What a wonderful month.



Treehorn sends a……

Message from Kids to Political Candidates

February – What a Wonderful Month

I knew it as soon as I was born into it!  That was a while ago. This year though,  February started with all the chatter in the press about the two quality teachers who had resigned because of the evil effects that NAPLAN testing is having on Australian schooling. Caught in the cogs of negative gearing and other monumental issues of state, of concern to the BCA – not the future of our country  – politicians ignored the comments about schooling, as usual, which went feral for those interested in kids and in the prosperity of Australia. Their comments should have been etched in the forecourt of parliament house. Check them out again:  , ( https://www.facebook.com/kathy.margolis.7?fref=ts ) for Kathryn’s  and https://griffithreview.com/articles/teaching-australia/ for Gabbie’s comments.

I still hope that the Minister, Mr. Simon Birmingham invites these two teachers into writing a “Review of the Effects of NAPLAN Testing on Classroom Operations”.   NAPLAN effects, so obviously, have been monumental and have altered,  completely, the course of Australian education….it needs documenting by those who know the classroom best.

The changes to Australian schooling have shifted so far that it needs re-inventing.    AND  then I was introduced to the Australian Education Reinventors.

More good news! I was directed to the most outstanding website in relation to Australian schooling that I have even seen, compiled by  Amy and Chris Cox.  Any person with even the slightest interest in school kids should take a half-hour and explore the wonderful assortment of  wise observations and comments. It’s so easy to read, all parents and teachers will enjoy it enormously, I betcha. Click on anything you see. There’s a treasure trove of information.


I was introduced by a most  enthusiastic activist for kids’ learning, Jonathan Anstock whose own zest for children to become enthusiastic, happy learners is superlative. His book, Teach The Children Well – A Spiritual Investment seems an useful addition to the library.  His website  www.teachthechildrenwell.com.au is first rate.  Aussie kids need movers like Jonathan

Then, this week opened with comments by Mr. Thomson, principal of Kimberley College where NAPLAN testing is anathema, who  maintains that it is a form of government-sanctioned child abuse.  We all know that it is; even those that allow their children to do it. It’s phenomenological that this happens, but it does.   As well, some parents don’t know that they can say no to NAPLAN, as the wise parents at Kimberley College do.  https://www.facebook.com/Kimberley-College-125150257554227/.  Some parents and even some teachers think that it is a part of school routine. It isn’t. It was dumped on schools because Brenden Nelson, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Chris Pyne don’t like teachers.They favoured ‘Robustness’ in teaching – political twaddle for abuse. …and tried to impose it so that we would blame teachers for something. NAPLAN results went down hill as did our PISA results which proved that even test scores were higher when teachers were in charge than when ACARA was. What a shambles!

Your scheming didn’t work, Julia!

There is a close relationship between this form of child abuse, of which Mr. Thomson speaks,  and UNESCO’s Rights of the Child and a teacher’s Code of Ethics.  Children at school are long-suffering victims of  a form of educratic robust control that the world has never experienced before.  Australia, desirous of a high place in the PISA data-gathering competition and because of this misguided desire,  without any doubt,  is about the best in the world at administrative child abuse.  It infringes the rights of the child abominably and forces teachers to do the dirty work for them. It needs to be tested in a court of law; for if it continues much longer the worse-off things are going to get. The emotional scars and cognitive wounds need examination.

Politicians! Where are you?

I wrote to the Courier Mail in support of Kimberley College. Once again, my letter wasn’t printed, as they do,  but there were two more interesting ones from the work-face. [I don’t think the CM likes me. It must be something I said that deserved to be Murdoch-proofed. Sorry CM].

That’s probably the end of the excitement attached to schooling for the month.     BUT

Things might be looking up, Kids. One day! One day, Australian children will have the chance to learn everything they want to learn; and to be happy.  They will learn to laugh and play and dance and achieve at a level never heard of before; and to evaluate their own progress as they go through learning experiences with a real [ not testucating] teacher in every classroom.  Fear of failure, the basis for our present system of schooling, will be replaced by the joy of learning,  the thrill of achieving, and having fun with it. Your zest for knowledge will be insatiable. You’ll ignore the cynics and despicable data gatherers. The world is yours and your teachers will help you to make the most of it. Your school will be an attractive place of learning, not an assembly-line testing factory; attractive in the sense that you will be drawn to its magic learning as a magnet attracts iron filings. Your needs will be the curriculum. It will be about you. Neighbourhood schools will be places of learning and fun for all the community to share the learnings with you.

It’s possible. It’s probable. We were once on the way to wonderful schooling opportunities……THEN….ignorant, stupid politiciansoutsourced  schooling to the BCA and to Murdoch, Klein, Gates!

Don’t be too sad, kids.  More and more adults seem to be sticking up for you.  Trust the pollies at your peril.

 Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486 
07 5524 6443  0407865999
 http://primaryschooling.net/                     http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/

2 thoughts on “What a wonderful month.

  1. Really enjoyed the readings Phil. Perhaps not enjoyed but powerful stuff. Thank goodness we aren’t in the same position here. We seemed to have escaped so far and at least our Labour Party are against such an agenda but unfortunately do not have voter support. In admiration for your continued fight against such anti life policies

    Ka kite ano Bruce. Don’t know if you know but we lost our daughter on our local mountain after she had had a great days skiing. So hard to come to terms with it.

    Sent from my Samsung device

  2. Well – isn’t The Treehorn Express a delightful place to hang out? Thank you for promoting my work here and more importantly – for the insightful, sensible and optimistic things you are blogging about here. I look forward to reading more.

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