By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not Every Kid Wants to Learn How to Code
The latest educational bandwagon is that all children should be taught how to code computers, although exactly what this is supposed to achieve isn’t clearly spelled out.
“But here’s the thing; not every kid wants to be a computer scientist. Not every kid wants to work with a computer. Not every kid wants to stare at a screen, nor do something with technology. Did we forget that in our eagerness to jump on the coding wagon?”
Learning to Code vs. Coding to Learn
Along much the same lines:
“For what it’s worth, and in case it might be of any interest to others, here are, in no particular order, some of the most common arguments I hear made both in support of, and against, educational coding initiatives.”
Does our ‘edtech’ obsession get in the way of education?
“Instead of proclaiming the virtue that apparently derives from forswearing technology – as if academic rigour and using computers were somehow antithetical – wouldn’t we be better off by remaining open to the notion that using technology, in certain circumstances, may actually contribute to improved teaching and learning? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to develop teachers’ expertise so that they are able to make discerning use of whatever technology may be most helpful at any given time for any given purpose?”
PISA-envy, Pearson and Starbucks-style schools
“The focus on test scores is vital to the neoliberal vision of education. It is what enables standardization and hence accountability across the system. If outcomes in the form of test scores are what counts, then it becomes easy to compare one student with another, one class with another, one school with another and one state with another. And test-based accountability has now become a truly global phenomenon, shaping local and national educational priorities and policies.”
Why Lots of Love (or Motivation) Isn’t Enough
Latest article by Alfie Kohn.
“True, these students no longer require carrots or sticks. They don’t need discipline because they’re self-disciplined. . . in a way that’s disturbing. Their motivation is internal, but it sure as hell isn’t intrinsic. And that key distinction would go unnoticed if we had just asked whether they had internalized certain values rather than inquired about the nature of that internalization.”
Better teachers? Better at what, exactly?
A lament from an Australian teacher.
“Until we are capable of putting our children’s needs in front of anything else, we will continue to slip down the educational league table. It has nothing to do with better teachers. It’s got everything to do with protecting our children from politicians.”
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
Teaching /learning in flexible spaces – Modern Learning Environments MLEs – New Tech High
Bruce has written another article about this current development.
“By the late sixties, in England, flexible school buildings were being specifically designed to allow a varied combination of individual and group work as well as for class and inter-class activities. And in the 70s ( inspired by American school critics such as John Holt) an open education movement started which culminated in the development of open plan schools.”
Sir Ken Robinson Changes the Paradigm
This is an oldie but well worth watching again.
“Sir Ken Robinson’s inspirational talk at the RSA Conference called “Changing Paradigms” has made its way around the education circles through different media. This animated version of the speech, taking us through the speaker’s colorful prose with illustrations, has made even more of an impact.”
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
We have lost so much over the past 50 years. We need to return leadership back to creative teachers.
“It was in the sixties when creative classroom teachers working within a shared educational philosophy were the real leaders. In contrast to all the structural changes that have happened since the advent of Tomorrow’s Schools the role of the teacher has been neglected. There are some, such as Professor Frank Crowther, University of Queensland, who says that, since the 1970s, the professional respect for teachers has diminished.”
A future Vision for Education
Modern Learning Environment / Innovative Teaching Practice – or just good learner centred teaching?
“Imagine a school where every child would see themselves as an investor in their own learning. Older children would frequently coach and mentor younger children. Those who were more advanced in a subject would help those lagging behind. Children would help teachers design learning programmes, their parents would be parties to these discussions .The children would see it as their responsibility to learn in their own time, often using online tools provided by the school.”
What do we steal from our students?
“Dr John Edwards based his presentation, the final one for the conference, on a question his wife had asked him when he returned after teaching his graduate students.
She asked him, ‘What have you stolen from your students today?’’
“The poem is worth a read because it clearly makes the distinction between an antiquated transmission style of teaching (which is still all too common) and what is now required if we are to develop all students as ‘confident life long learners’, the ‘seekers, users,and creators of their own knowledge’, that our revised curriculum asks of us.”
Contributed by Phil Cullen:
Test-score inflation can boost graduation rates but comes with consequences, Stanford study finds
“Six years ago, a team of educational researchers shocked New York state with clear statistical evidence of widespread manipulation of test scores on the high school exit exams, or Regents Examinations. The analysis, which formed the basis for an investigative report in the Wall Street Journal and sparked major reforms by New York state, showed that test graders were artificially lifting the scores for 40 percent of the students who had fallen just short of passing.”
Australia’s order of business for educational improvement needs to be…..
Aussie Friends of Treehorn
Aussie Friends of Treehorn
protecting school children from nasty excesses of the greedy and misguided
They need our serious consideration
What are trying to do to our kids?
Can I withdraw my child from the tests? I have a ‘philosophical objection’ (See “Withdrawals” below]. Yes. Indeed. I hate the rotten things; Amen.
Below is an extract from ACARA’s attack on parental rights…..the sort of rules that Gradgrind would insist upon….trying to remove as many parental rights as possible. They are removed without remorse or feeling or compassion for child welfare. We need to consider what these testucratic bullies are doing to us and our children. NAPLAN represents political bullying of the worst totalitarian kind.
No recognition of parents’ rights. Parents not even asked if they approve of high stakes testing for their children.
The ‘bull’ is highlighted in red in the ACARA documentation below. Please pause and think when you come to something in red.
Parents can and should ignore any references to testucating expectations and the demand that a formal application must be received in time (Para 1). That is absolute rubbish. Australia is a democracy and such demands [reminiscent of totalitarian states] are out of place. The Rule of Law applies to school children even though they are at school. ACARA is ordering children to submit to the torture of fear and emotional upset caused by standardised blanket testing. We all know that such intrusions into the curriculum cause gross emotional upset and a dislike for certain subjects [e.g. Maths & Science] and a general dislike for schooling itself.
You will note that ACARA says that NAPLAN tests are “a part of school routine”. RUBBISH. SHEER UNADULTERATED RUBBISH. Until NAPLAN took over the curriculum and school time tables, all schools had their own forms of Learning, Evaluation and Reporting programs. NAPLAN is an insulting one-off intrusive attack on all respectable, professional, home-grown school evaluation programs. It just took over. In 2008, it instituted a monstrous disruption to teaching and learning by political fiat, that is now seriously affecting school operations and our children’s educational welfare….and the country’s future.
All in all, the amount of valuable learning time that is consumed by NAPLAN nonsense for months each year is frightening. It’s far too much….
and there have been no positive results……on the contrary……only diminishing test scores and a battered curriculum.
ACARA DIRECTIONS FOR PARENTS
“While participation by all students is expected, students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer. This is a matter for consideration by individual parents/carers. Withdrawals are intended to address issues such as religious beliefs and philosophical objections to testing. A formal application in the manner specified for each state or territory must be received by the principal prior to the testing. Your principal can provide further information about the withdrawal process. For more information, see Student participation.
Exemptions may be granted for students with a language background other than English or for students with a disability. In both cases, schools need to discuss the proposed exemption with the student’s parent/carer and gain their permission prior to the testing period.
English language proficiency: Students with a language background other than English who arrived from overseas and have been attending school for less than a year before the test may be exempted. However, these students are not automatically exempt and should be given the opportunity to participate in testing. Principals can expect information from test administration authorities on the preferred method for collecting and recording this information. Students may be exempt from one test (e.g. reading) but still be able to participate in another test (e.g. numeracy).
Students with disability: Adjustments are provided to students with disability to support access to the tests and encourage maximum participation. Students with significant intellectual disability and/or those with significant co-existing conditions which severely limit their capacity to participate in the tests may be exempted from sitting the national tests. This is determined after consultation has occurred between the principal and the relevant parent/carer, and if it is decided the student is not able to access the tests with adjustments. For more information on the types of adjustments available, see the section on Adjustments for students with disability.
NAPLAN tests are a routine part of the school calendar. However students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer if there are religious beliefs or philosophical objections to testing. This is a matter for consideration by individual parents/carers in consultation with their child’s school. A formal application in the manner specified by the relevant test administration authority (TAA) must be received by the principal prior to the testing.
Students are considered absent for test purposes in the following instances:
- They did not sit the tests because they were not present at school when the test was administered.
- They were unable to sit the test as a result of an accident or mishap.
- They were at school but were too ill to partic
Principals are encouraged to enable the participation of students who were absent on the day of the test but who return to school within the week scheduled for NAPLAN testing.”
Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486
07 5524 6443 0407865999
proud to be sticking-up for kids
looking for a decent political party to vote for….one that thinks
Have a peep at the attachment from John Oliver.
Why do we tolerate it?