Time to talk teacher-talk.

Make sure your local candidates read this. Please invite them to comment. Door’s open!
“We will be easy prey to eastern change because we live where we do
and, at the present time. we are unable to think too far ahead. 
Nor do we believe in teaching our young to extend their limits of thinking.
We just cannot see what schooling should be like beyond the next NAPLAN test.
We are well and truly in its clutches.
Progress in cultural and commercial and economic terms has ceased.
If NAPLAN continues, Aussie children will become the mis-schooled coolies of the shift of economic power from West to East.”
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.
 
Time to Talk Teacher-Talk
It should be clear by now that NAPLAN is an expensive device concocted and controlled by the testing industry [Pearson, Murdoch] corporations so they and their representatives in important positions, can set themselves up as the arbiters of success or failure of school systems, especially for Australia, whose history of schooling features examinations and tests as steps on the ladder of fanciful achievement. Billions are being made by crafty publishers and testucators in the best interests of privatisers and other fellow education profiteers; but that is not the main problem….  
Fear and degradation of the human spirit are essential elements of their schemes, devised by kleinist lawyers whose knowledge of schooling and of school learning is extremely base and limited; and whose ability to use ‘schooling for profit’ is more to their taste.
Public examinations have long been the starch of private schools, following the traditions of the British Grammar School, whose basic education scheme was transported to the NSW colony because it was easy to do so and our leaders knew no better.  Many public schools followed suit and adopted forms of classroom interaction known as ‘traditional teaching’.  It’s the sort of system that does not require much intellectual overtime. It requires a simple belief that those with tertiary academic qualifications are best-suited to tell others about chosen subjects and  require the listener to listen carefully and to remember salient points for ‘passing an examination’ later.  Simple. Chalk-Talk. The chalkboard became the most dynamic teaching aid of the 18th Century through the 19th and most of the 20th and remains so in some schools, today.  [Interpersonal pupilling of a more dynamic and effective kind can be very difficult.]
This attitude to teaching led to the demoralising effects of ‘payment by results’ on teaching in England. Headmasters and school inspectors [especially Matthew Arnold] railed against such dilution of the profession and things changed. Arnold was particularly scathing of “philistines’, the uncultivated, narrow-minded bourgeois who were out to make money.. and who judged the value of teaching and learning from the crudest utilitarian standpoint.” [H.C.Barnard : A Short History of English Education  Uni.of London Press,Reprint 1952. P.171]  Things changed for the better in English education. They learned, later, especially during the course of the 20th Century from their first-hand war experiences, and came to lead the world in creativity and inventiveness and economic progress. There has never been a greater period of progress in western schooling  than post-WW2, mid-20th century England. Because of the creativity, inventiveness and innovative spirit in its schools during this period, this tiny island remains up there with the giants of the Western world. The Finland of the 20th century, England survived and set the standard for the world, because it learned about learning from ‘on-the-job’ experiences and the system had the freedom to innovate.  Then managerialism, the ‘plague’ of the later part of the 20th century, hit the fan.  Banks and large corporations and money and greed dominated schooling throughout the western world,  and remains to control most operations to the present day. USA took over and set the pace because it said that it should and it knows everything about everything.
The Cambridge Review  one of the most comprehensive reviews of primary schooling ever written tells a remarkable story. It dealt with 40 years of primary schooling; the post hey-day years.  It’s a British based description of schooling, comprehensively ignored because neo-cons cannot understand it. Pity we didn’t read it. 
The dominance of the West in the present world economic culture is now coming to an end. China by 2030, certainly the end of the century,  is the safest bet to replace USA as the dominant country of the economic world.  With India, it makes an interesting quinella.  A certainty.  Thanks USA.  Bye-bye, just the same. The East will exert more power on Australia than the West ever did. Australia’s geographic position and its usefulness as the world’s largest mineral and gas quarry, poses so many questions for futurologists, such enormous concern for educationists. 
We will be an easy prey to eastern change because we live where we do and, at the present time, we are unable to think too far ahead and don’t believe in teaching our young to extend their limits of thinking.  We just can’t see what schooling should be like beyond the next NAPLAN test.  We’re well and truly in its clutches. Progress in cultural and commercial and economic terms has ceased. If NAPLAN continues, Aussie children will become the mis-schooled coolies of the shift of economic power.
We really should know what is important for our children to learn if we want them to survive happily….and it’s certainly not to keep naplanning them as part of a good old British grammar school tradition as we are still following in 2016.
We could out-Finland Finland if we wanted to.
It’s time for some quality classroom-based think-tanking!  Repeat: CLASSROOM-BASED THINKING. 
We have no idea what the dominant culture will look like over the next 50 years,  but we do know what our grand-children and great-grand-children need in schooling terms….. to be able to cope. The present Lib-Lab  government just does not want thoughtful schooling to interfere with its testing program.  Arnold’s ‘philistines’ or Klein’s coolies?  Both?
The present bogged-down economic and political view is that Australia should keep going with NAPLAN as the engine of our schooling system to produce non-thinking robots who will do as they are told and try only to produce better scores on very-silly tests to compare with other useless scores; just because our government does not know any better.  We look like continuing this NAPLAN-inspired education in Gillard/Klein-like style and maintain the teaching of facts in good old Gradgrind style for ages…..if we don’t wake up soon.   It is imperative that present-day schools kids learn HOW to learn so that they can achieve at maximum level at whatever they take on….and be happily immersed in and contributing to the economic culture of the time.
In my view, it is of critical importance that we close down NAPLAN and its kind of thinking NOW. Australia must face reality. It needs its citizens to be broad-thinking, adaptable, creative, inventive, innovators-on-a-large-scale people; with a loving, compassionate concern for others and for children in particular.  
Girt by sea, the New Kowloon must survive happily and productively,  for its citizens are our blood.
_________________________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486    cphilcullen@bigpond.com             http://primaryschooling.net/                     http://qldprimaryprincipals.wordpress.com/
07 5524 6443        0407865999
Do you know of any political party in Australia that cares about kids?
No sign of one thinking about kids yet!
What’s happening in Australia?
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