Client capture.

Aussie Friends of Treehorn

encouraging adults to think sensitively, to care for kids, to make wise choices….with their hearts in gear, their pens active and their votes available.

Client Capture

We are all familiar with the term “Client Capture’ when applied to organisational behaviour. You will recall that remarkably perceptive quadrant constructed by Richard Carlson that portrayed the differences in administrative style required for those of us operating in hard-wired ‘domesticated’ societies as compared to those in hard-wired ‘wild’ societies. We were different from each other with different system and role operations because of the nature of our clients. The design was quickly modified for those of us who worked in various kinds of educational administration……primary schooling, secondary schooling, TAFE, College, University management. Each section was sufficiently different to have its own unique ways of doing things.

The design helped us to come to grips with the nature of our task and cope with its vicissitudes.

Such studies of administrative behaviour were over-looked by the Managerialists of the eighties. For them, ‘client capture’ meant the gathering by managerial, ‘Harvard-type’graduates and the big-time power people of mostly school principals’ leaders in groups and indoctrinating them with the new ‘force’. Coralled by this New Mafia [Hired, appointed or elected body more engrossed in dollars and power than in the education of children- Horwitz] the important school-based targets were easy-meat when it came to believing in Klein and how to bark and saliva together. They believed that a playschool in South Birdsville could be run in the same manner as a Chinese mega-city in Outer Mongolia. When things get tough: downsize. When a job needs to be done, don’t trust your own: outsource. When you need a leader, look for one with a university degree, especially a doctorate. A doctor is a superhuman and can do anything. ‘Experience’ can be outsourced or researched…..or ignored.

I’d like to add, at this point…..A very proud moment for the officers of the Queensland Primary School Division in the 1987, was when the Division told their Director-General that, based on their collective school experience, they would not indulge in the managerial deceit and skulduggery that was being organised around the state at the time, that was aimed at down-playing the importance of schooling as a departmental operation. When your cause is true, you can say “No.”

Organisations that have a close connection with governments – health, education – in the supply of care for a nation’s citizens must always act warily, but honourably. Governments frequently make outrageous decisions, some unpalatable to the professionals within the organisation. Governments usually insist that they have complete control of such services and in totalitarian, fascist type countries they tend to force the providers to do as they are told to provide it. [The introduction of Kleinism to Australia is a prime example.] Not so in democratic places where it is known that the services are superior because there is a climate of shared good-will and trust in the provision of services. When the government pretends that it knows better than the professionals in the field, especially when intrusive elements are forced by influential politicians and corporate barons into government operations, there is unproductive conflict.


The client capture of almost all professionally well-known organisations, using the Eichmann/Pavlov method of control in Australia in 2008-9, especially of Principals’ associations and so-called Learned Societies [ACEL & ACE] was completed early in the Murdoch take-over program and each has remained faithful to the cause of Klein, Murdoch, Pearson and Gillard ever since. Subject Associations, those who know what is happening in the classrooms, such as the Australian Literacy Educators Association, peopled by down-to-earth teachers strongly oppose NAPLAN. Their cause is honourable, indisputable, just and honest, but they lack sufficient influence. Only dumbed-down political clout now controls the Australian school curriculum.

An expected outcome of all this NAPLAN nonsense has been the ‘playing out’ of certain laws of human behaviour with remarkable validity……..

Campbells Law leads the pack: “The more any quantitative 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 monitor.” How true. Professional corruption is rife…every single teacher is affected…..unworthy of a place like Australia.

Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is “a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.” The support of NAPLAN by Principals’ Associations and so-called professional groups is testimony to this cruel outcome. The ‘job’ on them in 2008-9 was brilliant.

The Milgram Experiment showed that “people will, when prevailed upon, perform acts that would, normally, offend their conscience.”

Creeping Eichmannism : “Doing what one is ordered to do because one is ordered to do it; involving suspension of professional, educative and moral beliefs.” Australia school principals were the first to claim, “We did as we were told.”..


All of these laws are firmly in place on our shores, [as is Mrs. Murphy’s Law : “Murphy was an optimist”.].….working together to collect unreliable scores and marks using NAPLAN Tests that are known to be inherently faulty and useless…..and cruel…..and for the sake of the greedy rich.

It’s a neo-liberal mess. Time for some liberal thinking.

A mark or score, by the way, is an inadequate report of an inaccurate judgement by a biased and variable judge, of the extent to which an undefined level of mastery of unknown proportions of an inadequate amount of material has been completed. [J.Settledge].

Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486
07 5524 6443       0407865999

Australian Followship 2

For electoral consideration…………..

Aussie Friends of Treehorn

NAPLAN the Evil

Australians are wonderful people. We are generous, helpful and kind to a superlative degree.  We respect authority and ritual and hold the world title for  followship.It has been part of our DNA since Governor Phillips was in full control…..from the very first day of our British-dominated history. We depended on him and believed in him and what he represented. Beloved of British glory, pomp and circumstance, we have been often described as ‘more British than the British’ in our customs and cultural pursuits. Until WW2, that is. Then we became hybrid North Atlantic followers, part-Brit, part-Yank, nothing  of our own; with very little of the unique, fair-dinkum, antipodean, self-regulating individuality with a penchant for innovation that we claim to possess. We do skite about our uniqueness, but…..when told to jump by either of them, we give the appropriate responses…..without thinking. We are THE ultimate in followship……the great maintainers of British and American mediocrity.

We reported for battle in all parts of the world as requested by our national superiors. We obediently reported for duty during the Boer War, the Boxer Rebellion, WW1, Russian Revolution, WW2, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and again. Indeed,  Mark Dapin, author of The Nashos’ War  saw this as the major reason for our participation in the undeclared war in Vietnam [1955-75]. There’s a part of us all around the world in places that have never had anything to do with us. We have seldom wasted time examining the causes or the consequences of whatever our PM wanted. Our PMs tend to be very, very obedient and compliant themselves to all orders from Great Britain and the United States and the news controllers [NY based] in particular;   and we  follow them, blindly.  We Aussies are now seen by world leaders as being very helpful, very obedient, easily pushed around, and nice people. We are known to be that way in almost every known field of endeavour.

Seen as the 51st American State, Australia is now getting much better at humble followship of things American, especially where education activities are concerned. Both products of the same structural, mediaeval, British Grammar-school model we tend to copy British and American traditions as closely as possible, because they are bigger than we are….and….like them….we tend  to overdose on treating children badly.   The adjustments that U.S.A. makes to the common British schooling heritage of “Instruct, Test, Fix” are never philosophically far from the original British tenet.   It is little wonder, then,  that Australian school politico-leaders invented a  nasty mechanical device called Naplan to service the New York test publishing system, since that is what many fellow American states were doing. Our blind leaders didn’t bother to think about its effects on national progress nor the evil damage to children’s cognitive development. ‘NAPLAN’ and ‘Evil’ are consubstantial terms, each of the same essence. Sad leader Julia, anxious to listen to her American hosts, at the time, could not handle ‘proper’ education as a concept. Her followers [Chris Pyne, Simon Birmingham and some Australian state ministers]  still can’t. Motivation, as an American concept, was based on fear, rather than on confidence; on high scoring  based on cheating and manipulation rather than on  incremental success and love for learning.

DcOcHUvThe introduction of U.S.-style testucation in 2009 was a monumental blunder. We should have stopped and thought.  U.S. use of Standardised Blanket Testing per se is the biggest cash cow ever for some big US businesses. It’s enormous, but some Aussies don’t believe that. It started in N.Y. In our unfortunate ignorance, the only excuse is that we can say, as Eichmann [photo] did, “I did as I was told. I followed. No thinking needed.”

Eichmann, in this photo, is where he belongs. There is plenty of room for NAPLAN advocates and operators. They all deserve each other.

NAPLAN will remain a major contamination of our future success as a nation, while we maintain  our penchant for unexamined eichmann-style  followship in regard to schooling. It seems now that we find it difficult to challenge the whims of our super-peculiar politicians. in whom the educators of Australia have placed so much trust, so we don’t try. Kautauing [acting in an obsequious manner]to others is now an embedded Aussie trait. One day, perhaps, it will be replaced by innovative initiative. One day.

Our penchant for extreme followship means that Australian schooling, in keeping with our prevailing bi-partisan political ideology, can be properly described….

  • Australian schooling is firmly under the control  of corporate managers and their academic number crunchers;;
  • politicians and leader-educators don’t care at all  about children’s mental health;
  • school leaders do not understand much about ‘schooling’ nor ‘school-learning’ per se;
  • school principals and parents are conditioned to ignore the extreme mental stresses of NAPLAN preparation;
  • millions of Australian children are learning to dislike mathematics, science and aspects of literacy development;
  • the loss of a learning sparkle is a dangerous thing.
  • damage repair is now part of an Australian teacher’s armoury;
  • Australian children themselves prefer to be challenged by the learning act in preference to being bullied by it.
  • we don’t really know what to do.

This above all : Australian teachers are amongst the best in the world.  They are also helpful, compliant, timid people who prefer to kautau to their leaders without complaint.  Sadly, they know that their pupils are suffering, but they feel too powerless to do anything about it. Their only alternative is to share things with their parents….to be open and fair about the whole NAPLAN story….why we have it….what it does….tell them that the wisest choice is for all parents to ‘opt out’. Let the school get back to LEARNING.

NAPLAN is presently preparing for the 2016 abuse of children.  Its complicit, halag*schools [homes of backward galahs] are getting ready. Poor Years 2,4,6,8 kids of 2015.

[I have Just heard of a State Pre-School that has held a Graduation Ceremony. It has issued ‘Achievement Awards’ for good scores in tests of the NAPLAN kind. One wonders if the  ‘average’ kids at this pre-school  who didn’t do well on the tests,  will be allowed to go to  the primary school!!! Just imagine little 4-6 year-olds doing this sort of thing at pre-school …… ]

How crazy can schooling get?  The school and anyone who countenances this  sort of behaviour should be sued for cruelty to children., shouldn’t they?  WHO DARES SUE?

Can’t you see that the NAPLAN assault on children’s cognitive welfare and development is amongst the worst kinds of child abuse?  Can’t you?

Can’t you see what’s wrong with it? Will the State Department that controls the place, sue or close down places like this ?

Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486 
07 5524 6443 
*halags’ – backward galahs.


Aussie Friends of Treehorn

encouraging adults to think sensitively, to care for kids, to make wise choices….with their hearts in gear, their pens active and their votes available .

NAPLAN has nothing to do with learning. It has nothing to do with teaching. It has nothing to do with real schooling. It has to do with finding fault and making money. It’s an ineffective, unreliable and invalid device that makes the most of young children’s vulnerability and it deliberately threatens their cognitive development and emotional stability for the sake of a score. It’s a favourite of politicians who wouldn’t know a wombat from a pussy-cat.



The news is good…..for our wonderful children.  It is quite impossible for Australia to become a nation of innovative and creative thought as Malcolm and Christopher have designed , while its children are so tightly bound and shackled to a testing regime that limits children’s cognitive development, is mentally abusive and prevents the nation’s capacity for the intellectual application of its citizens to fulfil its requirements.  We must de-naplan. We must do it first….now.

The public schooling system [now naplan-threatened ] is the saviour of our future if it is given the freedom to teach and to learn.

Our children are precious. Their capacities are limitless.  They are beautiful. They are human. We have been treating them in a shameful manner since 2009.  Through NAPLAN testing, we have been encouraging mediocrity of performance and dislike for schooling. Ask any  serious teacher  about the effects of NAPLAN. Do it! Ring one up.

Pupils will re-discover the beauty in Mathematics and Science and weld it into their DNA with the arts, with whatever level of creativity and other abilities they have; and we will become a nation of innovators and doers and happy, healthy, wealthy people. Why are we holding our children back now? Corporate Greed!? You’ve got it!

If the Government is serious about INNOVATION and PROGRESS, we must





I can state, without equivocation, that Australian primary schooling has never been so battered and abused as much as it has been over the past eight years. We need an holistic, creative, free, achievement-based, fear-free, teacher-controlled,  loving system of LEARNING.

We can do without US-style totalitarian fear-of-failing-tests corporate control of schooling. Our sky’s the limit! We can be free!


instead of being


They love learning


Bring it on. They’ll show you how to use it.

Watch 2016…..

* School principals will refuse to allow tests to be given to children on ethical grounds. The tests destroy cognitive ability and are abusive.

* Teachers will refuse to administer tests.

* Parents will say “NO”.

* Teacher Unions will become involved for various industrial/professional reasons.

* Teacher organisations, including subject associations, will ask their members not to participate in NAPLAN for professional/ethical reasons.

* Political parties will take an interest in the substance of schooling and make TESTING an electoral issue.

Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486  
07 5524 6443   0407865999              

 THINK!  CARE FOR KIDS for goodness sake. A proper future is possible.

11222287_455738764611379_31293356823885820_n 12314055_10204710145346292_8548576617834704201_n 12314060_455291944656061_1754912113887615260_n 12347828_455270847991504_1456106043259596920_n

A Search.

Aussie Friends of Treehorn

encouraging adults to think sensitively, to care for kids, to make wise choices….with their hearts in gear, their pens active and their votes available 

NAPLAN has nothing to do with learning. It has nothing to do with teaching. It has nothing to do with real schooling. It has to do with finding fault and making money. It’s an ineffective, unreliable and invalid device that makes the most of young children’s vulnerability and it deliberately threatens their cognitive development and emotional stability for the sake of a score.



I have been asked the following questions.  I’m embarrassed.

1. DO you know  the names of the schools in Australia who openly inform parents that their children do not have to contest the NAPLAN tests in May ?

All that parents have to do is drop a note to their teacher or principal saying that they do not wish to have their children contest NAPLAN. Is it a state secret? Who tells them that they can do that?

2. Do you know the names of any school administrators who, conscious of their ‘duty of care’,  patrol NAPLAN testing and withdraw children who appear to be stressed by the test?

DO YOU DO IT YOURSELF….as a school leader?

If school administrators or invigilators are unable or unwilling  to do so, should representatives of Violence Against Women and Children Organisations do so?  Would they be allowed on the premises? It’s a complex business, isn’t it?

Who really cares for the kids who become stressed at NAPLAN time?

Please send any responses that you have  to or to Phil Cullen, 41 Cominan Avenue, Banora Point 2486

Education Readings December 11th

By Allan Alach

As the New Zealand school year is coming to an end, this will be the final education readings for this year. Normal service will be resumed towards the end of January.  To give you something to do until then, this week’s list will be a bit longer than usual!

Phil and I hope you all have an enjoyable festive season with friends and family.

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

No Art Left Behind: Introducing a New Series

Keep an eye on this blog series by Susan Dufresne and Anthony Cody.

“In the past 13 years of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top test-driven education policies, art has been pushed to the margins in our schools. Students have lost countless hours for creating art, music and dance that expresses themselves. But artistic expression is like the seedling that forces its way through cracks in the asphalt. This blog series will explore how students and teachers use art to express themselves.”

Tablets out, imagination in: the schools that shun technology

“But the fact that parents working for pioneering technology companies are questioning the value of computers in education begs the question – is the futuristic dream of high-tech classrooms really in the best interests of the next generation?”

Classroom technology ‘rarely used’ by half of teachers

I remember this problem from my principal days.

“Nearly half of teachers rarely use the technology in their classrooms, with a lack of training holding many of those surveyed back, new research suggests. Over a third of teachers in primary schools, and a similar number in secondary schools, also say they are unsure about how to integrate technology into the curriculum, leading to many items going unused on a regular basis.”

Technology makes a difference

However, on the other hand, here’s Steve Wheeler.

“I have often heard the argument that there is no evidence that technology improves learning. This is a vacuous claim that is either a) based on ignorance of the available research literature, or b) possibly the result of a deep seated fear, mistrust or dislike of technology in general. My usual response to such a claim is that children with special educational needs are a classic example of technology improving learning.”

Reflections on Teaching: The Craft of Teaching

Posted on Save Our Schools Australia:

“In Victoria, long ago, teaching was left to teachers. It was presumed that there were people skilled in the craft and they would pass on their knowledge to others. But theory has trumped practice in recent decades. Now teaching has been overtaken by education, which deals with students and clients, rather than children, and which often has little respect for the craft of teaching. But learning begins with teaching, not data collection.”

National Academic Standards – Turning Public Education into McSchools

This is happening all over.
But look almost anywhere in the US of A, and you’ll see a strip mall with almost all of the same stores and fast food restaurants selling the same crusty burgers and fries left waiting for the consumer under a heat lamp. Somehow this has become THE model for public education, as well. Corporations have convinced our lawmakers that the disposable franchise business schematic is perfect to increase student learning.”

Can Competency Based Education Be Stopped?

I haven’t included a Peter Greene article for a while…

‘Every single thing a student does would be recorded, cataloged, tagged, bagged, and tossed into the bowels of the data mine, where computers will crunch data and spit out a “personalized” version of their pre-built educational program. Right now seems like the opportune moment for selling this program, because it can be marketed as as an alternative to the Big Standardized Tests which have been crushed near to death under the wheel of public opinion. “We’ll stop giving your children these stupid tests,” the reformsters declare. “Just let us monitor every single thing they do every day of the year.”’

Why teacher-powered schools are picking up momentum

In teacher-powered schools, students are at the center of every decision. Teachers secure autonomy to make the big choices about a wide array of factors, such as the learning program, school-community partnerships, and budgeting. In many such schools, teachers evaluate their colleagues with peer review processes, as is so often the case in other professions.”

‘Not a Math Person’: How to Remove Obstacles to Learning Math

“Recently, a colleague’s 7-year-old came home from school and announced he didn’t like math anymore. His mom asked why and he said, “math is too much answering and not enough learning.” This story demonstrates how clearly kids understand that unlike their other courses, math is a performative subject, where their job is to come up with answers quickly. Boaler says that if this approach doesn’t change, the U.S. will always have weak math education.”

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Can a Truly Student-Centered Education Be Available to All?

Is the public school system scared to put students at the centre of education?

“An education which doesn’t use any set curriculum and is instead directed by the child’s interests, is vastly different from traditional public and private schools. While the freedom inherent in the model excites some readers, others question whether young people educated this way will learn the important information and skills they need to become productive adults in our society. Big Picture Schools use the learner and his or her interests and passions as the organising principle of school. The focus is on each and every student, not on a standardised curriculum – an idea pioneer creative New Zealand primary teachers would recognise.”

Why the Greatest Minds Take Long Walks

“Walking isn’t sexy. It’s not the hot new trend or the most enticing productivity hack. Even so, it’s probably one of the most beneficial habits you could add to your routine. But don’t take my word for it. Some of the greatest minds throughout history were notorious for taking walks, from Steve Jobs to Charles Darwin, walking was a part of their routine. Here’s why.”

Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving

The end of the year is the time to ask some important questions.

“As simple as these sound, they provided us a safe, predictable set of questions that became habits of mind, a way to pause and reflect before engaging in something else. Our aim was to get better at what we were doing.What should we stop doing?What should we start doing? What should we continue doing?”

Teaching By Doing Something Meaningful

Getting away from corporate testing mad ‘Big Education’ and bringing back the magic of real teaching.

“When my head is in the world of corporate education, my heart isn’t fully in my job. When I am focused on how much there is to “do,” I lose some of my teaching magic…and unfortunately, so does my audience. There are still many abracadabra moments that take me away from the sideshow of Big Education Teaching, in its truest form, is simply inspiring other people to inspire each other, and to learn and grow together.”

A Few Ideas for Better Writing Conferences

Not a new idea for creative teachers – or is it? Personal writing developing each students ‘voice’ and sense of identity was once a feature in New Zealand classrooms.

“That perhaps this was my chance to not lead their conferences.  To not have all of the answers, but instead be ready to listen and support.  To let them tell me what they needed rather than vice versa.  So I did, and it felt like I held my breath all day, but it worked.  It worked!  And I could not be happier with the outcome.  So what did we do?”

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

End of year survey – tapping the wisdom of your class/school/community

“At the end of the school year it is a good idea to gather information from the students you are passing on.Not only is this a chance for you to get some insight about your teaching but it is also a great way to value the ‘voice’ of your students.What are your students’ attitudes towards areas of learning?”

What should a parent expect from a teacher in the 21stC?

This an extract from a blog by Steve Wheeler, Professor of Technology, University of Plymouth, UK.

“In this post I’m not going to dwell on digital skills. Instead I’m going to focus on three essential things teachers need to practice, and without which children would be poorer.The first thing parents should expect from teachers is their ability to inspire children to learn.Another allied skill we should expect from teachers is an ability to understand the child’s perspective. Parents should also expect teachers to give creative freedom to children.”

Teachers’ key role in fostering creativity

“Essential characteristics of creative teachers,are a commitment to: deepen the understandings of the world of each learner; believe in the creative ability of all students; encourage empathy in students; value creative expression in learners; teach in ways that facilitate it; adapt the curriculum to meet students individual needs.”

The corporate takeover of society and education.

“Since the early 90s society has been reshaped by a neo liberal corporate ideology. An emphasis on private enterprise and self-centred individualism has replaced an earlier concern for collective good of all members of society.  As a result of this ideological shift a wider gap has been created between the rich and poor causing a number of social concerns. Schools as part of this shift have been transformed from a community orientation to being part of a competitive cut throat ideology.”