WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW

The Treehorn Express 

Click‘Care for Kids’

Shared opinions soaked in knowledge & experience.

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Treehorn is the hero of an easy-to-read children’s book: “The Shrinking of Treehorn” by Florence Heidi Parry. The story clearly illustrates the disregard that adults demonstrate towards children at school. Treehorn’s  principal and his teacher,even his parents, give him ‘short shift’. See http://primaryschooling.net?page_id=1924  for further detail.

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 WHY ? Why aren’t parents offered the choice of having their children undertake NAPLAN test-preparation and testing or not? 

 WHY AREN’T PARENTS TOLD THAT THEY CAN SAY ‘NO’?

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The Australian government operations are suitably described as possessing an Orwellian structure. Orwellianism is described as an oligarchical dictatorship, based on a nonsensical, peculiar thought process that manipulates social structures on behalf of the most powerful in the land. It persuades the electorate to indulge in double-thinking by holding two contradictory views and believing in both. Teachers, for instance, can believe in an individual’s freedom to learn and, at the same time, succumb to the use of fear-driven practice techniques that prepare their pupils for Big Brother’s decadent blanket, NAPLAN tests. By embracing inconsistent concepts, school principals can acquiesce to the unethical political view that low test scores indicate poor teaching and shabbily-run schools; and their professional conscience wont worry them. Professionally neutered, they are unable to dissent from the mandates of politico-measurers who are in charge. [The Treehorn Express 27 November,2011]

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What Parents Need to Know about NAPLAN

[For those schools that are including extracts from Treehorn in their ‘news’.]

NAPLAN [ http://www.naplan.edu.au/ ]stands for National Assessment Program – Literacy And Numeracy; a series of tests which were commenced in 2008 by ACARA [Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority] on the orders of the then Federal Minister for Education, Ms Julia Gillard,  following a visit to the United States, where she had met a fellow lawyer, Joel Klein, then in charge of a large school district in New York. He was able to persuade her that his high-stakes, judgemental, fear-based testing operations would suit Australia. Her predecessor Dr. Brendan Nelson and her leader, Mr. Kevin Rudd, agreed wholeheartedly at the time with this form of force-fed school improvement, with outcomes to be judged by the international tests called PISA.

PISA [Programme for International Student Assessment] is a test given to a random selection of 15 year-old pupils from a number of OECD countries in mathematics, science and reading every three years. 65 countries participated in 2009. Australia has always been in the top-ten in the world until the effects of NAPLAN showed a serious decline in 2012. For those whose belief systems are based on numbers, it can be claimed that Australia was 9/65 in 2009.  We had been 5th in Reading, 8th in Maths., 5th in Science  during the 2000,2003,2006 period.

SO! Our PISA scores have been sliding backwards since the introduction of NAPLAN in 2008. The reasons are  obvious.

However, our Prime Minister is one who believes in the power of scores through the use of heavy-fire power aimed at teachers;  and has announced that Australia will be in the top 5 places by 2025…by hook of by crook.  Amen. If  Australia isn’t up there, it’s the teachers’ fault.

There’s a contrary view,  espoused by The Treehorn Express and friends on some of the LINKS below.  If NAPLAN or any form of high-stakes blanket testing continues past 2013 with a Beetlebaum charge through the field to fifth or better, it will be miraculous. Perhaps Ms.G.  believes, as do her coterie of testucating teacher-bashers that the use of on-line testing will have special magical powers and improve the learning climate of schools. If NAPLAN ceases in 2013, as it should, it will be a demonstration of popular democratic will and fiscal responsibility. The billion or so spent just on tests can be better used.

Australian parents [even those who  trust such scoring] might wonder why we copied a schooling system from New York, one of the lowest scorers in the USA, which itself, was 17th in the PISA Stakes in 2009. It certainly defies logic.

Willing advice from countries such as Finland which consistently scores well on PISA tests without spending billions on testing, has been deliberately ignored. [See Finnish Lessons by Pasi Sahlberg] Rejection of wise advice from such high-scoring countries also defies logic.

Since the sadistic Klein system of heavy testing  was introduced to Australia in 2008, there has been little reference to the business of LEARNING.  Even when primary principals tried to discuss it at the largest conference they have ever held in the South Pacific [e.g. NZPF-APPA 2012 Conference], controlled silence kept the outcomes hidden from the public. Not a word!

Schools themselves would like to talk about trying to extend pupilling pedagogies instead of confining them to the didactic.   Classroom teachers can certainly improve the levels of achievement of anything at all, better than anyone else can, if they are allowed professional control over a sound personal curriculum. No one has yet thought about talking to them…about discussing pupil-driven joy of achievement, about the challenges of learning itself, about the ways of sharing evaluation of effort with friends [e.g. teachers] and parents, about the destructive nature of NAPLAN on classroom learning.

Parents! Please talk to your principal, district officer and your child’s teacher about these aspects of NAPLAN. Encourage open discussion in your community.  You are the only ones allowed to raise such issues.  In most Australian states, teachers, school administrative  staff, members of school-based parents’ association  are not allowed to express any anti-NAPLAN viewpoint. In a perverse orwellian style, this form of coercion has become part and parcel of our education system. High-stakes blanket testing must cease before the damage become irreparable.

Parents: For the sake of Australia’s future, give your school a short note telling it that you do not want your children to participate in any pre-NAPLAN-test preparation nor the tests. If your chosen school is a thinking one, with a democratic outlook, it will bless you. It’s hands are tied, don’t forget, and will welcome your note.

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“There is widespread lack of awareness amongst parents and teachers that parents can withdraw their child. Many believe that NAPLAN is compulsory. One ACT parent said that ‘there has been some sort of concerted effort at all relevant levels to con [i.e. mislead and deceive] students and parents into believing that NAPLAN was compulsory.’ A NSW mother said that it took weeks of repeatedly asking for a withdrawal form.  One Queensland school tried to convince a parent not to withdraw her child because without NAPLAN results she would find it hard to get into a private school.

A Victorian mother was told that she was not ‘playing to the rules’ by withdrawing her son and that ‘he had to do it!’ A NSW school principal refused a request from the P&C to put the withdrawal form on the school website because ;I am not allowed to do that’.”  [Trevor Cobbalt: Fighting for Equity in Education – NAPLAN is a Cancer Eating Away at Education.

Recommended Links

Phil Cullen AM FACE FACEL FQIEL
Gold Medal : ACEL
Life Member : CCEAM, QSPPA, QSPSSA
Classroom Teacher : 17 years
Primary Principal : 22 years
State Administrator: 17 years
Author
Grandfather
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443
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Goodbye to 2012

Send this to a half-dozen friends who like kids.

The Treehorn Express

Opinion soaked in knowledge & experience.

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Treehorn is the hero of an easy-to-read, sad children’s book: “The Shrinking of Treehorn” by Florence Heidi Parry. It clearly illustrates the disregard that adults demonstrate towards children at school. Treehorn’s principal and his teacher, even his parents give him ‘short shift’. They don’t seem to care that some unnecessary things that happen at school can cause stress,vomiting, worry and sleeplessness and do nothing for learning habits. Children’s problems are so easy to ignore.

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CARE FOR KIDS

Click here.

‘Care for Kids’

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“There are some wrongheaded views …that somehow just ‘raising the bar’ increases students’ ability to clear it, that before the standards movement there were no standards, that the talent wasted by one-size-fits-all programs isn’t worth developing, that students will be turned into “failures”by the standards won’t present a serious problem, that standardised tests tell us something really important, that market forces have a magical ability to cure the ills of education, that extrinsic rewards are dependable motivators, and so on. However, behind the standards juggernaut and impelling it forward is the single, primary, simplistic, and unexamined assumption that what the next generation most needs to know is what this generation knows.” [Marion Brady]

Goodbye to 2012

Thanks for looking at the Treehorn Express pleas and caring for kids during 2012. We tried hard, didn’t we? Nothing happened to ease the burden and stress on the children and their Year 3,5,7,9 teachers, each of whom should receive a medal for their patience. We’ll keep trying. Vomiting, stress, worry and sleeplessness will continue to be part and parcel of the first-third of 2013 for Australian school children; teachers will continue to teach to the tests, narrow the curriculum and use stiffly controlled commanding pedagogies; while NAPLAN results will continue to flat-line; maybe rise a tween-weeny little bit. Classroom teachers know more than most and they have said that NAPLAN fails to improve the levels of numeracy and literacy. Ho hum. They have said it so often ; and 2012 testing has shown that to be true.

Our PISA-paranoiac great leader believes otherwise. Obsessed by a ‘Top 5 by 25’ fantasy using kleinish techniques, you can wager that she’ll insist on ‘raising the bar’ [see above] in 2013.

This feisty doyenne and her calcified education minister, both fused at the hip to Joel Klein, Brendan Nelson, Rupert Murdoch and fellow believers in the power of testucation, will continue with heavier threats and teacher-blame; as will Christopher Pyne if he gets the job next year. The ‘floggings’ will continue. The political control freaks will keep trying to pincer the wild geese because they just don’t know what else to do. Dwelling with ‘that’ wrong-headed 10%, they continue to believe in the existence of a planet-destroying Nibiru that only they can stop; and in Santa Claus [in Rupert’s robes or vice versa]. He’s in charge, really. Intellectually enamoured of high-stakes testing as are schadenfreude governments in parts of the scato-memed world, Such GERM governments will continue with their assertoric control…..if we meekly allow them to do so. Will we?

Things don’t look too good for 2013…..but….take heart.

During 2012, The Treehorn Express has been privileged to make closer contact with the world’s most reputable educators, and with some new colleagues. The links below increased their linkages. Remarkable people inhabit these blogs. One thing in common. They love kids and they want to make sure that all children learn how to learn more, and to achieve higher and higher at whatever they do for as long as they live. None of these wonderful, knowledgeable, down-to-earth people has any time for this short-term fast-fed GERM stuff. And more and more parents are opting-out; more and more principals are speaking out and revealing the ‘hidden agenda’. There’s an air of optimism.

There has been some heartening news during the year from hard-data research as well as most pleasing responses from stakeholders and fair-dinkum educators. So? If NAPLAN-trauma grows as an important electoral issue in Australia during 2013; and if most teachers and their families and friends ask each and every candidate where they stand on high-stakes testing, I am sure that NAPLAN will disappear before the election. Serious candidates will need to watch out for those ‘Tiger Mothers’ who genuinely CARE FOR KIDS, those principals who have regained their professional ethics; and those classroom teachers who prefer to treat their pupils as pupils. May the Force be with them. NAPLAN is about to disappear and serious achievement-based learning return to schools during 2013.

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Enjoy 2013 – The Year that Children Return to LEARNING

“Bureaucratic administration is not necessarily bad because it happens to be unpalatable to some people; but it is bad because it is anti-pathetic to an education system. Bureaucratic administration is likely to lead to the maintenance oriented view that certain procedures are desirable because someone in authority insists on them. Management icons of the Peter Principle like to be pushed around by someone else, because it makes the job easier and they are not exhausted by thinking.”

Recommended Links

Phil Cullen AM FACE FACEL FQIEL
Gold Medal : ACEL
Life Member : CCEAM, QSPPA, QSPSSA
Classroom Teacher : 17 years
Primary Principal : 22 years
State Administrator: 17 years
Author
Grandfather
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443

NAPLAN Results 2012

The Treehorn Express

Opinion soaked in knowledge & experience.

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Treehorn is the hero of an easy-to-read, sad children’s book: “The Shrinking of Treehorn” by Florence Heidi Parry. It clearly illustrates the disregard that adults demonstrate towards children at school. Treehorn’s principal and his teacher, even his parents give him ‘short shift’. Are C21 parents any more caring? Do they really care that high-stakes school testing can cause stress,vomiting, worry and sleeplessness to their children; and does nothing of any use for learning habits?

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CARE FOR KIDS

Click here.

‘Care for Kids’

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NAPLAN RESULTS 2012

A Prismatic Disaster

“The final 2012 NAPLAN National Report, which was released yesterday, shows most of the nation has flat-lined on literacy and numeracy tests, while going backwards in Numeracy for Years 3 and 7.” [Courier Mail, 19/12/2012]

The 344 page report is available on line. [Start searching at http://www.naplan.edu.au ] The closing commentary on Pages 343-4 suggests that “NAPLAN results provide the opportunity to examine the gains in achievement by cohorts of students as they pass through school.” Joke?

School-oriented educators predicted this state-of-affairs in 2008-9. It’s not a secret. They tried to help at the time. When teaching and learning are fear-based, improvements in scores will climb for a while; and then they plateau. “It happens” as Forrest Gump would have said. Interest in learning and general achievement decline seriously at the same time because their meaning has been removed….and…. it’s serious.

It’s time …for a rethink.

The time-honoured politico/testucating tactic to follow such results is to blame the teachers and the quality of teaching; then point out to the public that our indigenous, post code and migrant folk skew the overall results. Things would be a lot cosier without them. Your testucators are blaming them, of course. Watch.

This blame game will have an effect on scores; and Australia can expect a marginal increase in scores [whatever use that is] in 2013, maybe 2014; then we should flat-line again. Teachers are easy to scare. Not much chance of a ‘top-5 by 25’ on PISA tests, Julia and Peter, unless high-stakes testing is banned completely; and you allow those wonderful, albeit compliant and passive, teachers, who have hung around, to get on with the business of Learnacy.

Then, and only then, will your precious PISA scores escalate.

Your sweet-talking advisory testucators are leading you astray, Julia and Peter. Their inexperience is showing; and, as well, they will severely lessen your electoral chances next year. Just watch

Last month, the Commission on the Future of Assessment reported to the U.S.A. Academy of Education as follows : “The nation’s drive to develop standards-based accountability for schools has led to tests that ‘with only few exceptions, systematically overrepresent basic skills and knowledge and omit the complex knowledge and reasoning we are seeking for tertiary studies and career readiness.’”

You can’t, with any honesty, pick on teachers for the outcomes of a test-based curriculum, Julia and Kevin and Peter. You started it all in 2008 with flag-waving and heavy-handed boasts that you would not take any notice of Australian academics and others who might warn you about its effects. Silly little pollies, you were.

In last month’s report mentioned above, the U.S. noted this outcome: “Because teachers are accountable – and increasingly evaluated professionally – on the basis of these tests, ‘the way math and reading are now taught are disabling because they are taught for recognition and taught for memorization; and even comprehension is being postponed. The way that subject matter gets presented is the harm of teaching-to-the-test regimes.”

The usefulness of formative testing, from one-on-one evaluation through an intriguing scale of useful devices to bubble-filling blanketing, itself, needs field-testing. Something useful for measurers and testucators to do instead of just working to present the old garbage in prettier on-line disposable bags at a cost of millions!

It is becoming very, very clear that NAPLAN testing in Australia [as with ‘National testing’ in N.Z. and U.K.; and NCLB in U.S.A.] is a monumental, prismatic disaster. It’s a disaster no matter what way you want to look at it.

Peter. You’re in charge. Do something useful!

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“NAPLAN is a cancer eating away at education. It is distorting teaching practice, reducing creativity and fun of learning, denying students in-depth learning experiences and sidelining other key subjects such as science, history, languages and the arts for much of first semester.”

“A Queensland teacher said: ‘We seem to have lost not only the fun of learning but also the intrinsic value of finding out about, and trying out ‘stuff; because it is interesting…the joy of teaching is fading fast in the last few years thanks to NAPLAN. A WA teacher said that NAPLAN is ‘very limiting’ and restricts ‘creativity in teaching’.

One NSW parent said that NAPLAN is equivalent to the selective high school test. Others said that the pressure around NAPLAN was equivalent to Year 12 exams.”

[Trevor Cobbalt : “NAPLAN is a Cancer Eating Away at Education” SOS May 15 2012]

Recommended Links

Phil Cullen AM FACE FACEL FQIEL
Gold Medal : ACEL
Life Member : CCEAM, QSPPA, QSPSSA
Classroom Teacher : 17 years
Primary Principal : 22 years
State Administrator: 17 years
Author
Grandfather
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443

Care for Kids

The Treehorn Express

Opinion soaked in knowledge & experience.

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Treehorn is the hero of an easy-to-read, sad children’s book: “The Shrinking of Treehorn” by Florence Heidi Parry. It clearly illustrates the disregard that adults demonstrate towards children at school. Treehorn’s principal and his teacher, even his parents give him ‘short shift’. They don’t seem to care that school testing can cause stress,vomiting, worry and sleeplessness and does nothing for learning habits. Children’s problems are so easy to ignore.

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CARE FOR KIDS

Relax. Lean back. Think about kids. Look carefully at each frame. Sing along as loud as you can.

Click here.

‘Care for Kids’

Then….If you teach kids how to develop their wonderful learning habits, FEEL PROUD. If you’re a testucator, feel ashamed.

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Care for Kids

Louise prepared this clickable clip for The Treehorn Express. Most of the photos were from her own collection. She has a lot of photos because she is a primary school teacher and loves kids; some are from her own teaching experiences at Beechmont and Canberra Islamic School. Did you like the one of the little girl on the potty, ‘borrowed’ from http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com ? There’s also an occasional shot of some oldies reading to kids during the annual Reading Week at Beechmont in the days when Reading wasn’t tested and adults and kids enjoyed it and shared it.

The catchy song itself was composed by Peter Best for Australia’s participation in the International Year of the Child, promoted by UNESCO in 1979.

Treehorn introduces and concludes the presentation, unnoticed, uncared-for, walking upright under his bed. The full clip is a metaphor that clearly illustrates the interruptions to children’s learning and to their love for learning while sciolists and political manipulators, carrying much more power than they deserve to claim, interfere with good achievement-based classroom practices. These are the people who openly debunk the power of LOVE for learning and have introduced FEAR as their curriculum imperative. Look carefully. 1. We have an overseas ‘expert’ telling the pupils and their teachers what they should do. 2.Then Frau Gillard waves her cane at teachers and orders them to do as they are told….or else. They do. 3. Her Immenseness tells her [then] leader that she knows what to do. 4. He, the greatest of leaders, tells the children what he expects. 5. SHE discusses her ideas with principals. 5. Garrett gobbledygooks. 6. The driver, on GERM steroids, aims the school bus [MySchool] at those who might get in the way. 7. Shades of yesteryear. It’s pre-1962. We are on our way back there…..as thoughtless testucators do.

Experienced educators expect these assaults on child welfare to arrive on the scene every now and then. Older educators have unpleasant memories of the ‘Back to Basics Movement’, the Minimal Competency Testing [MCT], Competency Based Education [CBE], the Moral Crusades against parts of the teaching of social studies, the effects of Sputnik on maths; as well as the positive memes that supported school achievements and enriched the curriculum. No one can predict when they will occur nor how long they will last. Most of these nasties lasted less than a decade and some rode on the back of others depending on the level of teacher morale in larger western countries at the time. All we know, at present, is that the present hyper-destructive GERM scato-meme started in New York in the 1990s following the structural/managerialist pandemic which destroyed the working ethic of large corporations and public services; and is still maintained by those corporate troglodytes who maintain the belief that a plumbers can run garages better than mechanics if they have a detailed CV and interview well. If he or she has an MBS or Ph.D., they can do anything! A lawyer or Ph.D. measurer can run an education system.

This GERM scato-meme, NAPLAN’s effects will last longer than most because some very powerful people are in charge of its spread, especially the influential, experience-free, couldn’t-care-less-about-kids, determined politicians. Low-level teacher morale can be kept in place because co-operation with authority is part of a teacher’s DNA. As a genera rule, they are nice, uncomplaining people; and test-freakish scoundrels make the most of it. The complicity of representational organisations can also be controlled with promises and buz-baz managerial puppetry. As things stand at present, these forms of heavy-handed control will be maintained for quite a while….. and, as long as it lasts, there are large profits to be made by you-know-who.

My guess is that some state’s ministry will start to think about the plight of its state school children, about the power of learnacy and combine with its more school-experienced officers who are willing to espouse their imprisoned ‘care for kids’ beliefs. This will be the beginning of the end of NAPLAN and the start of a ‘learning enlightenment’. My money is on W.A. will be the first state to break free.

However, unless the impact on children’s learning interests and achievements is seriously considered by parent groups, teacher groups, principals groups, political party branches. the whole country is at risk. No doubt.

HISTORY Society always has trouble dealing with cruel memes, like these GERM-configurations [NAPLAN, ‘ National Standards’ and NCLB ]. Such nasty treatment of school children, through history, has attracted a peculiar measure of adult support. It is likely that this occurs because school children have no recognised advocacy and, as Treehorn suggests: most adults just don’t notice their distress. Only occasionally does an advocacy for children rise from the general population. When Encyclopaedists of the late 18th century pressed for state-run secular schools, their representative Thomas Paine [Rights of Man 1791] reckoned that governments should safeguard peoples rights and not assault them. He had to leave town and head for Europe. The more adult-supported notion at the time was of the kind that was pronounced by the likes of Adam Smith [Wealth of Nations 1776]: that the government might provide minimal opportunities for ‘the inferior ranks of the people’. [At the time, they needed a G.O.N.S.K.I. attitude to help them to Guide Our Nations School Kids Intelligently].

When Payment by Results was encouraged by authoritarian School Inspectors as they listed unrelated ‘sums’ and questions on chalk-boards to determine the level of efficiency of a school, there was a need from true educators within the system to plead for sanity. During this period, Grammar Schools and their clones had instituted the notion of written entrance tests to help them to select the ‘best’ scholars from the schools available at the time. As universal schooling grew and the client-base more uncertain, public examinations were instituted and supported by the ’state’. The exams were never checked as to their impact on schooling generally. They were a managerial device. Their prominence for the same reasons continues today. unchecked.

In 1862 school-experienced Matthew Arnold, saddened by the “deadness, dullness and discouragement” of test-based schooling, after a visit to Europe, where schools were still operating under the teaching/learning influences of Rousseau and Pestalozzi and Froebel, pleaded for a return of “intelligent life” to British schooling. Matthew, we do need you now.

History shows that state public schools gained more and more attention over the centuries. Australian states expanded secondary schooling at a considerable rate of knots during the mid-C20th. Public interest demanded more of both compulsory sectors of schooling as the ‘inferior ranks’ were offered quality secondary schooling within their own locality. State primary and secondary schooling grew in stature through the 20th Century and set the upper-standard in teacher-pupil interaction, achievement and innovation. However the pesky public examination and internal testing bug remained as part of school routines. The introduction of seamless schooling in the progression to subject-centredness made little difference. Enormous slices of preparation time and test-time, extending to weeks in some circumstances, consumed balanced time-tables, replaced learning time, soured scholarly interest in learning per se; and caused many fine learners to wonder why they were at school. That’s what fear-based NAPLAN does in spades.

When Finland asked itself about the real purposes of schooling, thirty-to-forty years ago, while we we trying to wrap a stern school curriculum around a testing fetish, the Finns took a different direction.

If a pupil does not know why he or she goes to school, they are not at school. This decade of kleinish NAPLAN-based schooling seems to be determined to destroy the meaning of serious learning and the attractiveness of schooling – attractive in the sense that learners are drawn to a school because of the kinds of fair-dinkum learning there.

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NAPLAN Testing Stress Disorder

“Respect children and their great NATURAL love for learning and the joy that true learning brings them while they are at school. Care about what they do at school. Things can happen.” [Judy M., the day after. 15/12/12.]

Recommended Links

Phil Cullen AM FACE FACEL FQIEL
Gold Medal : ACEL
Life Member : CCEAM, QSPPA, QSPSSA
Classroom Teacher : 17 years
Primary Principal : 22 years
State Administrator: 17 years
Author
Grandfather
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443

Rupert McCall’s “Toast to Teachers.”

The Treehorn Express

Opinion soaked in knowledge & experience.

naplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednapla

Treehorn is the hero of an easy-to-read, sad children’s book: “The Shrinking of Treehorn” by Florence Heidi Parry. It clearly illustrates the disregard that adults demonstrate towards children at school. Even Treehorn’s principal and his teacher give him ‘short shift’. The message is clear when applied to children’s worries about fear-based testing regimes. We don’t give two hoots about the welfare and learning climate of our 5 to 12 year-olds. They can shrink, vomit, stress-out, cry, lose sleep all they like at test time….as long as they score well for the sake of politician-speak.

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SING UP

‘Care for Kids’

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Toast to Teachers

The blame has been levelled at teachers and principals in Australia for making the Year 4s perform poorly on the PIRLS Reading Test. You’ve been found guilty, teachers. You have hurt the feelings of our sad measurers, testucators and politicians who, now, don’t know what to do.

Teachers….don’t give it another thought during the Mid-summer vacation. Just enjoy your well-earned break. 2013, election year, will be better when your guides and mentors will stand up for you.

Treehorn, reputable educators, caring parents and your loving pupils know that you are superior beings as does urban balladeer, Rupert McColl.

2012-WTD-Toast-to-Teachers_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LABEL ON WINE BOTTLE: “Do not partake of this wine if you supported NAPLAN in any way. Some very fine grapes died in the production of this vintage. Show some respect.”

Recommended Links

Phil Cullen AM FACE FACEL FQIEL
Gold Medal : ACEL
Life Member : CCEAM, QSPPA, QSPSSA
Classroom Teacher : 17 years
Primary Principal : 22 years
State Administrator: 17 years
Author
Grandfather
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443

Learning from Year 4

The Treehorn Express

Opinion soaked in knowledge & experience.

naplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednaplanhasfailednapla

Treehorn is the hero of an easy-to-read, sad children’s book: “The Shrinking of Treehorn” by Florence Heidi Parry. It clearly illustrates the disregard that adults demonstrate towards children at school. Even Treehorn’s principal and his teacher give him ‘short shift’. The message is clear when applied to children’s worries about fear-based testing regimes. We don’t give two hoots about the welfare and learning climate of our 5 to 12 year-olds. They can shrink, vomit, stress-out, cry, lose sleep all they like at test time….as long as they score well for the sake of politician-speak.

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Click

‘Care for Kids’

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Learning From Year 4

Australia’s Year 4 children have demonstrated, in a very telling way, that the clownish tyranny of NAPLAN testing destroys the natural love for learning almost completely. The results of a previously unknown testing device[PIRLS] have to be seen as a very, very serious wake-up call…and not for the reasons that the Garrett-Masters-Gillard group suggest. The children have impressively debunked measurers’ attachment to what Giroux calls “instrumental functionality”: the belief that systems and practices can be organised according to hard-and-fast fear-based principles of standardisation, efficiency, practicality and measureable utility, these children have clearly told us that they prefer to be loved and led by those who genuinely love them; and not by some far-away bullying test freak, who does not have a clue about the learning culture of a Year 4 classroom. Our unfortunate Year 4s have exposed NAPLAN as a useless piece of baggage throttling the raison d’etre of schooling itself. Things are serious…very, very serious. That is what has happened.

You will have noted that the unimaginative test freaks say that things are serious only because the test scores were not up to scratch. They are now after blood because they don’t know which way to go. Teachers – duck!

What happened as soon as the scores were posted? Garrett gobble and the measurers’ masters blamed teachers with ‘quality teaching’ gobbledegook without any cognisance of the options. Then they blamed the principals and the progressive states who might be having second thoughts about the efficacy of NAPLAN. In any case, the blame will be certainly be levelled at the overall school culture for not having got the GERM inspired, crazy kind of non-school testing culture right….as decreed. The eichmanned brotherhood has patsied. Parents will be next if the complicit army of ethically deprived testucators cannot look after themselves.

If any notice had been taken of experienced Australian schoolies instead of a money- plastered New York lawyer and his measurement disciples down under in the first place, it is highly probable that Australian Year 4s would have dominated the world scores because they liked challenges and liked learning and were unafraid. That would have been part of their school life. Well? Any Year 4 teacher will tell you what NAPLAN has done to pupils. We’ve certainly headed in the wrong direction.

Australia, by the way, has the talent to develop its own brand of LEARNACY that has no limits to achievement. The first step would have to be the shelving of NAPLAN and similar kinds of high-stakes, fear-based curriculum shatterers that simply maintain a level of mediocrity that should not be tolerated. Our country ’s economic future depends on how well we treat our Year 4s and their co-pupils.

Would you like to be a Year 4 pupil? NAPLAN next May!

According to the ABC TV News of 12/12/12, Teacher-Bashing has commenced, led by the know-it-alls. Who will stick up for teachers? Which organisation? Who will tell the public about the intricacies of learning at that level of schooling? Which principal or union officer is brave enough to break away from thoughtless compliance to tell the truth about NAPLAN….to discuss learning and its own search for achievement?

That’s the state of play. Watch this space.

Recommended Links

Phil Cullen AM FACE FACEL FQIEL
Gold Medal : ACEL
Life Member : CCEAM, QSPPA, QSPSSA
Classroom Teacher : 17 years
Primary Principal : 22 years
State Administrator: 17 years
Author
Grandfather
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443

CARE FOR KIDS: Some songs and poems.

The Treehorn Express

Opinion soaked in knowledge & experience.

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Treehorn is the hero of an easy-to-read, sad children’s book: “The Shrinking of Treehorn” by Florence Heidi Parry. It clearly illustrates the disregard that adults demonstrate towards children at school. Treehorn’s principal and his teacher, even his parents give him ‘short shift’. They don’t seem to care that school testing can cause stress,vomiting, worry and sleeplessness and does nothing for learning habits. Children’s problems are so easy to ignore. We all should think more seriously about the aims of NAPLAN.

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CARE FOR KIDS

Relax. Lean back. Think about kids. Look carefully at each frame. Sing along as loud as you can.

Click here.

‘Care for Kids’

SING UP

Then….If you teach kids how to develop their learning habits, FEEL PROUD. If you’re a testucator, feel ashamed.

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Care for kids

Care for kids

Find a minute to spare for kids

Find a minute to spare for kids

Such a lot you can share with kids

Such a lot you can share with kids

It’s important to care for kids

It’s important to care for kids

Care for kids

Care for kids

Try to always be there for kids

Try to always be there for kids

Won’t you let down your hair for kids

Won’t you let down your hair for kids

It’s important to care for kids

It’s important to care for kids

Oh kids

Care for kids

With the stars in their eyes there’s so much to be learning

Find a minute to spare for kids

KIDS

Such a lot you can share with kids

You can help them to rise and keep the new world turning

It’s important to care for kids

Though they’re small

We need them all

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NAPLAN

[Ray Kelley]

N is for the Nervousness it’s causing

A is for the Angst it causes too;

P the pointless Practice, Practice, Practice;

L the Loss of Learning that we rue;

A stands for the Axe with which to Axe it;

N this Needless Nuisance we deplore

Put them all together, they spell NAPLAN –

A thing to ban for evermore.

[Can be sung to the tune of “Mother”]

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NAPLAN TESTING STRESS DISORDER

I Don’t Want to Do the NAPLAN

[Ray Kelley]

I don’t want to do the NAPLAN

I don’t want to post a score.

Once my Mum and Dad decided

They object to what it’s for.

I don’t want to do the NAPLAN

Just because I’m in Year 3,

And we hear ACARA holler

To imply it’s manda-TREE

I’m not going to do NAPLAN

I don’t want to any more

I’ll be carefree on the test day,

Having slept the night before.

Wasn’t granted an exemption

For some disabiliTEE –

Just withdrawn because the truth is

That it’s not compulsory

[Sing to the tune of “I Don’t Want To Play In Your Yard”]

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Schools Rush In

[Ray Kelley]

Schools rush in

For books that must be read

before Year 7s have to do

The NAPLAN test ahead

Those who see

The danger there

Are told it’s one thing

To grin and bear –AIR-

Schools rush in

To let the parents know

Those vital books are now on sale

At Grabbabuck & Co.

Don’t your kids

Deserve the chance to win?

Oh, how the scholar-dollars flow

When schools rush in!

[ The tune is “Fools Rush In”.]

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No fair-dinkum teachers likes NAPLAN

It breaches all ethical rules.

In a school of repute there is no fan;

There’s learning without measurement tools

Recommended Links

Phil Cullen AM FACE FACEL FQIEL
Gold Medal : ACEL
Life Member : CCEAM, QSPPA, QSPSSA
Classroom Teacher : 17 years
Primary Principal : 22 years
State Administrator: 17 years
Author
Grandfather
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443