The Treehorn Express
Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697
The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’
Parents: Does your school supply you with any literature that tells you how NAPLAN supports your child’s learning development?
Principals: Eichmann did as he was bid. Thoughtless scoundrel, wasn’t he?
Politicians : Katter’s Australian Party has yet to develop an education policy. If it promised to stop NAPLAN testing, do you think that its present number of representatives would double or treble?
Pupils: Q. Hang in there, kids. The testicators are in control. Things must get better. They can’t get much worse.
Principals – Educators or Testucators?
“Education is supposed to be about bringing out the best in children – helping them to develop their minds, bodies and souls….So, I conclude that the current state of education is more accurately ‘testucation’, a process in which ‘testucators’ attempt to deliver information or ‘testucate’ their ‘testuees’ to store information in a pot with a lid on.
Research shows that 85% of the information that testucators spend their time delivering to testuees to prepare for tests is forgotten shortly after the test, and therefore useless to the testuees and, thus, to society. It is no wonder that educators, wherever testing is ubiquitous, are frustrated. Not only are they unable to realize their dreams to educate students [aka pupils], they are reduced to playing the role of a robot delivering useless information to children who are bored out of their minds.”
“It’s virtually impossible for teachers to create an engaging and challenging learning environment without a strong school leader who is equally devoted to education and against testucation. School leaders need to step up to the plate and go to bat for their teachers.”
[ This is the conclusion to an excellent article, the body of which I have misplaced. Can someone help with identification? ]
Australian schools seem to be controlled by a dominating thought-force of political origin that commands testucation . Schooling is not allowed to believe in itself as a social service anymore. Invalid and unreliable blanket numerical assessments, labelling children and their efforts, combined with public shaming of schools is now a large part of the schooling landscape. None of it is needed. We were up once up there with the world’s best, according to PISA measurements. However, in 2008, test publishers, measurement freaks and corporate giants took over because there’s much more money to be made by testucation than by education. Big, big mega-dollars are to be made from distortions of the schooling processes and children’s stress.
True-blue educators know that New-age Testucation tells us nothing. It’s toxic. Now, it seems that our school based testucators have to do as they are told and they are too well manipulated to resist. We have to ask our school principals, how this was allowed to happen…..and what are they going to do to get NAPLAN testing removed completely…not partly or restructured or re-organised. …’rid of’. Australian principals now appear as cheer-leaders for Julia G’s hard-nosed testing regime that, they know, ruins teaching/learning outcomes and curriculum spirit. It’s a peculiar world that few of us would ever have foreseen…and… young Australians presently attending school are being let down, big time.
We respect school pricipals implicitly to be the guardians of our children’s learning progress. We expect them to guide our children to the very limits of their abilities, to prevent them from being socially and scholastically branded at a young age, not to remind them of any inadequacies, not to frighten them by the fear of not learning enough, and certainly not to be stressed by tests of any kind…..all those things that NAPLAN engenders. Principals as head teachers and curriculum leaders have to take responsibility for this. They are a grave disappointment, at present. It’s truly sad. They must ‘step up to the plate’ and stand up for the children and grand-children of those of us who care about curriculum progress and unrestricted achievement; and who want our loved ones to leave school with zest for seeking for more knowledge about their chosen interests.
We principals once believed in schooling that could do this; and that, by 2010 endeavour and achievements and acceptance of challenge and personal motivation for learning would be at an astonishingly high level. We believed in the positive power of teaching and learning by sharing with our pupils the vision of happy meaningful lives. We principals and teachers wanted to teach our pupils to love learning itself for the rest of their lives because we had empowered each one with the enduring forces of curiosity, courage, self-discipline, exploration, risk-taking, experimentation, reflection, collaboration, rigour, sociability, ethical practice and imagineering. [ http://allthingslearning.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/habits-of-mind.jpg ]
Many of us, who have been around schools for a while, cannot understand how anyone, with more than a little experience in school leadership, could ever have succumbed to the deeply flawed connection between blanket testing, curriculum spirit and learning-based pedagogies…..unless they acted as school managers without thinking about the teaching-learning acts that were happening around them Have learning-oriented school leaders turned into test-robots and schools into factories?
If parents need information about the really big important picture of schooling and pupilling, they need to go down to their children’s school for a while; as often as possible, and have a long yarn to their principal-educator and their child’s teacher. Experienced educators know that NAPLAN is creating test-driven schooling. That is reality. [ http://www.essentialkids.com.au/older-kids/education-for-older-kids/the-case-for-naplan-20120508-1yamh.html 4th penult paragraph.]
While ‘NO to NAPLAN’ car stickers are proving popular in Australia [60 for one town’s only High School], American Mums and Dads are wearing badges [aka buttons] http://susanohanian.org
Amongst them are:
Defend Democracy. Stop TESTING Insanity TAKE BACK THE TEACHING PROFESSION Stop Branding Schools SHAME ON YOUR BLAME Don’t Sell-out Our School Kids
My Mom Fights Standardized Tests. There’s No Such Thing As A Standardised Child SPAY THE TESTUCAT Scrap the Trap How about yours? Stop High Stakes Testing My Child is NOT Your Data Let Teachers Teach Stop Testing Insanity
Choose the Best Answer: a. Test or b. Teach
Have you ordered your bundles of “Say NO to NAPLAN’ stickers yet? Order in bundles of ten. $1 each plus postage. Quick delivery.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org while they are still available.
What does your teacher think?
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Phil Cullen AM,FACE, FACEL
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