We Catch More Flies With Sugar

The Treehorn Express

Treehorn story?  http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

The Treehorn Express is dedicated to the cessation of Kleinist NAPLAN testing in Australia.  Our recently introduced Australian schooling system is based on one introduced to a New York school district by a lawyer, Joel Klein. in 2002 and copied by Australia’s Ms. Gillard in 2009, without consultation or examination. Mr Klein now heads the Murdoch test-publishing company worth billions. Australian test-freaks are amongst his disciples. Kleinism is a New York version of fear-driven schooling which separates ‘haves’ from ‘have nots’ and opens the door for mega-bank-rolling by known curriculum vandals for control of school-based learning. That’s why it exists.

It disrespects school pupils, devalues teachers’ professionalism, forces States to prescribe school texts and teaching strategies, threatens Australia’s future and rivals the Perth Mint as a money source for the top end of town. Why does Australia support it? Weird.

Come on folks. Get off the fence.Say something to somebody who might be able to help our kids.

Parents can stop the malignant practice by telling their school that they don’t want their children to contest NAPLAN.

Politicians can stop it if a few fair-dinkum Aussie ones stand up for Aussie kids in their Parliamentary Party Room.

Principals can stop it by refusing to have their professional ethics battered any more.

Teachers can stop it by saying ‘enough is enough’. We like our kids.

________But…Little Treehorn and his cobbers reckon that “Adults just don’t care about school kids.” ________

When Treehorn first started to shrink, he went to the doctor, quite agitated. He shouted at  the doctor, “Doctor, I’m shrinking.”

The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down, Treehorn. You just have to be a little patient.”


We Catch More Flies with Sugar

Derek Hedgcock

Attached is an outstanding paper from an outstanding practitioner,known to many for his successful, innovative practices. It is eight pages long, hard to read on the fly [so to speak]. Dare I recommend that you print it out and, when you have the time, read it very carefully? It is quite outstanding, full of common sense.

It’s about the best child-supportive comment on NAPLAN that I have read. It signals some very important warnings as to the destiny of those unfortunate pupils who have to endure NAPLAN. They are our Australian kids, and Derek’s comments are telling.

Indeed, it presents some serious points of view that few of us have considered.

Click here to download the attachment.  We Catch More Flies with Sugar


This n’That

NAPLAN for Politicians

The search for a name for the acronym NAPLAN 2013.. which refers to.the biggest schooling test ever for politicians, prior to the next federal elections, continues… with this response:-

“Because I believe there are two types of political force/farce behind the NAPLAN disaster…

Firstly, those who are naive and misled either through ignorance or apathy and I hear you ask what is the difference.

Secondly, those who are scheming and evil in their manipulative intent.

Therefore, I suggest two acronyms for NAPLAN that match these two categories respectively…

National Assessment of Politicians’ Lightsome Naivety.

National Assessment of Politicians’ Licentious Naziism.”

There is also..

National Assessment of Politicians’ Lassitude and Neglect.

National Assessment of Politicians’ Laziness and Nonchalance.

National Assessment of Politicians’ Liabilities and Negligence.

This means that we will, as a measure of accountability for our children’s happy and purposeful school learning, be assessing and sharing, with fellow voters, our local member’s [and all political parties’] neglect and laziness [ Do they say anything enlightening about the issues in their speeches and statements?], when it comes to getting rid of national blanket testing? Do they know the alternatives for effective evaluation of pupil progress. Are they so non-caring? Do they agree with totalitarian [Nazi-like] methods to ensure school compliance and teacher silence? OR What do they think of having an Australian child-loving, achievement oriented [sky’s the limit], love-learning, cooperative and equitable system? Can we learn from Finland and improve on its ideals ? Will our local member tell us about what’s so wrong with promoting respect for teachers; with training them and paying them well? Will they vote in their party meetings and in parliament for NAPLAN to be banned? OR Will they take the coward’s way and vote for its modification?

Will my member stand up for kids at the party meetings?

We can all look forward to the next 20 months of interesting teaching/learning dialogue. Right?

Any more suggestions? Did I miss some?


Derek Hedgcock [“We Catch More Flies with Sugar!” P.8] says : “NAPLAN is simply a compliance based, bullying approach to schooling.  As is universally the case with every instance of bullying, it reveals more about the fears of those who design, promote and support it [whether by direct action, sycophancy or by timid compliance] than it contributes to any form of worthy education, such as all our children deserve and need.

If we are to emerge into the unknown challenges of the future, we need, as best we can, to apply a combination of ancient wisdom with the emerging sciences of learning.

NAPLAN  does neither.”


If you have another 4 minutes 17 seconds to spare from your busy schedule, click on the theme song “Care for Kids” above, relax and ‘take in’ the words. It’s quick meditation. Calm your anger. Enjoy.

Other Treehorns ? Check Recent Posts and Archives in the sidebar.

Phil Cullen

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443




3 thoughts on “We Catch More Flies With Sugar

  1. I’m sorry Phil but “We catch more flies with sugar”, is the most ridiculous load of overblown nonsense I’ve read in a long time. I’ve read a little biology in my time, and this is more like bilge.

  2. Thanks John. I totally disagree with you, of course,and I am conscious that you seem to be confident that you know more than Derek H. about the topic.I’d really be pleased if you could explain where he might have bilged. I’d like to learn more about the topic [may I call it ‘Fear Induced Learning’?] than I know now; from both of you. Apart from reading “Brain Story” by Susan Greenfield about a decade ago….easy to read….I’ve just grabbed from my shelf for a re-read… I just don’t know enough about neuroscience or biomimicry or whatever.
    I do believe that many folk, well, those that I come across, have default patterns that are a result of previous experiences, stories they believe or inherited from their mum or dad, and their minds will not be changed no matter what. Try telling a story to a group of people -any made up story- about the check-out girl at your local Bi-lo; and wait for expletive-loaded comments about our ‘education system’. Ever been bumped by a rude bloke or lady at the shopping centre as they career, unapologetically, on their way? If you say, albeit sarcastically, “You’re welcome.”, they look at you as if you are crazy. They just don’t know. Rudeness is in their DNA just like fear and dislike of learning and of teachers and of school, with all the consequnces.
    Derek H. explained, clearly for me, that an education system, such as ours, using imperfect devices based on fear, can induce whatever-it-is-that-our-genes-pick up into the culture and change it for the worse. NAPLANcertainly induces a distaste for learning, a fear of failing, a crankiness about the system, a penchant for bullying [kicking-the-cat syndrome]…on it goes…absolutely nothing of use for school-based learning. It disrespects our children’s potential to learn great things, to develop helpful social patterns; how to be happy and purposeful. It is wide-scale DNA damaging. This is what Derek said, I reckon…and I sure agree with him.

    • Hi Phil,
      My reaction was terse because I really couldn’t be bothered with a serious analysis of what struck me right from the beginning as pseudo-scientific nonsense. What, for example, is the ‘auto-immune system’? ‘Auto-immune disease’ is a well recognized condition in which the immune system, which normally protects us from foreign chemicals or organisms, attacks the body’s own tissues, but that cannot be construed as an ‘auto-immune system’ – it simply doesn’t make sense. If we had and auto-immune system we would have ceased to exist before we evolved. After that I lost interest.
      I take NAPLAN critique seriously, because I think it has the potential to derail our education system. There are perfectly valid sociological and organizational arguments for that without attempting to spin a yarn about genetic memory and evolution.Derek seems to have an apocalyptic view of many things including the National Curriculum bordering on paranoia.
      But it can’t damage the DNA. It is not even likely to impact the expression of genes – epigenetics – in any conceivable fashion. DNA (in the form of the gene) is changed by mutations acted on by generational selection processes.
      I look forward to more reliable evidence of damage being done to educational development of children, the professional work of teachers, the institution of our schools, and perhaps our society as a whole.
      No-one is going to take this kind of rant seriously, and I fear it will damage your credibility if you embrace it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s