Aussie Friends of Treehorn
3. Thinking About Naplan ?
The Great Fracker
If there is anything of recent invention that is capable of blasting the under-surface of Australia’s society with little chance of repair, and that ignores humanity’s claim to a challenging, self-directed mode of existence, it is NAPLAN. Of US origin, it fracks all known, workable, tried and true laws of social engagement, ignores owners’ rights to their cognitive territory and exploits its misbegotten, corrupt fraudulence without concern for Australian children nor for the general population. We should have locked the gate to this poisonous fracker. Like its metaphorical relative, it savagely elides integrity and common sense.
Basic common sense behavioural laws have been ignored during the introduction and establishment of the toxic NAPLAN tests. That this hideous device exists in a country that claims to be free and democratic, is not to our credit. Our ‘creeping eichmannism and spiritless, mechanical, abstract functioning that relies on unquestioning orders from above’ [Postmann] has destroyed our usual Aussie yen for open, free discussion of schooling and schooling policy and recognition of ethical professionalism.
CAMPBELL’S LAW : The more any quantifiable social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to measure.
The truth of this law has been already revealed by NAPLAN. It said that its purpose was to improve school achievements and the basic standards of the work-force. Over the past 7 years the test results have declined or maintained a set level and children are leaving school with a distinct distaste for aspects of Literacy and Numeracy….as has occurred in all other places using high stakes testing procedures.
Shouldn’t it be stopped?
GOODHART’S LAW: When a measure becomes a target it ceases to become a good target. Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed on it for control purpose. When our PM Gillard ordered that Australia be “in the top 5 by ‘25” in PISA tests, she gave PISA an authority and status way beyond its reputation and lowered the ambitions for our own Australian authority that will. hopefully, return to real teaching and test-free learning with top-grade achievement levels in all things by then .
McNAMARA’S FALLACY : Decisions based on quantitative observations that ignore all other variables are artificial and misleading. The obsession of NAPLAN testucators with the cold gathering of data from pupil candidates, dismissing the feelings of teachers and their pupils has led to chaos. McNamara, Secretary for Defence during the Vietnam War did the same thing. He counted only numbers [of troops etc.] and believed that what can’t be counted, can’t be important. The war was lost.
LUCAS CRITIQUE: It is naive to predict the effects of social change without modelling the deep parameters and micro-foundations of the instruments to be used. The story of learning, the role of blanket testing and the kinds of assessment that really ‘pay-off’ were totally ignored by NAPLANers; the outcome disastrous. No modelling. No planning.
MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS: Humans have basic needs, the highest of which are “Self-Actualisation” needs and the lowest, “Physiological” [needs for survival], none of which can be satisfied until the one below it is fulfilled. We all need to be secure with our survival needs [food and drink etc.] before we can establish an atmosphere of “Safety”. From there, the hierarchy introduces the human dignities of “Love and Respect” which must be fulfilled before one’s “Self-esteem” can be satisfied and finally “Self-Actualisation”. NAPLAN completely ignores the existence of human needs such as Love and Respect in the teaching/learning situation and conducts a series of cold one-size-fits-all tests that tend to destroy most children’s self esteem and self actualisation. NAPLAN has no respect for the concept of Pupilling, which lovingly respects all levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy.
An ignorance and disrespect for these laws lead to cerebral dysfunctions as revealed in the antics of the propagators. They have to try to find gimmicks that might divert attention and persuade voters that they are divergent educators, not trapped testucators.
They are under the command of whoever is appointed by a political party to the position of Federal Minister for Education, presently Mr. C. Pyne, a lawyer and fracking whiz;, who tries to make sure that educators will act in ways contrary to their professional and ethical beliefs. Whatever he says is IT. His laws for schooling seem to clash with those who concocted the telling leitmotifs of the behavioural sciences, listed above. They are special…..
PYNE’S LAWS OF SCHOOLING [Best recited in loud screaming voice]: Since life is linear, learning is linear. School subjects are linear, ordered and hierarchical within and between themselves. Each subject is unique to itself and must be kept isolated from all others. Achievements in all aspects of schooling can be measured and numbered. The numbers assigned to results are reliable indicators of a child’s potential for a successful and happy future, intellectual capacity, how well things are learned, how much they earn, how well they are taught and the organizational ability of the school’s leadership. If learners are uncomfortable, they should ‘tough it up.” This law demonstrates that its proposer is a person with a narcissistic superior professional ability to instruct teachers how to teach reading and history, how to operate a classroom and how to manage a school and other canards. Pyne’s Laws of schooling are in line with Postman & Weingarten’s Vaccination Theory…
VACCINATION THEORY OF SCHOOLING : English is not history and history is not science and science is not art and art is not music; and art and music are minor subjects and English, History and Science are major subjects; and a subject is something you ‘take’ and when you have ‘taken it’, you have ‘had it’ and if you have ‘had it’ you are immune and needs not take it again.
That’s NAPLAN, right?
The fracking metaphor is real. Children no longer own what they should – their future. Our agitprop manipulators are low-grade humans because they ignore the humanity in almost all processes. Our totalitarian mode of mendacious hegemony will be judged by our future.
That says it all. Right?
Please let our kids have their freedom to learn as much as they can.
Stop the Stupidity.