Educational Readings November 2nd.

The Treehorn  Express

[Maintained by NZ educator Allan Alach]

Treehorn is the hero of a masterful children’s book The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Heidi Parry that cleverly illustrates adult concerns for the welfare of school children. The little fellow kept shrinking and became so small that he could walk upright under his bed. Nobody – nobody – his parents, his teacher, his principal took any real interest in his well-being.except for an occasional nod. The message is a clear and simple one for all parents of school children, for less-than-ethical teachers and principals who just don’t care enough.


Educational Readings
By Allan Alach

The tragic events caused by Superstorm Sandy in the USA have raised awareness of the implications of climate change, regardless of the deniers. Significantly, the deniers are supported strongly (by all accounts, funded) by the corporates who want to preserve their profit streams, even if these have major consequences down the line. This requires deniers to ignore or discount the evidence of research and the warnings from highly experienced and knowledgeable experts. Ideology before evidence, in other words. Does this remind you of anything facing the education sector? Yet another of these amazing coincidences?

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!

The cost of a great teacher? Priceless

Do I need to comment?


Frank Cottrell Boyce: schools risk putting children off reading forever

“Tests make pupils feel like failures before they have barely begun…”


A sad ending for the children’s bedtime story: 

Declining attention spans mean they could become a thing of the past

Never mind, standardised education, school league tables and teacher performance pay will cure all ills.


Everything I Need To Know – About Education – I Learned In Kindergarten

On the other hand, articles like this help keep the faith.


Leaning tower of PISA – 7 serious skews

The PISA tests are one of the biggest blights on the educational landscape. So much of the GERM agenda is based on (mis)interpretation of the so-called data that can be extracted from these. Note that PISA was not developed by educators, but by number crunching economists. Finland, of course, isn’t sucked in by PISA.


Ofsted ‘taking the soul out of school’, adviser warns

Teachers are being forced into delivering “very robotic” lessons to satisfy the requirements of Ofsted, said John McIntosh, a key figure on the Government’s ongoing review of the curriculum.”

Enough said.


We need to think very, very seriously about this

Something more positive. What are the implications for this in our schools?


Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

Again, in a more positive vein, here is a TED talk by Sir Ken that follows up on his 2006 effort, which is still the highest rating TED talk of all time. Both talks are well worth watching, either for the first time, or to refresh your vision.


Recommended Links

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