Educational Readings February 2nd

Treehorn Express:

Shared opinions soaked in knowledge & experience – all well tested.


Educational Readings

By Allan Alach

One rather scary feature of GERM is the practice, regardless of country, of ignoring evidence, research, and the voices of experience that go contrary to ideology. One particular group, ignored most of all, are the senior statesmen and stateswomen of education who have both the knowledge and wisdom derived from life long experience to see what is being done to children in the name of increasing profits. Recently I became aware of yet another name, Tom Sobol, from New York State.

I believe that one of the unfortunate consequences of the standards movement as currently practiced is the reductionism in the mission, goals, and purposes of the school. Somehow we have accepted a narrow, ungenerous vision of what life and learning are about. In the standards movement, the purpose of the school is to prepare students for success in a global economy; the curriculum of the school is the skills and knowledge pertinent to the separate traditional academic disciplines, narrowly conceived; and the measure of the schools is high scores on the standardized tests that assess this achievement in ways most suited to individual and group accountability. Yes, we want kids to be competent. But we also want them to be just and wise. Sometimes in all this intensity I wonder what we are really teaching our children – or rather, what they are really learning.”

Check his website or track him down on Facebook.

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

This week’s homework!

Academy schools: a flawed system that cannot be sustained

‘A report from the Academies Commission reveals a programme that is fundamentally flawed. The result will be to worsen inequities, significantly damaging education, argues Ron Glatter.’

More evidence that charter schools won’t work, not that this will make any difference to ideologically driven GERM minded politicians. Maybe its the hand pulling their strings that is the problem?

We Don’t Need No Education

Not Pink Floyd, sorry! Is education really the key to economic success? According to this article, no.  What does this mean for the rationale behind GERM?

Ken Robinson: 1) Creativity & the Imagination  2) Building a Culture of Innovation

These videos feature Sir Ken. Is any other comment needed?

Transform Education? Yes, We Must

An article by Sir Ken from 2009 – still very relevant. When he came to New Zealand in 2007, he had a long talk to a very interested minister of education ( Can you visualise that happening now? Ok stop laughing.

The Global Search for Education: What Is the Fourth Way?

‘The Fourth Way is a powerful new vision to bring about effective educational reform.’

“We need to establish platforms for teachers to initiate their own changes and make their own judgments on the frontline, to invest more in the change capacities of local districts and communities, and to pursue prudent rather than profligate approaches to testing.”

— Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley

Maybe we care too much about the wrong things.

Australian educator Pat Buoncristiani’s reflections after presenting at the recent International Conference of Thinking on Wellington. Another worthwhile blogger to follow… and another expert for GERM minded governments to ignore!

Newman government open to for-profit schools

From Queensland: see what happens if you elect a right wing government – charter schools follow very quickly. Isn’t that amazing? I wonder why?


Let’s make sure that NAPLAN eradication becomes a top election issue.

Click: ‘Care for Kids’

Phil Cullen

February 2nd  2013

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