A Test for Your Own Point of View.

The Treehorn Express

Treehorn is a little primary school pupil, immortalised by Florence Parry Heidi in The Shrinking of Treehorn, whom  adult carers preferred  to ignore…just like all primary school children in this new “Age of Stupid’, as it has been described. Forced to go to factory-style schools [See Sir Ken Robinson below], primary school pupils just have to tolerate the controls, whims and dictates of test-publishers and their friends:- the new-age politicians, school-bare measurers and compliant schoolies. Like Treehorn, school pupils have no friends; at least none with enough clout to help them. Treehorn and his friends [we too] know that adults just don’t care much about little kids at school. This little share-it-all, bare-it-all occasional newsletter is dedicated to the unfortunate Treehorn and his fellow school pupils.


A Test for Your Own Point of View

This is a simple test for those who believe that primary and secondary school children need to be helped to develop their idiosyncratic and natural learning potential; and who think that pupils need to feel confident in extending their personal achievements to the  nth degree without restrictions. If you believe this, you will agree with Sir Ken Robinson who describes what present-day schooling is all about. It takes about 12 minutes to view….many more minutes to think about.  Some folk will have seen it already. It is a definitive presentation and pleads for absorption. Keep it as a favourite.


If you subscribe to the tenets of the presentation, please tell others.  Make sure that your local politician sees it. Like the rest of us, they have some learning to do.There is hope for Treehorn and other school children if you just do this little thing. It doesn’t hurt and could do mankind a great deal of good. If you wish to confirm your point-of-view, then  have a look at what Yong Zhau has to say.  When he says”NCLB or ‘No Chlld Left Behind’, substitute Naplan for Australia and ‘National Standards’ for NZ. When he says Arne Duncan, substitute Barry McGaw for  Australia and Gillard for Obama. Simple.


If you, in any way,  support the Kleinist [fear driven] standardised blanket-testing regimes, such as Naplan,  you will not enjoy the presentations. If you know of any presentation that shows that your blanket tests are of benefit to schooling, to children’s learning or to the welfare of the country, I should like to read it. It will need to be as definitive as that of Sir Ken’s, however, and show that the administration of such tests displays a love for children and their learning development. ….and is not used just to gather scores.

I confess to being, unashamedly,  on the same wave-length as these Sir Ken and Yong, together with others who are prepared to state their views publically and loudly about schooling and learning….folk like Allan Alach, Sir Robin Alexander, Peter Beatts, Marian Brady, Matt Damon, John Goodlad, Bruce Hammonds, Goldie Hawn, Douglas Hislop, David Hornsby, Alfie Kohn, Marian Lewis, Mary E Mackay, Susan Ohanian,  Diane Ravitch, Kelvin Smythe, Valerie Strauss, Save Our Schools, Paul Thomson, Margaret Wu.  There must be many many others [I’d like to learn of their work]. Few would wish to join  with the Kleinists :-Gates, Gillard, Klein, Murdoch, Brendan Nelson willingly…would they?….surely not. Whoever does, must have other reasons.

So the test is simple. Click on both sites and absorb the comment. If you agree, you are a LEARNER. If you support or approve of blanket testing [e.g.Naplan], you are a KLEINIST . Simple. Test yourself.

(Thanks to Dr. Marian Lewis, USQ, for the clips)


*You may have heard on ABC Radio 612 on Sunday 28 August, 2011 [Yesterday] the Manager of the Milton Fish Markets in Brisbane tell interviewer Warren Boland that there is a noticeable increase in the sales of fish when schools hold their examinations. He said that many parents believe that a heavy intake of Omega3 clears the mind for tests.  Ye Gods!  Fair dinkum!

*You may also have read where the unfortunate young lady, Madeleine Pulver, who had to wear a neck bomb for some hours, had to recover as soon as possible from the trauma so that she could prepare for another [even greater] trauma…her schools’ trial tests for the forthcoming HSC; the big one! Ye GODS!

Phil Cullen

41 Cominan AvenueBanora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443







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