A Principal Speaks

Treehorn Express

http://primaryschooling.net/?page_id=1924

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A Principal Speaks

Wouldn’t it be informative and so useful for parents, teachers and pupils if each Principal in Australia  was allowed to express his or her opinions about the influence of national blanket testing {aka GERM} on the classroom activities and the curriculum, on their school’s website? This principal has. He doesn’t like the national blanket tests conducted in New Zealand, called ‘national standards’; and says so. We call it NAPLAN…both degenerative schooling activities which threaten the economic and social future of the South Pacific.

http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/bruce-i-have-never-felt-so-disgruntled.html

His statement is included in his letter to Bruce Hammonds of ‘LEADING and LEARNING’ on this URL.

He starts :-  “Our school is realigning its thinking about curriculum delivery and learning approaches. There currently seems to be a significant mismatch between the ecology of learning and pedagogy we espouse  and the reality of teaching and the demands placed upon New Zealand teachers.

New Zealand has adopted a scientific management approach to education. In terms of assessment and data gathering, is about teacher accountability, not about children experiencing a well-rounded education that excites them to be intrinsically motivated learners”…………. read on….click above…

I should like to congratulate the principal – warmly and seriously – for his thoughtful decision and the meaningful expression of his reasons.  He sounds like a real thinking teacher who knows what he is doing and loves kids and is concerned for their welfare  and wants to share his passion for learning. He is a real hero as is his compatriot Allan Alach who join those few [too few] Aussies who are also prepared to say what they think.

Please read the full URL.

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Australian principals are very easy to control. Their representatives endorse the spread of the scatomeme: “Fear based schooling improves learning”, so they do, with few exceptions, as they are told.  When, prior to this year’s blanket tests,  some principals in Victoria supported the parents of their schools in the withdrawal of pupils from the stressful testing, they were warned : “Parents do have the right to withdraw their children from the tests, but we emphasise that principals are not to actively encourage students not to participate. We would consider that quite inappropriate.”  said ACARA General Manager, Peter Adams, emphasising that state and federal government expected pupils to sit the tests. ( http://www.westernadvocate.com.au/news/local/news/general/principals-warned-off-test-boycott/2556844.aspx )  and/or( http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/news/national/general/teach-or-test/2556014.aspx )

However…..

On the Kimberley College [an Australian private school] website http://kimberleycollege.org/ , Paul Thomson an Aussie legend, states “ The wrong people are now in charge of the education future of our children. Politicians, in response to the demands of the Murdoch press, are implementing practices that are known to retard the growth of children. NAPLAN national testing is based on a fraudulent set of figures concocted by the New York school system and the national curriculum is a disaster. It’s time for teachers and principals to take back control.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Phil Cullen AM,FACE, FACEL

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

treehorn@bigpond.com

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