Educational Readings February 15th

Treehorn Express:

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


Educational Readings

By Allan Alach

Times are getting interesting. There are increasing numbers of articles from Australia, USA and New Zealand that reflect a fight back against GERM. This even includes news from the well known radical state of Texas…..

The situation in New Zealand is going from farce to farce with barely time to recover between events and we must now start to wonder if GERM in its present format will survive the year.  The present government will soon be keeping an eye on the general election at the end of 2014, especially as current polling suggests that a Labour/Green coalition will get the numbers.

Australia is heading towards an election in September this year; however given that the present Labor government introduced Naplan, it is not likely that the more conservative Liberal Party will undo this. This means that Australians have a bigger battle on their hands.

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

This week’s homework!

A Compleat Guide to the Corporate Reform Movement

Here’s a good activity for a staff meeting. Play’ Spot the reform jargon.”

Fundamentals of Creativity (via Bruce Hammonds)

‘Here are five fundamental insights that can guide and support educators as they endeavor to integrate student creativity into the everyday curriculum.’

Creativity can’t be mandated, nor can it be boxed into predetermined outcomes. Creativity by definition can’t be predicted or imposed through technocratic WALTs and the like. It can’t be ‘assessed’ and graded. It can’t be tested although there are those who have developed standardised testing for creativity, to decide whether creativity has increased or declined. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Pearson are developing programmes to teach creativity.

How Standardized Curriculum Short-Circuits Innovation In Education

Using Sir Ken as a starting point, this article reinforces the previous article about creativity.

“And that’s what gets lost in a standardized curricula, where the artistry is replaced by this dead language of delivery.”

While the battle against GERM dominates at the moment, we must also keep our awareness on the way ahead. GERM will be eliminated – there’s evidence that 2013 may be the turning point. However, what will the post-GERM world be like? Educators must be ready to reclaim the playing field, otherwise another imposed ideology may take over.

Are We Teaching Citizens or Automatons?

Automatons, of course. Powers that be don’t want a population who can think. Why, they may realise what is being done to them, and object. Can’t have that. Keep them in their place, hence skills based common core/national standards.

The Dehumanization of Education

A teacher’s viewpoint.

‘I am a teacher because of the love I had for school. I loved my teachers. I loved having fun while learning. I loved the interaction with my peers. I felt safe and successful at school…even when I made mistakes.’

A teacher evaluation session out of ‘Star Wars’

Seems to be a theme developing here – now for the the dehumanisation of teachers. Have you been calibrated yet?

Technology for the sake of technology: False promises, false prophets and false notions (via Bruce)

US educator Jamie McKenzie (always worth reading) making a salient point: ‘Technology is a false god, unlikely to do much for children unless schools focus on learning and make huge investments in professional development.’

Yes indeed.


Click: ‘Care for Kids’

Phil Cullen

February 15th  2013


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