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 emotional and cognitive development.
2016 – The Real Big Year for KIDS?
It’s Election Year for voters. What will be the main issue : penalty rates, political corruption [Union & Corporate]; terrorism; boats; income tax; pensions; Syria; federal control of state business; innovation?
There is only a slim chance that it could be about The Future of Australia : KIDS.
Despite the challenge, please rest assured that the Treehorn Warriors and compatible teacher organisations [e.g. ALEA Australian Literacy Educators Association http://alea.com.au/whose usual great conference will be held in Adelaide 7-10 July. https://www.alea.edu.au/professionallearning/2016-conference-adelaide] will keep sticking up for kids.
It’s not likely that KIDS will feature large as an election issue since not enough adults are interested in them [as Treehorn’s life story keeps reminding us]; but, something might happen. Parents might stick up for them at NAPLAN time [May]. NAPLAN is undoubtedly the worst scourge ever imposed on an otherwise reasonable system of schooling. Nothing else has damaged the school curriculum and children’s cognitive development as much as it has. Its supporters and owners have been very successful at controlling the truth. Indeed, the voting public seems too scared to even talk about it.
We members of the voting public are a weird mob. We believe that the right thing has been done for kids by merely….
- Compelling them to attend a schools from six years of age [Tasmania 5 yrs.] until at least 16 years of age. [ States and countries vary in the kinds of attendance that they demand. In some countries attendance is not compulsory. In Australia, although attendance at a school building is compulsory, there has been quite a substantial growth over the past few [NAPLAN] years in Homeschooling. Finland and other progressive school systems don’t start schooling until the kids are 7 years of age. They enjoy home-based childhood until then]]
- Supplying rooms. Most schools consist of classrooms to which children are assigned and confined for each year of their ‘schooling’ or to special ‘subject’ rooms..
- Providing teachers who are responsible for the kind of learning and teaching that take place in these spaces under the supervision of a head teacher [once called Headmaster] now called a Principal [an American term to indicate ‘the highest in rank’]. He or she has to be the best teacher, curriculum leader, innovator, educative decision-maker, and cognition expert with a leadership ability to evoke enthusiastic learning and teaching from every single person in the school for every minute of each school day.
Believe it. SCHOOLING TAKES PLACE IN CLASSROOMS, not in the offices of a test company or education authority or a party room.
Every child should emerge from schooling with a much greater love for learning than he or she did when they started….or it’s all been a waste of time.
Sadly, we ignore what kind of learning takes place in the rooms. When some nincompoop from somewhere else, with no-to-little classroom experience, dispossessed of a humane conscience, decides what should happen in Australian classrooms, we scaredy-cats desert the kids and their classroom teacher. We let the sciolist testucators have their way. We place Australia’s future in the hands of abusers of children’s emotions and cognitive dignity.
One has to wonder why Australia’s Future is not always No.1 on every Election agenda. Maybe voters think that testucators know more than educators; that educrats know more about classroom learning than teachers who dwell there; that scaring and bullying kids into learning doesn’t do any harm; that schools should produced corporate robots instead of human beings; that schools are only for passing tests and exams…..and, of course……lining the pockets of the greedy.
Political candidates, this year, will rely on their charm and their ability to use clap-trap-meaning-nothing to obtain a high-paying job with enormous perks, where specially chosen people will tell them what to do. They will attend hundreds of meetings, some party meetings, lots of commmunity knees-ups, each of which will have barren consequences because the decisions are in the hands of other people. Then Lobbyists [click here]will also be there to guide them, so they wont worry about the kids in their electorate nor worry about Australia’s real future for that matter. They’ll get the good oil direct from the source. There’s not much real work to do.
Not one politicians that I know of, has ‘stood-up’ for kids in the past 6 years! Do you know any?
Did you know? It is estimated that there are over a thousand paid full-time well-paid lobbyists working on politicians in Canberra; others inhabit state legislatures.
“So in Australia, we have about 4,000 lobbyists working every day, speaking to ministers and senior public servants and policy makers, seemingly without any record of this activity appearing anywhere.There’s also no way of knowing, without issuing potentially expensive Freedom of Information requests, who ministers are meeting with and how often” [”Getting to Know Your Lobby Groups.“] Click and read.
You will note that this provides an explanation for one of the ways that the truth is being deliberately hidden by the media and the political parties about the effects of NAPLAN’s fear-based testing on children’s emotions and cognitive development; and of the reality of corporate control of schooling in Australia. Parents just have to be mushroomed and controlled. It’s essential. It IS being done NOW.
AND….There is no fearless media commentator of the Valerie Strauss [Washington Post] kind or any known editorial journalist or media commentator in Australia brave enough to share the real truth with them.
One can’t blame them, I suppose. The consequences can be grim. They are ‘owned’…..and….Big-time corporations can be merciless. However, it means that the Australian public does not really know what is going on in their schools….after 8 years. It’s been a remarkable scam. The political policy of each major party and a controlled media working together to support the corporate commanders and to keep people mushroomed [in the dark and fed on B…….t] is essential for the money-bags who profit from the school NAPLAN contagion.
Despite this grim picture, there is a chance, please God, that parents will wake up during this election year, vote for the candidate or party that advocates the banning of NAPLAN; and 2016 will prove to be a big year for kids.
In the meantime,Treehorn Warriors and friends, keep singing…..
It’s a catchy tune.