Teachers as Interchangeable widgets.

PLEASE SEND TO YOUR LOCAL FEDERAL CANDIDATE.

Aussie Friends of Treehorn

protecting school children from nasty excesses of the greedy and misguided

Teachers as Interchangeable Widgets

“They are just there to implement prefabricated knowledge.”

“One of the world’s most influential education experts, Andreas Schiecher, has criticised the Australian Education System for falling behind global standards.” at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. [Sydney Morning Herald P.2 16/03/16]

He was using the PISA results [as ACARA and other testucators do, to make this judgement]. “Last year, Australia ranked 14th behind Poland, Germany and Vietnam….

Mr. Schleicher said Australia’s emphasis on having teachers in front of a class over their professional development was an area that needed addressing.”

It has to be explained to the world-at-large that….

Australia is that quarry down under that does not care about kids and does not allow teachers to use their teaching abilities nor discuss learning issues. That is our present reputation on the world stage.  Mr. S says that…”We treat teachers as interchangeable widgets on the frontline – they are just there to implement prefabricated knowledge.”

PISA is a Parisian unreliable test of randomly selected 15 year-olds that ACARA, [Julia Gillard’s agent for becoming ‘5 by 25’ on the PISA tests], uses to judge the quality of educational services. It’s a world-stage version of NAPLAN.

NAPLAN is that annual killer of educational dreams, held each May in Australia, whose scores are used by the ignorant and misguided to judge school quality.

A Widget is a small component with limited functionality that can be installed and manipulated with ease.

Treehorn suggests that we give back teaching to the teachers, ban NAPLAN and encourage love of learning instead of hate; and hold an enormous talk-fest about ‘SCHOOLING’ since Australia does not understand its meaning yet.

In Australia we should give back schooling to the states together with the money spent on NAPLAN and any other wasted dollars. The Feds. just can’t handle schooling issues.

The game of skittles would be just as useful as NAPLAN and PISA tests. Record individual, school and state scores; then have an international survey of randomly selected schools; and then use the scores to make judgements about anything at all.

Bring on skittles and let the teachers get on with their job.

____________________________________________________________________
 Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486    
cphilcullen@bigpond.com             
http://primaryschooling.net/                     http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/
07 5524 6443          0407865999
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Not long to torture time.

ASK YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATES THESE QUESTIONS……[It’s a NAPLAN test for pollies.]
Aussie Friends
of Treehorn
protecting school children from nasty excesses of the greedy and misguided
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.
There are just a little over thirty school days of Naplan-practice left to the big-three days of testing….It’s a marathon. May 10-12 is torture-chamber time.  It’s the annual big-time one-hit abusive attack on children. Productive learning has been put on hold and will be resumed in mid-May. Schools MUST prepare.
There are questions to be asked…..
NAPLAN 
There are Serious Questions
Are thirty days of test preparation more beneficial for pupils than thirty days of normal classroom activity?
Has ‘fear’ now been recognised and established by Australia’s school-control centre  as the most effective ‘educational’ motivation for life-learning?
Why  are honest, hard-working teachers afraid to express their feelings?
Why do some quality teachers with-hold their anger until they resign in disgust?
Do all political parties still approve of keeping secrets from parents?
Why do schools teach children about democratic principles, and then don’t stand up for their pupils when they are abused by NAPLAN.
Do school pupils ever question the reasons for the tests?
Is any consideration ever given at school, district and state level to basic human rights for kids? 
Is there such a thing as basic humanity mentioned in the education policies of the major parties?
When will we hear something serious about the banning of NAPLAN instead of the fatuous clap-trap about education spending from the major parties?  
Who does what to whom in what manner and why?
 
WHY DO WE TOLERATE IT?
Let’s protect our kids from cowardly politicians, greedy corporations and misguided school-measurers, who just don’t know what damage they are doing.
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I watched the movie called “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” on Monday night.  In one scene all of Wall Street’s large business corporation leaders were present in one large room  Gordon Gekko casually remarked to his daughter, “If all of these people suddenly disappeared tonight, who would run the country?”  We do hope that the Business Council of Australia has no large get-togethers planned soon. Think of the chaos. Politicians making serious decisions, uncontaminated by greed !! NAPLAN would be first thing to go. Right?
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 Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486    cphilcullen@bigpond.com             http://primaryschooling.net/                     http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/
07 5524 6443        0407865999

The Silent Media

Aussie Friends of Treehorn
protecting school children from nasty excesses of the greedy and misguided
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.
The Silent Media
One of the essentials for the maintenance of unpalatable programs in public schools is ‘media silence’.  The Australian well-controlled media outlets use this tactic with classic ability.
During the past week or so, there has been a splash in the press about the rise in scores for some NAPLAN tests. They had risen. It covered a couple of pages in the print press and was mentioned favourably in a few TV News presentations. But,  when it was reported this week, that Australia was sinking in its PISA [NAPLAN in world terms] results – very serious stuff – the news was mentioned in passing in the lower corner of Page 2 and never mentioned anywhere else.  This item: thatthe most recent PISA results showed that Australia had sunk to 14th place in world rankings – a flop of hara kari dimensions for dedicated Naplanists – didn’t make very far. There was no noise whatsoever.  I waited for ‘The Drum’ members to discuss this extraordinary flop…Australia’s scores dropping from around the top of the rankings to 14th place during the life of NAPLAN !
What sort of message does that convey?  Julia G. believed in the validity and sanctity of PISA results and was determined to flog teachers and pupils to get to her catch-cry target of ‘Top 5 by 25’.  Looks like we’ll be lucky to be in the 25 by then, if we persist in using  NAPLAN!  She didn’t know the secret that pupils achieve higher when they learn how to learn better, in a test-free environment.  The trouble is that Rupert and Klein cannot sell tests and books and programs nor sell computer tablets for the tests when we don’t have tests.
You will recall the combined Australian-New Zealand Conference of primary school principals held in Melbourne a few years ago that featured outstanding world speakers, each of whom condemned the use of high stakes standardised testing as a motivator for learning and as a  measure of accountability.  The conference convenor, APPA, I’ve been assured, made copies of the speeches available early as press releases. Not one was published.  The international conference passed by, unnoticed.
NAPLAN, quite obviously, has the  protection of extremely powerful people and their flunkies.  It wouldn’t exist in a normal climate of schooling that treated its children compassionately and taught them to enjoy learning and to achieve up to the limit of their God-given abilities.  NAPLAN insists that mediocre achievements are good enough as long as a lot of students get to a pre-set average standard.
 This is just not good enough for a country that wants to improve its intellectual and commercial position on the world stage. 
(Restraining children from reaching their potential by drawing public attention to personal inadequacies through one-hit test-taking, instead of encouraging self-evaluation at every step of learning all year for the full year for motivational and emotional reasons, certainly leads to social and moral degradation of the human spirit. Expect trouble from disgruntled NAPLAN contestants as they grow older….and… It’s not their fault.)  
It’s no wonder that politicians and would-be pollies have nothing to say. Who would want to antagonise anyone on Rupert’s payroll who prefers to keep NAPLAN? rolling. The pursuit of the mighty dollar is ruthless and they don’t have to clean up the mess.
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 Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486    cphilcullen@bigpond.com             http://primaryschooling.net/                     http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/
07 5524 6443        0407865999
 
Why do we tolerate it?
Even the Director of the OECD, the world’s testing centre singled us out…..but nobody bothered to discuss his issue.  H said that using our teachers as widgets [

Bullying

Aussie Friends of Treehorn
protecting school children from nasty excesses of the greedy and misguided
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.enough

Bullying
“The schoolground is a battleground for defining status.”
I think that Don Willower said that. He wrote so much of down to earth practical value about examining and defining the culture of schools, that he is worth googling. I should recommend his writings to principals of schools, especially those who consider their role in educational leadership as one of dedication to human welfare and who have a deep interest in maintaining the highest of ethical standards in the pursuit of excellence.
He, as each of us does, admires the “imagination and inventiveness of those who want to work in a profession [educational administration] which seeks to contribute to human progress and growth.”
No matter what kind of school a child attends, each one seeks to find his or her own place in it; and the task of the principal is to make sure that they do – as comfortably as possible. Each pupil is unique and school systems’ traditional attempts to mould them into replicas of each other is resisted by most of them. They know that they must attend school because the law insists on it. They can think of better things to do and they want to maintain their individuality as well as their place in the system, but It’s not easy in a system whose teaching philosophy is based simply on the collection of test data and little else.  Learning is natural; fear-based testing is not. Pupils know this. Adults don’t seem to.
Australians seem to have their knickers in a twist at present because, if you follow current press statements,  our playgrounds are full of sexually, racially and religiously different pupils, being targeted by homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullies and by  racially-pure and religiously-expert bullies, who have an extreme fear of dilution of the Australian species. The religiously different take up too much space,  so the non-Christian  must also cop it from our local bullies. Catholics, also, now need a bit of stick, because they are mostly paedophilic disciples of Cardinal Pell.
We’ll never run out of victims while these neo-liberal values prevail, and the test-based system will always provide plenty of bullies. The only safe school is a home school or a test-free one.
I don’t remember too many bullies during my time as a school principal. Now they are swarming. A special program has been compiled by experts to handle all this. ‘Safe Schools’ it is called.  It is not universally popular, but never mind, it’s a chance to take a shot at schools and the way they are run.
Who’d really want to be a principal with sincere vocational principles, these days?
One thing you can be sure of, is that many of the bullies in the schoolgrounds are NAPLAN victims who know that their own intellectual worth is greater than the sum of their Naplan scores.  They have to find an outlet for their frustrations, caused by being reminded about their inadequacies….They have to kick the cat. NAPLAN victims become schoolground bullies. They need to deck someone. It feels good after some bigger bully has just decked you with ridiculous tests.  Society is providing plenty of school chaos. The longer NAPLAN lasts the longer we’ll have plenty of bullies.
The government is finding NAPLAN too hard  to handle.  The best thing for it to do is mention it as little as possible. The sensible thing to do is to drop it, but common sense is not the issue.
There needs to be a far greater discussion about the evil attached to this great NAPLAN stunt.  It’s a lot more than just getting higher scores on a silly test. It’s cancerous. It’s run by influemtial, greedy people who have the power to maintain it. Their use of lower-order bullying modes of control only provokes anger in the victims. This kind of fear-laden stimulation that, they think, works on human beings, really has no place in any school situation..
You will note the high level of publicity given to the public announcement  that parents can pull their children out of the ‘Safe Schools’ program, but parents are not informed of these rights when it comes to the constant big-time system-bullying of children’s emotional cognition during the NAPLAN season….which is now.
This tells us what kind of bullies run the show. 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486   cphilcullen@bigpond.com             http://primaryschooling.net/                     http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/
07 5524 6443          07 5524 6443  
Who does what to whom in what manner and why?
 
Why do we tolerate it?
Let’s protect our kids from cowardly politicians, greedy corporations and misguided school-measurers, who just don’t know what damage they are doing.

How bizarre can these testing stunts get?

Aussie Friends of Treehorn
protecting school children from nasty excesses of the greedy and misguided
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.enough
How Bizarre Can NAPLAN Become?
Imagine. You’re eight years old in a large room sitting at a small desk with lots of other kids, on your own, near your friends but not close enough to touch them. Things are serious. You and your friends all face the same way. Around the room is a number of adults….some trying to smile reassuringly; others seem to be posted around the edges, uncomfortably, like prison guards, daring us, it seems, to do Image result for naplan cartoonssomething silly.  When a very important person walks in with bundles of paper, the atmosphere becomes tense. You’ve been trained for these NAPLAN tests, so you know that you must appear relaxed.
This is the biggest, most serious show you have ever been a part of….ever…in your life. You’ve been reminded endless times: “Your school depends on you.” You haven’t slept well for a few nights; and you know how concerned your mum and dad are about how well you manage.  It’s a worry, when you don’t feel too confident.  Everyone seems to be looking at you. This is big stuff. The butterflies in your stomach are flapping around like mad, but you smile at your friends and at your very worried teacher.You’re that duck, looking content, paddling like mad. All seems normal. Then the test paper is placed on your desk.
You throw up! All over the test paper.
Some authorities have a special name for vomit on a test paper, although, in politically correct circles like test manufactories, it’s called Contaminated Test Material. Here are some official instructions from an American authority that supervisors and invigilators must follow to deal with the situation. NAPLANNERS would be expected to do much the same sort of thing. It’s pure NAPLAN vomit after all. The original instructions contained a photo of the child’s opinion of the test……what he landed in he middle of Page 2. Yuk.
As difficult as it is to maintain a straight face when thinking of the outcomes of our testing fanatics’ stunts,……..
Seriously:
In psychological literature, it’s called Somatic Anxiety , a manifestation of cognitive concern that occurs when others expect a level of performance from you that you know you’re uncertain of achieving. It’s a condition that can cause all sorts of mental illnesses and psychic reactions that can last a lifetime…..even without the vomit.   It’s a nasty business when it is a direct result of a school’s  attitude training that is based on fear of failure instead of on the joy of learning.
Australia’s education system is based on frightening kids with high-level fanatical intensity into such a fear of testing  that every pupil might suffer from a life-long psychosomatic disorder of some kind within three years of starting school.
I wish that we could be proud of something else.
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NAPLAN will improve the species?

Aussie Friends of Treehorn

NAPLAN manufacturers and users must believe that its kind of testing will improve the species.  If it isn’t this, it is difficult to find reasons for forcing such inhumane, somatic-anxiety producing treatment on young children.  Robotism perhaps – produce lots of robots able to obtain the same scores on May 10,11,11.  Drive theory perhaps – drive all contestants relentlessly, using somatic and cognitive  devices, so that they will do well on May tests and it doesn’t matter what happens at any other time. Catastrophe Theory perhaps – stress and the promotion of anxiety improves performance; but the consequences are in life-long psychological damage. Who cares?  The political masters will be pleased
Let’s consider the view of Karen Lewis….
 Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486     cphilcullen@bigpond.com             http://primaryschooling.net/                     http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/
07 5524 6443          0407865999

East is East

Australians don’t need an atlas to see that Australia is part of the Asian galaxy.

At the same time, we pretend that we are an important part of the dominant Western World, fighting above our weight.

We follow the West’s leadership without question, its cultural pursuits, its education systems, its wars, its destiny. We cuddle under the warm wings of the lead chook and copy what she does without question. The West is so dominant in the world’s economic culture that it has been both comfortable and comforting to be part of a UK/US western cultural mix for so long.

One doesn’t need to be a futurologist to know that Australia will come back to its geographical home within the next century or so, because the world’s dominant economic and cultural centre is shifting to Beijing, only a few hours to the north.

One doesn’t have to be an educational historian to know that we chose the wrong course of action in 2008 if we had been concerned about the future of our children and their children’s children…no matter where our compass points.

Can we adjust as we must? Do we have the talent, the agility, the foresight, the will to be as well regarded by the East as we were by the West?

Whereas we once considered Chinese people to be small, simple, shuffling market gardeners and rickshaw attendants, the roles are certain to be reversed if we continue with our present system of schooling. We treated their colonists abominably when they came with other migrants to our gold fields. One wonders how Australians will feel when we become considered as that backward, bumbling, educationally disabled race that keeps shooting itself in the foot by persisting with the same-old, same-as UK/US binding test and examination culture; frozen in time with “Que Sera Sera” as our national anthem and still allowing our children to be abused year by year with NAPLAN-derived fear, anxiety, physiologically disabling school violence. It has been going on for far too long. Who cares?

The longer we embrace our ennuic, listless, unproductive,test-based school system, the more likely it is that our kids of the future, will be lucky to get a 3rd-class ticket on the economic road to the future.

The science, technology, engineering and mathematical forums are pleading for more interest from more school pupils.

Australia’s response to the teaching of these really beautiful subjects is to over-test their basics and scare the living daylights out of potential scientists and engineers. Fat chance for a progressive alliance with more alert Asian countries.

While NAPLAN exists and continues to drive our curriculum and dampen our children’s enthusiasm for learning with its peculiar pedagogy, we are presently hog-tied in a paddock of cultural inertia, bogged and physiologically and psychologically fossilised by an ennuic state of mind. Our schools are peddling shoddy politically-correct pseudo-scholarship under a pure system of testucation; far, far removed from any kind of useful education. Who cares?

Certainly no existing [unAustralian] Australian political party worries about NAPLAN. Squibbishness is becoming endemic!

Next year is still a long way away,our pollies reckon, and, anyhow,it takes a lot of ethical energy for any one of them to stand up for kids and for school education. None, so far. It’s a rotten shame; but that’s the way it is. Sorry kids.
________________________________________________________________________________

Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net/ http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/
07 5524 6443     0407865999