see a flourishing of civic engagement on the internet that gives people an accessible entry point into politics. If it helps them to develop a sense of political identity and agency, that enables more participation down the line.

These contrasting positions both have merit. Yet are those who take them asking the right questions in the first place?

By evaluating online political expression only in terms of possible impacts on traditional political activity, we risk sidestepping a far more crucial set of issues.
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“Factitious” Is An Online Game To Teach About Fake News

“Factitious” Is An Online Game To Teach About Fake News | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Factitious is an engaging online game to teach about fake news. It could be a fun activity to do to finish-up a more extensive lesson on the topic.


You can learn more about it at NPR’s article, To Test Your Fake News Judgment, Play This Game.


You can also find lots of resources on teaching about fake news at The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy, including the lesson plan I did for The NY Times.

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Timeline Photos - Think and Grow Rich | Facebook

Timeline Photos - Think and Grow Rich | Facebook | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it

You may have heard that “Bounce Back” expert Sonia Ricotti held a 4 hour long Global Online Transformational Event last weekend with special guests Bob...


Via Skip Boykin
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You may have heard that “Bounce Back” expert Sonia Ricotti held a 4 hour long Global Online Transformational Event last weekend with special guests Bob...

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Cognitive bias cheat sheet –

I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an official bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an…
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The Feedback That Makes You a Better Teacher

The Feedback That Makes You a Better Teacher | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Progression and development are important in every profession. For teachers even more so. We'd all like to give students the best possible knowledge-base to rely on in their future professional life.

So, where should teacher improvement come from? How have seasoned teaching-masters gotten so incredibly good?

Part of it comes from pure experience and formal training. But the factor most experts point to when it comes to improving skills is receiving and acting on feedback. The thing is just that teacher receive a notoriously small amount of feedback over the duration of their career.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Progression and development are important in every profession. For teachers even more so. We'd all like to give students the best possible knowledge-base to rely on in their future professional life.

So, where should teacher improvement come from? How have seasoned teaching-masters gotten so incredibly good?

Part of it comes from pure experience and formal training. But the factor most experts point to when it comes to improving skills is receiving and acting on feedback. The thing is just that teacher receive a notoriously small amount of feedback over the duration of their career.

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‘Neapolitan Cones Puking Rainbow’ by Gingerfrank

‘Neapolitan Cones Puking Rainbow’  by Gingerfrank | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Buy 'Neapolitan Cones Puking Rainbow' by Gingerfrank as a T-Shirt, Classic T-Shirt, Tri-blend T-Shirt, Lightweight Hoodie, Women's Fitted Scoop T-Shirt, Women's Fitted V-Neck T-Shirt, Women's Relaxed Fit T-Shirt, Graphic T-Shirt, Graphi
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Cognitive ability plays a role in attitudes to equal rights for same-sex couples

Cognitive ability plays a role in attitudes to equal rights for same-sex couples | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Recently, Alice Campbell and I revealed the demographic traits associated with people expressing support for equal rights for same-sex couples using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey – a large, longitudinal survey that is representative of the Australian population.

My subsequent analyses of the HILDA Survey point to another important factor: cognitive ability. Specifically, there is a strong and statistically significant association between higher cognitive ability and a greater likelihood to support equal rights between same- and different-sex couples.

This may shed some light on why those who stand against equal rights may not be persuaded by evidence-based arguments in the ongoing marriage equality debate.
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Specifically, there is a strong and statistically significant association between higher cognitive ability and a greater likelihood to support equal rights between same- and different-sex couples.

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(1) Interview with Michael Kirby and Johan van Vloten - YouTube

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Uploaded on Aug 30, 2017

Don't boycott the Australian marriage equality vote. The Hon Michael Kirby and his partner Johan van Vloten say VOTE YES!
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Don't boycott the Australian marriage equality vote. The Hon Michael Kirby and his partner Johan van Vloten say VOTE YES!
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This Teacher Uses Marvel Comics to Teach Government Regulation (with Great Results!)

This Teacher Uses Marvel Comics to Teach Government Regulation (with Great Results!) | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Today Kyle Stern @stern_history uses Marvel’s “Civil War” to teach Government Regulation. The test scores show it is working. Understand how a teacher can use graphic novels (a/k/a Comic Books) to meet standards, excite kids, and teach at the same time. It can be done!
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Today Kyle Stern @stern_history uses Marvel’s “Civil War” to teach Government Regulation. The test scores show it is working. Understand how a teacher can use graphic novels (a/k/a Comic Books) to meet standards, excite kids, and teach at the same time. It can be done!
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How First Graders Inspired Me To Stand Up Against Unconscious Bias

How First Graders Inspired Me To Stand Up Against Unconscious Bias | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
When visiting my son’s first grade classroom, I noticed something about the seven-year-old kids he was surrounded by. The girls were stronger and more decisive – the first to raise their hands, confidently answer questions and eagerly run to the front of the classroom to showcase their work.

This behavior struck me, as it stands in stark contrast with what I’ve often observed at conferences throughout my career. At these high profile events, women are prone to habits that make them appear less confident than the men in the room. I’ve noticed that when presented with uncomfortable situations, women – both speakers and audience members – are more likely to giggle or fidget. And when making a point, women tend to provide too many supporting details, as if they have to try harder to convince the audience.

In reflecting on this, I recognize that I too have been hesitant at times during large format Q&A sessions. If women are confident and strong by nature – as witnessed by the behavior in my son’s classroom – when do we start to question ourselves?
Kim Flintoff's insight:

"When visiting my son’s first grade classroom, I noticed something about the seven-year-old kids he was surrounded by. The girls were stronger and more decisive – the first to raise their hands, confidently answer questions and eagerly run to the front of the classroom to showcase their work."

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Learning to write should not be hijacked by NAPLAN: New research shows what is really going on

Learning to write should not be hijacked by NAPLAN: New research shows what is really going on | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it

You couldn’t miss the headlines and page one stories across Australia recently about the decline of Australian children’s writing skills. The release of results of national tests in literacy and numeracy meant we were treated to a range of colour-coded tables and various info graphics that highlighted ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ and that dire, downward trend. A few reports were quite positive about improved reading scores and an improvement in writing in the early years of schooling. However, most media stories delivered the same grim message that Australian students have a ‘major problem’ with writing.

Of course politicians and media commentators got on board, keen to add their comments about it all. The release of NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) every year in Australia offers a great media opportunity for many pundits. Unfortunately the solutions suggested were predictable to educators: more testing, more data-based evidence, more accountability, more direct instruction, more ‘accountability’.

Kim Flintoff's insight:


Of course politicians and media commentators got on board, keen to add their comments about it all. The release of NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) every year in Australia offers a great media opportunity for many pundits. Unfortunately the solutions suggested were predictable to educators: more testing, more data-based evidence, more accountability, more direct instruction, more ‘accountability’.

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Don't Be a Sucker (1947)

Like The House I Live In, this film warns that Americans will lose their country if they let themselves be turned into "suckers" by the forces of fanaticism and hatred. This thesis is rendered more powerful by the ever-present example of Nazi Germany, whose capsule history is dramatized as part of this film. There's a great deal of good sense in this film and more than a bit of wartime populism: "Let's not think about 'we' and 'they.' Let's think about 'us'!"]

Kim Flintoff's insight:

Like The House I Live In, this film warns that Americans will lose their country if they let themselves be turned into "suckers" by the forces of fanaticism and hatred.

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Educators’ understanding of young children’s typical and problematic sexual behaviour and their training in this area

Educators’ understanding of young children’s typical and problematic sexual behaviour and their training in this area | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
Abstract

As part of a wider study, this paper reports on Australian educators’ understanding of children’s typical and problematic sexual behaviour and their source of training in this area. A sample of 107 educators from government, independent and Catholic primary schools, preschools and care organisations across Australia answered an online questionnaire regarding their understanding of and experiences with children’s problematic sexual behaviours and their management strategies. The majority of educators were able to identify children’s age-appropriate typical sexual behaviour and some elements of problematic sexual behaviour; however, individual knowledge was not extensive. Approximately 35% (n = 35) of educators said they had not been trained in identifying and responding to children’s problematic sexual behaviour. Of those who said they had received training, the majority (82%, n = 53) described having participated in a compulsory course on reporting suspected abuse to government (a mandated reporting course). Ninety per cent (n = 89) of educators reported that courses specific to children’s problematic sexual behaviours should be offered. This suggests that mandated reporting courses do not offer in-depth training specific to problematic sexual behaviour. Implications for professional development are discussed.
Kim Flintoff's insight:

Curiosity about body parts, self-exploration, looking at or touching other children’s bodies, and interest in toileting activities are all typical sexual behaviours of young children. However, when asked about this, some educators only identified the first two as such. More worryingly, 17 per cent of those surveyed misidentified typical sexual behaviours as problematic. These are some of the findings of a newly released study by three education academics from the University of South Australia, published in Sex Education.

 

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Slam dunk for Curtin’s Open Day - News and Events | Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

Slam dunk for Curtin’s Open Day - News and Events | Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia | A Random Collection of sites | Scoop.it
The world record-breaking How Ridiculous trio will be the main attraction at this year’s Curtin University Open Day, where visitors will have the opportunity to take part in a unique basketball game.

The How Ridiculous team, which includes two Curtin alumni, will be bringing their basketball stunts to Open Day, which is the University’s largest annual event.

Curtin University Vice-President Corporate Relations Ms Valerie Raubenheimer said it was fantastic that the two alumni were coming back to Curtin to reconnect with the University.
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