Thursday, December 11, 2014

Amazing:  Teachers supporting RESEARCH into educational methods

A change from the "we just know" approach of the  past.  Maybe they have finally learnt something from the failure of their treasured "look and learn" method of teaching literacy

The Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA) is proud to announce the establishment of an independent, competitive research grant available to researchers to conduct research with teachers and students in primary schools.

The grant of up to $75,000 will be made available annually to enable researchers to undertake research around the efficacy of different pedagogical approaches to the teaching of English in the primary school setting and will involve teachers and schools as research partners. The researchers will be expected to work collaboratively to report the research in a manner which is relevant to the PETAA membership and the broader education community.

On announcing the research grants, PETAA President, Associate Professor Robyn Cox, commented that to the best of our knowledge no other professional association of teachers has made a financial commitment of this magnitude, and in cash, to fund original research in Australia.

The grant further confirms PETAA’s ongoing commitment in support of educational research in the field of literacy; an initiative embedded within PETAA’s new Strategic Plan.

 The Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA) is a leading national teacher professional association supporting the teaching of English and literacy in Australian primary schools


The Australian Left loves Islam too

Socialist President of France, Francois Hollande claimed recently that, “Islam is perfectly compatible with the values of France". Labor Leader in Australia, Bill Shorten claimed recently that, “Labor stands shoulder to shoulder with Australia’s Islamic community”.

As ISIS prepares to publicly behead another Westerner, Shorten went on to say in an open letter to Islamic leaders, “ISIS has no right to use the name of Islam”.

He continued, “The Islamic story in Australia has a rich history and grows stronger each year. Australia’s Muslim community continues to do our nation a great service by fostering enduring cultural and religious harmony.

“Australian multiculturalism”, said Shorten, “is a story of cultural enrichment, social cohesion [!!!!] and economic growth and it is a story that the Labor Party is committed to and will always defend.

“Labor will continue to work with you to stop misinformation, bigotry and prejudice directed at the Australian Islamic community.”

France, which has had an enduring love affair with Socialism and a history of flirting with Communism, is now suffering under violent Islamic oppression and is increasingly reliant on vigilante groups to protect French nationals.

Swathes of major cities are under Shariah Law where no gendarme dares go as five million Muslims declare whole electorates as caliphates.

Hollande grabbed a surveyed 95% of Muslim votes in 2012 but has since sunk to his lowest popularity rating yet in the wake of his lack of support for Hamas in Gaza, his attempts to protect French Jews from Islamic gangs intent on murdering them, a burkah ban and some serious legislation against the more outrageous of Islamic excesses.

A serious lesson lies ahead for Shorten: “If you decide to support Islam, don’t ever turn your back on it.”

Shorten has ignored an evil Islamic agenda in his grovelling rush to gain its electoral support with stupid statements like, “ISIS has no right to use the name of Islam”. Muslims don’t really want to hear that Bill because, unlike you, they understand that ISIS is a proponent of, and is symbolic of, the purest form of Islam... the original hadith of Shariah law that every good Muslim aspires to... Wahhabism!

And Abbott’s pathetic attempt to substitute its correct name of the “Islamic State” with the “Death Cult” doesn’t alter its vile agenda one iota.

If what Bill Shorten says is true, where are the protesting “moderate” Muslims, where are the placards denouncing ISIS atrocities, where are the signs saying, “ISIS is not Us”, “Stop beheading innocent aid workers”, “Stop raping women and children”, “Stop the massacres”?

Nup, not one placard to be seen.

Perhaps Muslims are shy people, averse to overt political activism? Not really, because there are plenty of signs saying, “Behead all those who insult Islam”, “The Caliphate is coming”, “Democracy is evil” and “Islam will dominate the World”.

And where are Bill’s army of Labor feminists? Why haven’t they asked Muslim women to join them in marching with signs saying, “Stop female sexual disfigurement”, “Stop the paedophilia”, “Stop honour killings”, "Bigamy is illegal”, “Burkahs debase us”?

Nup, don’t see any of those placards around either.

What the world sees now from ISIS is the very essence of Islam and no Muslim will deny it without invoking the law of takiyya which legally condones the act lying if it furthers the cause of Islam.

The ISIS atrocities are the exact same atrocities committed in every single war in history, the only difference is that these atrocities are graphically documented and uploaded to Youtube to excite everyone everywhere to, “come join us”, and they do. But only Muslims do.

It’s amazing what is ignored by both sides of politics when it comes to an electoral advantage.

Pandering to, placating or appeasing Islam is a sign of weakness it welcomes.

Rather than politely ask serpents not to inject their lethal poison into you, you must either release them to where they can do no harm or sever their heads.

...and their heads are always found in mosques, on Fridays.


Australia: Green and Defenceless

As Australia’s industrial capacity declines, Australia is becoming green and defenceless. Australia should give support to industrial diversity, not windmills etc.

History holds lessons.  Back in Dec 1941, Japan suddenly attacked the huge US Naval base at Pearl Harbour. Three days later, two “invincible” British warships, “Repulse” and “Prince of Wales” were sunk by Japanese planes off Malaya. Soon Japanese armies were rampaging through Asia towards Australia. By Feb 1942, the British fortress of Singapore surrendered and Japanese bombs were falling on Darwin. By Sept 1942 the Japanese army had slashed their way down the Kokoda Track and could see the lights of Port Moresby. They were looking across Torres Strait to Australia. At that time, most of our trained soldiers were fighting Rommel in North Africa or in Japanese prison camps.

Suddenly Australia was on its own and needed to defend itself with what we had here.

Armies need soldiers, weapons, bullets, vehicles, fuel, food, alcohol (and cigarettes).

Soldiers volunteered and were conscripted. Australian conscripts formed part of the force that met the Japanese on the Kokoda Track.

Enfield Rifles, Bren Guns and Vickers Machine Guns were produced in large numbers at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow supported by feeder factories in the area. Britain lost so many weapons at Dunkirk that Australian factories were sending guns to them. We could not do that now.

Motor oil was produced in limited quantities from oil shale at Glen Davis, but petrol was in serious short supply, and had been rationed since 1940. With the fall of Singapore, this shortage became severe, and charcoal burners suddenly appeared to keep cars and trucks moving. Kerosene was scarce so carbide lights were widely used. The demand for charcoal was so great that firewood became scarce so it was also rationed.

To conserve supplies for soldiers, rationing was introduced for tea, clothing, butter, sugar, meat and cigarettes. Hotels were only allowed to serve alcohol twice a day for one hour at a time of their choosing.

An immediate critical shortage was copper for cartridge cases and communications – Australia had mines producing lead, zinc, silver, gold and iron, but there was a critical shortage of copper.

Fortuitously, just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, an exploration drill hole at Mount Isa had struck rich copper ore.

Mount Isa was called on to avert a calamitous shortage of copper in Australia. With government encouragement, Mount Isa Mines made the brave decision to suspend the profitable silver/lead/zinc operations and convert all mining and treatment facilities to extracting copper.

The lead concentrator could be converted to treat copper ore, but the biggest problem was how to smelt the copper concentrates. Luckily the company had skilled engineers and metallurgists in the lead smelter. In a miracle of improvisation, scrap steel and spare parts were purchased and scavenged from old mines and smelters from Cloncurry, Mt Elliott, Mt Cuthbert and Kuridala and cobbled into a workable copper smelter.

In 1943 the first Mount Isa blister copper was produced. Production continued after the war when Mount Isa returned to extracting the then more profitable silver/lead/zinc. Later new plant was built enabling both lead and copper metal to be produced from this fabulous mine.

This story of the importance of self-reliance has lessons for today.

The war on carbon energy, the carbon tax, the renewable energy targets, escalating electricity costs and the voices in Parliament calling for Emissions Trading Schemes have all unnerved our big users of carbon fuels and electricity. Smelting and refining have become threatened industries in Australia, and closure of the Mount Isa copper smelter and the Townsville copper refinery has been foreshadowed.

Already six major metal smelting/refining operations have closed in Australia this century and more are likely. The closures have affected copper, lead, zinc, steel and aluminium – the sinews of modern industry. And the car industry, with all its skills and tools, is closing.

More and more land and offshore waters are totally closed to exploration and mining. Offshore exploration for oil is very limited, except in the north-west. On land, there is no exploration in green no-go areas and the “lock-the-gate” rent-a-crowd are trying to prevent gas explorers from drilling even on their own exploration tenements.

Local production and refining of oil is also declining, and it was estimated recently that by next year, half of Australia’s oil refining capacity will have closed. In the event of a disruption to tanker routes, Australia has just 12 days of diesel supplies before city fuel and food supplies start to dry up. Will we see charcoal burners on cars and trucks once again?

Heavy industry is scorned, and is migrating to Asia. We are losing the resources, skills and machinery needed for our own security, while we fritter away precious resources on green energy, direct action, carbon capture and storage and other pointless anti-carbon chimeras.

Our foolish green energy policies and the suicidal war on carbon fuels are killing real industry leaving us unskilled and defenceless – like a fat toothless walrus basking on a sunny beach.

Wake up Australia.


ABC staff cuts

James Delingpole comments

Australia's national broadcaster ABC has reportedly been staging brutal, Hunger-Games-style contests in order to decide which of its excess staff are for the chop.

If this is the plan I don't think it's going to work. The people at ABC are all, basically, Capitol-style pansy sybarites. They wouldn't know what to do with a bow and arrow or a gun because they mostly eat tofu and think that hunting is for savages. None of them would make a dash for all those exciting weapons and supplies in the Cornucopia at the beginning. Instead, they would run squealing for their lives into the forest where they would quickly succumb to Flat White deprivation or be eaten by Australia's totally out-of-control population of saltwater crocodiles. Or, if they fled into the sea, by Australia's out-of-control killer shark population.

Those of you who think I am being unduly unsympathetic towards my hapless fellow journalists' plight clearly haven't experienced ABC at close quarters. I have. ABC swings so far to the left it makes the BBC look like Fox News. Hence all the protests led earlier this week by the leader of Australia's opposition Labor party Bill Shorten about the $254 million spending cuts being forced on ABC by Tony Abbott's Coalition government.

Shorten whinged: "This is a government of savages, ripping at the heart of our national institution...Our ABC has always been here for us. It is now time for us to be there for the ABC."

(Note, incidentally, that nauseatingly twee use of "our", as in "our" NHS. Has someone been taking lessons from David Cameron? If so, my advice is: don't. It just makes the listener want to vomit. Well, it does if he's a taxpayer.)

When Shorten says "Our ABC has always been here for us", what he means by "us" is "metropolitan, liberal-lefties and greenies." It's essentially just a propaganda mouthpiece for every progressive cause going. The only time you see a conservative or libertarian type on the ABC is when he has been invited on - as I was to Jon Faine's show in Melbourne - in order be sneered at, reviled and dissed.

Which, of course, is the real reason that Abbott is cutting ABC's budget. Why wouldn't he? ABC (with its smaller sister organisation SBS) currently receives $1.4 billion a year in government funding - a fair chunk of which it uses to slag off Tony Abbott's administration.

In any case, like so many public sector organisations, the ABC is bloated, flabby, overindulged. On my tour of Australia a couple of years ago, I was particularly struck by the contrast between my experiences of recording a radio interview first at the ABC and then later one with Australia's most popular independent radio host Alan Jones.

The ABC interview was conducted amid opulence worthy of Ceausescu's palace. There were atriums, potted plants, multiple door staff, with lots and lots of space, a large workforce and everything new and shiny.

The Alan Jones interview was conducted at the back of a scrubby car park, in a box, with just the producer to let me in, give me a cup of tea and produce the show.

This, as Australia's Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull noted in a rather good speech, is the problem with publicly funded broadcasters. "There simply isn't the same relentless, daily pressure to innovate, to cut costs, to lift productivity that there is in the private sector."


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