Designed by students, Teach the Teacher is a student-led professional learning program in which both teachers and students share views and plan school change. It is a practical approach to engaging a school community in discussions about education and life at school, around topics defined and led by students. It provides a space for dialogue between students, teachers and principals where they can explore issues, share ideas and plan change in a constructive and judgment free environment.

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Welcome to the first issue of Breaking Out. A Journal of Schools, Community and Social Justice.

This journal is intended for everyone who thinks that education is not a market good to be bought, sold and traded, but rather a public good that enables agency, social justice and change. It is a journal for those who want to make a difference, but understand that our individual efforts are only as good as the collective action they are part of.

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As a teacher I’ve been very influenced by the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, and his argument that any and all collaboration and action in education needs to be aimed at understanding the world in order to change it. In 2014 my family and I spent a year living in Chile, providing an opportunity to engage directly with the student movement there as a living example of Freire’s ideas about the connection between teaching, learning and social change.

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Australian aid specifically for education is used not as an expression of generous solidarity, but as a clearly identified means to a very specific end:  the promotion of Australia's 'national interests', and the undermining of the potential to build popular movements that challenge the place and policies of government authorities considered acceptable by Australian governments.

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This is the eighth year of NAPLAN testing.  It is no longer a ‘new initiative’, enjoys bipartisan support and appears to have become an entrenched part of our education system.  So some might wonder why we should continue to campaign against it...

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I withdrew my daughter from NAPLAN because the idea of making a diverse range of children sit down for a standardised test and expecting that the result would somehow symbolise something about the school or the students did not sit well with me.

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There are many myths about NAPLAN, some supported by mis-information and propoganda.  In this fact sheet, Breaking Out and Say NO to NAPLAN dispel a few myths and NAPLAN and provide guidance for parents about how it should be used and their rights to opt-out.

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We want your contributions!

Breaking Out aims to foster a dialogue between teachers, students, parents, academics and the wider community.  This means we want to hear about your experiences of teaching, working and learning in schools.  We also want to hear your critique of contemporary education systems and practices, and ideas for the future.  We aim to build a collective critique and vision of socially just education based on shared knowledge, hope, solidarity and collective struggle.

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