Educational Readings March 22nd

Educational Readings

By Allan Alach

Another week, ho hum. Easter break coming up so I hope all teachers are planning for a ‘no school’ weekend!  I will help out by not compiling a readings list for next week!

The bright spot on the New Zealand education horizon has been the speeches by Labour spokesperson for education, Chris Hipkins. As you’ll see by this  and this he is very much heading in the right direction.

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

This week’s homework!

Bill Gates’ classroom of the future

One of life’s great mysteries is why a man who made his fortune by through buying another company’s software (e.g. MS-DOS) or ‘borrowing’ ideas from Apple (Windows) is now seen as an educational expert.

“Being there physically doesn’t add much value…”

Why Students Learn Better in a Playful Environment

Learning, creativity, and problem solving are facilitated by anything that promotes a playful state of mind.

To help cleanse your mind of the rubbish from Gates, this article is written by someone who knows what he is talking about.

Contemporary Teaching Practice in the Era [Error] of NOPLAN

Australian Derek Hedgcock wrote this article for The Treehorn Express. While it’s focussed, on the first instance, on Australia, there is so much of value for all teachers, and is a very powerful rebutting of the Gates’ led nonsense about ‘teaching.’ If you only have time to read one article from this week’s listing, this is THE ONE.

The Exhaustion of the American Teacher

And the Australian teacher and the New Zealand teacher and the English teacher…. some home truths here that all teachers will relate to; however good luck in trying to get politicians to accept these!

The problem finders (via Bruce Hammonds)

‘ICOT 2013 keynote speaker Ewan McIntosh explains the thinking processes used by many creative professionals and how these can create dynamic and deeper thinking that will better equip students for their future.’

This is an excellent video to watch – set aside an hour or so, and enjoy.

There Are No Best Practices (via Bruce)

One particularly tiresome piece of jargon is ‘best practices.’  When you really ponder on this, you’ll realise it’s as empty as ‘raising achievement,’ ‘school effectiveness’ and so on. Suggestion – every time you catch yourself using these kind of phrases, consider them to see what they mean, if anything and ask yourself why you’re using them?

Heads Up, America! Your Schools Are in Danger (via Bruce)

Another chance to play ‘spot the similarities.’ As most of the GERM agenda comes from USA, we all need to pay close attention to events there, as we can be sure that variations will arrive in our backyard before too long.

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