A Learning Odyssey- 2060.

Treehorn Express:

Shared opinions soaked in knowledge & experience that have stood the test of time


A Learning Odyssey – 2060

Children who start school this year will still be part of the work force in 2060. They will need to feel competent enough to cope with the basic needs of the time, wont they? What could be more impractical than for present-day school pupils to spend endless school hours practising basic mathematics and literacy skills at school, as a substitute for the kind of learnacy required as an essential life-skill; on the pretext that scoring well in unreliable standardised test scores is all that is needed by them to cope with a future that will be as enormously complex as it is unpredictable? Present day GERM-based testing programs that merely maintain mediocrity [See 2012 NAPLAN results] should not have any place in any 21st century school system.

Basic literacy and numeracy skills will always have prime importance in what children do at school; and high achievement in them will always be part of basic, essential learnings. To concentrate on practising to pass tests in low-level skills to the exclusion of other learnings is so dinosaurish. Indeed, individuality and acceptance of challenges in handling the desire to achieve are essential elements of the joy of learning. The love for exploring the magic of number and dwelling in the wonder world of words combined with what can happen with them, should have no upper limit. Achievement in what we like to do is essential to the human, social and philosophical cope-abilities required of the mid-21st century.

There is no doubt that NAPLAN testing destroys the magic and wonder of personal achievement

These issues provoke a serious challenge for reputable educators, who believe in the power of learnability but are forced by deceitful controllers to provide damaging tests and pedagogies for our young….and for all the wrong reasons. What can be done?. Answer : Little, because we are too timid.

Testucators and measurers demonstrate an unusually high level of non-professional arrogance by pretending that they know what is required; and they are in control.

Testucators and Educators A school curriculum of learning to learn is basic to human need….HERE….NOW. Anyone who threatens a young child’s natural love for learning by promoting fear of and disillusionment with the purposes of learning should not be allowed within the vicinity of a school. Literacy and numeracy evaluation methods are private and personal and are basic to healthy classroom techniques. The intimate parts of learnacy are too important to be fiddled with by politico-measurement junkies’ pressure for mediocrity. To fiddle with the process is to ruin the purpose.

To illustrate: If you have the opportunity, take a good, long, hard questioning look at those Year One pupils who start formal schooling in a few weeks. Visit a school just to look at their faces during the first few weeks of school. Hang around for a few days. Look at the joy in learning about and owning a new word or little poem; at achieving some success with a few numbers; the interest shown in the magic of the world itself. You will see what I mean and what their future in their life of learning should be. If one could only bottle the level of enthusiasm for learning that they demonstrate in these first few months of ‘formal’ schooling. Teachers know how to bottle it; measurers and testucators don’t have the foggiest.

Testing of the kinds operated by testucators in GERM-ridden countries is learning-lethal.

We all know that children will learn more in their first year of schooling than they do in any other year of the lives. Why do nasty people try to quell the desire to learn as soon as they can?

If you get a chance, Australian parents and grandparents should also visit some Year Three classes in May, especially 14-16 May. Just look at their faces for a while. If you are allowed, look at the faces of these little 7 and 8-year old Year 3s at about 9 a.m., just as they are about to start their first NAPLAN test [2×40 minutes with 20 minute break] on what is euphemistically called “Language Conventions”. THAT’S ‘EDUCATION’ 2012 !! ?? OMG Consider as they tear at your heart strings, if each is learning to cope with the world of 2060.

The Crisis of Schooling 2013 Present-day GERM school systems at the beck and call of politico-measurers, who seem so determined to destroy children’s love for learning, should be charged with child cruelty. In most GERM countries, the assault on a child’s capacity and desire to learn is presently mandated to start at 7-8 years of age, not long after they start school, in Australia, What level of cruelty is that? It’s not only cruel, it is grossly immoral to fiddle so abhorrently with the probable accumulation of cognitive strength that each small child is entitled to develop. After a happy and joyful introduction to purposeful, creative, resourceful, challenging and independent learning habits, thoughtless measurement junkies move in to destroy these habits for purely selfish reasons. Ask any Year 1,2,3 teacher to tell you what is supposed to happen in those few years; and what actually happens. When they say that they do as they are told, you will appreciate that eichmannism is alive and well.

Surely the business of 21st century schooling is to teach the children HOW to learn, HOW to cope, HOW to adjust, HOW to enjoy the most recent offerings of technology. of anything., HOW to learn anything with confidence… how to handle life in 2060.

The need for children, not just to earn a living, but to lead creative, humane and sensitive lives has never been more crucial. A major purpose of schooling should be to teach children how to educate themselves, to think about the best ways of doing this and how to self-evaluate personal progress. As A.N.Whitehead [Mathematician, scientist & author of Principia Mathematica ] said: “The aim of education is the acquisition of the utilization of knowledge. A merely well-informed person is the biggest bore on God’s earth.”

Does a progressive twenty-first century country need a future based on GERM fear-driven testing and high-stakes control of curriculum outcomes, or a future in which its citizens can cope with any challenge …because its school pupils have been provided with the desire for high achievements in everything they do at school and afterwards?

Can we afford to wait for 2014 to start a fair-dinkum LEARNING REVOLUTION? Can we wait so long?


“His eyes were as big as plates. He had written a new big word that he liked in his word book and had brought it to me to check the spelling. When I said,’Good work, Fonz [His Dad’s nickname]. That word belongs to you now’, he just beamed and almost glowed with pride. He owned it. I shed a tear. I saw him two years hence, stern-faced sitting in a row of others while his teacher reminds him :’If you don’t do well at this test, we are all in trouble.,,,aged 7….anxious to please his teacher,,,,,he is tense, fingers stiff, ready to grasp his pencil and start the test.” [J. Moroney, Teacher]

Schooling 2013,,,,,,,,Enjoy it kids ,,,,,,,,2014?


WHY? Why were fear-based high-stakes tests introduced to Australian schools?

Who knows the real truth? ASK YOUR LOCAL MEMBERS


“The child from the age of five to twelve years of age has a variety of needs which may be broadly described as intellectual, aesthetic, social, emotional, physical and spiritual. The school has a vital role in assisting parents and the wider society to satisfy these needs”

[Primary Children in the ACT 1981]


Click: ‘Care for Kids’

Phil Cullen

January 16 2013


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