Educational Readings July 19th

By Allan Alach

Diane at Save Our Schools NZ ran an Educational Poetry Slam.

There are some rather talented people out there…

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

 This week’s homework!

Teacher LEARNing, PD, CPD, Training….wotever! When are we going to get it ‘right’?

Another thoughtful post from Tony Gurr.

‘The learning opportunities we provide them just need it to be “fit-for-purpose”…to be convenient…to be useful…and fun (but not just a “laugh-and-giggle show”)…’

 The Big Lie in Education

‘“Preparing kids for the Real World” is a phrase that many educators and schools use without regard for the consequence of what they selectively choose as reality for their students. Both educators and institutions in many cases are still choosing for students by educating them traditionally, or more progressively using technology tools for learning. This probably begins with educators’ misconception of the real world. We cannot prepare kids for the Real World when we still have a 20th century view of it.’

 Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All

‘But, “teaching-to-the-test” is something different. It is an educational mindset, in which test scores are not measures of learning outcomes; the test scores are the outcomes. While that distinction might be subtle, it has real effects on how classes are taught, and in the messages we communicate to students about the goals of an education. Tests are measurement tools; they should not be the reasons that students come to class.’

 Why Are the Rich So Interested in Public-School Reform?

“…reformers need now to think beyond the numbers and admit that closing achievement gaps is not as simple as adopting a set of standards, accountability and instructional improvement strategies.”


“In other words, more than good teachers, more than targeted testing, more than careful calibrations of performance measures and metrics that can standardize and quantify every aspect of learning, it’s the messy business of life — where a child comes from and what he or she goes home to at the end of the day — that really determines success in school.”


 Along similar lines: The ‘educational’ value of being born rich

 Teachers or ‘Quantitative Learning Gains Facilitators?’

There is a myth going around our country that goes something like this: American (New Zealand? Australian?)schools have been dumbed down, bad teachers have been given free reign, our educational system is failing, and we will fail to be competitive in the new global economy.’

And so on. Recommended.

 Creativity unleashed!

Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of learning technology in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society, at Plymouth University,  (Twitter @timbuckteeth) is well known to many teachers and is well worth following.

 Testing young children will cause untold damage (via Mike Boon)

Not exactly rocket science, is it? So why are politicians incapable of understanding this?

 Teaching Through Inquiry:Engage, Explore, Explain, and Extend

Holiday reading suggestion from Bruce Hammonds.

‘This article gives an overview of an instructional framework that takes students through the four components of inquiry: engage, explore, explain, and extend. The author describes the central aspects of each inquiry phase, the types of questions students might consider, assessments that check readiness to progress to the next level, and what reflective teacher practice might look like at each phase.’

 Henry Giroux – lessons for New Zealand educators.Revitalizing the role of public education.

by Bruce Hammonds:

‘I was recently sent a rather long article written by Henry Giroux. I struggled to read it but I believe it is important to share the ideas he writes about if the true aims of education are to realised. Giroux sees education as central to the development of a just and democratic society currently under attack by neo –liberal thinking.’


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