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Scumble and scumball

Visitors to the JMW Turner exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia may come across scumble, a curious word from the C19 art world.  It refers to the technique of applying a thin coating over lighter paint colours, so they ...

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Wenger’s theory: moving forward

  Etienne Wenger suggested that the issue is not about learning, but about filtering the learning from multiple relationships and the over-choice of possibilities. By Llandis Barratt-Pugh it is always a special moment when you get the chance to meet ...

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Teaching numeracy in VET

  Numeracy is falling far behind literacy as a necessary skill. What’s the answer? A better skilled practitioner workforce is needed. By Tom Karmel We know that mathematics is one of the cornerstones of our civilisation, and those with higher ...

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Make teacher quality a main priority

Universities that perform better in research do not necessarily provide better teaching, a new report by the Grattan Institute argues.   The report, taking university teaching seriously, says that as higher education enrolments increase, much more attention needs to be ...

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Oh Minister – the circus must stop!

  After one of the most tumultuous weeks in politics, the national newspapers finally caught up with the fact that a change of leader actually also means a huge wrenching in terms of policy in Australia. By Danny Bielik We ...

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Astroturfing

The practice of astroturfing involves an interested party creating the illusion of public support, to push a particular agenda. For example, the alliance of Australian retailers was set up in 2010 as a front for tobacco companies to campaign against ...

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2012 Words of the Year

The Macquarie Dictionary recently announced its winners of word (or phrase) of last year. Those chosen by the selection committee and the general public to represent the zeitgeist reflected a similar theme. The committee’s choice was phantom vibration syndrome, or ...

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DINKUM

Colloquial words that come from nowhere can be redeployed and radically redesigned in different times and places. Dinkum is one such, which probably originated in C19 Northern English dialects, though in Australia it's sometimes thought to consist of two Chinese ...

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