COVID-19 – catalyst for change or a retreat to the past?

In this episode of Talking Teaching, Professor Jim Watterston, Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and Professor Yong Zhao discuss the education system post-COVID-19 and question whether the role of education should be more than simply preparing students for the workforce. Yong Zhao is Professor of Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Foundation Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Education.

Professor Jim Watterston and Professor Jong Zhao


Decolonising the English curriculum

In this episode of Talking Teaching, the University of Melbourne’s Larissa McLean Davies – an Associate Professor in Languages and Literacy Education – hosts a panel discussion on the importance of reading in our lives, and how to make the teaching of English more inclusive, particularly in terms of decolonising the curriculum.

Students reading around a table



The COVID lessons: John Hattie reflects

Laureate Professor John Hattie reflects on the effect of COVID-19 on the education system examining what we should keep from what he calls the ‘great experiment’. Speaking to Talking Teaching on the eve of his retirement from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, John stresses the need to focus on the existing expertise we have in education and the need to upscale success.

John Hattie


The kids are alright but is the education system? Flipping the conversation on Indigenous education

On this episode of Talking Teaching Kamilaroi woman, Dr Melitta Hogarth, the Assistant Dean, Indigenous at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, discusses the challenges facing the education sector in building an inclusive school culture and environment for Indigenous students in Australia. To achieve this, she says, we need to flip the narrative and address the significant gap in non-Indigenous Australians’ understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, cultures, knowledges and peoples. We also speak to Josh Cubillo, a Larrakia man educated in the Darwin area, who is now pursuing his dream of improving the knowledge of non-Indigenous teachers and their understanding of the concept of country.

Teacher with five children in classroom


Dealing with trauma: schools on the frontline

In a traumatic year of bushfires and a global pandemic young people in Australia have faced increasing uncertainty and anxiety. How do schools support their students through these times and how can they help them deal with the trauma to ensure that they thrive? On this episode of Talking Teaching Professor Helen Cahill, a leading innovator in school-based wellbeing interventions, discusses the ways that social and emotional learning programs in schools can assist young people to deal with traumatic situations and mitigate the effects of trauma, before they happen, if already implemented in schools.

Boy drawing COVID-19 picture


Teaching through the pandemic: lessons learned in and out of school

Teachers, students, parents and entire school communities have been through a tumultuous time having been forced to switch schooling from the classroom to remote learning and back again in the space of a few months. So, what’s worked, what didn’t and what are schools going to take with them into the future? On this episode of Talking Teaching two leaders of two very different schools share their insights. Plus we speak with Professor Janet Clinton, who was commissioned by the Australian Government to report on ‘Supporting vulnerable children in the face of a pandemic’, about the potential effect COVID-19 may have on vulnerable students.

Child at computer doing remote learning


Resilience and recovery: bushfires and COVID-19

A global pandemic and devastating bushfires – these major events are going to affect people's lives and wellbeing for a long time. Their ramifications are forcing people to deal with uncertainty, stress and loss. On this episode of Talking Teaching: Professor Lindsay Oades, Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, tells us how we can find resilience in a pandemic – and we meet the Principal of Clifton Creek Primary School, Sue Paul, who’s rebuilding her school and community after it was destroyed by bushfire.


Talking Teaching - Season 2 (2019)

  • E1 - How educators can boost student interest in reading

    Talking Teaching’s first episode for 2019 features interviews with Larissa McLean Davies and Penny Jones. From different perspectives they both discuss  how educators can boost student interest in reading.


  • E2 - A challenging look at teaching teachers

    In this episode of Talking Teaching writer and university lecturer Tegan Bennett Daylight discusses what she sees as declining standards and poor quality reading skills in some students attending universities. She identifies the dilemma of how to instil a love of reading in children from teachers who are struggling themselves. A provocative must- listen interview hosted by Maxine McKew.


  • E3 - Teaching children reading

    In this episode of Talking Teaching, Kerry Elliott talks to David Hornsby about the contentious issue of how we teach reading to young students. Why can’t we agree on the fundamentals and insist on comprehensive English language training for teachers? Listen to David Hornsby's common sense approach.


  • E4 - What the rest of the world is noticing about our most effective teachers

    In this episode of Talking Teaching Maxine McKew talks to Yasodai Selvakumaran about what it is that the rest of the world is noticing about Australia’s teachers.


  • E5 - Talking Teaching considers the growing national momentum for pre-school for three year old children

    In this episode Maxine McKew talks with experts Trish Eadie and Deb Brennan about the multiple benefits of quality early learning programmes for young children.


  • E6 - Positive Psychology Learning the skills and capabilities for wellbeing

    The sixth International Congress for Positive Psychology was held recently in Melbourne with the University of Melbourne as the main partner. Talking Teaching considers positive psychology and the language of wellbeing.


  • E7 - Australian schooling and teaching 21st century skills

    Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw has spent a lifetime advocating for greater equity in Australia schooling. In this interview with Kerry Elliott he considers recent funding policy failures and regrets the way Australian schooling has become so segmented and stratified.


  • E8 - The need for policy changes in the VET sector

    After a troubled recent history of dodgy providers and high upfront fees, TAFE enrolments are plummeting. Can this be reversed? In this edition of Talking Teaching Professor John Polesel and Professor Peter Noonan consider the policy changes needed to alter the perception that VET is a second class option.


  • E9 - Teaching Indigenous history in schools and the rundown on NAPLAN

    Maxine McKew talks to David de Carvalho about the national NAPLAN picture and what it is really telling us and we hear from Professor Marcia Langton about the University of Melbourne’s new schools’ resource material for the teaching of indigenous history.


Talking Teaching - Season 1 (2018)

  • E1 - John Hattie, Peggy Brookins, HALTS teachers, Noel Creece and Wesley Imms

    In this episode of Talking Teaching we focus on the national teaching standards that are validated by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). In particular AITSL's chair Professor John Hattie looks at the way Highly Accomplished teachers are using their networks to spread the word about high-impact teaching practice. We also hear from his U.S. counterpart Peggy Brookins who describes the way national standards apply across the American states.


  • E2 - Eddie Woo

    Episode two of Talking Teaching features a lengthy interview with the maths teacher behind Woo Tube, the dynamic communicator Eddie Woo. With an audience in the hundreds of thousands that stretches way beyond his home school of Cherrybrook High in Sydney, Eddie has a down-to earth approach to technology, seeing it merely as an amplifier.


  • E3 - In conversation with Katherine Henderson, Dr Geoff Masters and David Baker

    This month we talk to leaders from across the school sector, including University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS) founder Katherine Henderson. We discuss the power of school networks and the value of coming together to exchange ideas. We also chat with Dr Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council for Education Research, who argues its time to move away from year- or age-based learning to one based on proficiency.


  • E4 - Gonski 2.0

    Talking Teaching this week dives into a lively discussion about the value and messages contained in Gonski 2.0 – Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools.


  • E5 - Jo Boaler, Michaela Epstein and Michelle Fry on Maths Education, and the Saudi education reforms

    In this month’s Talking Teaching, Sophie Murphy interviews Stanford University’s Jo Boaler who argues that the latest neuroscience explains what she has always argued – that anyone can do maths. Kerry Elliott talks to Michaela Epstein and Michelle Fry about how on-line maths learning is engaging students and producing impressive results. And finally, Maxine talks to some of the key players involved in the radical educational reforms being undertaken through the extraordinary partnership between the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Saudi Arabia.


  • E6 - What does it take to be a good principal?

    In this episode of Talking Teaching Stephen Dinham and John Goh talk to Kerry Elliott about the qualities and skills needed to be an effective instructional leader. Both agree that central to the job is an ability to facilitate teaching and learning.


  • E7 - Glyn Davis and the joys of teaching

    In this episode of Talking Teaching Maxine McKew talks with Professor Glyn Davis who has just completed fourteen years as Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.