Neo-Liberalism in Control

 Neo-liberalism is rooted in the fiction that those people with the most money know more about the control of society than anybody else does. Their views on the control of society’s political, religious, education  and economical welfare are superior to all other views because they are rich and successful in businesses that exist for profit.  Disciples of renewed Adam Smith economics, big business should be free to exploit their particular interests with minimal restrictions.  Their superior position on the social ladder means that they know more than most; and governments should do as they are told.

A kind of laissez-faire conservatism, its philosophy controls the western world .

 Such notions as ‘liberal’ are meant to imply that there is no need to control what the rich want to do.  The word has no philosophical nor political base that applies to humanitarianism. Put simply, it applauds the antics of  ‘wild’ society  routines and uses the ‘domesticated’ (Carlson).  Humans can be purchased; and once the status quo, according to Hayek and Friedman, has been established, there should be no questioning.  Free-traders, their exploits should be allowed to prevail in all matters.  Donald Trump and Clive Palmer and Rupert Murdoch know what they are doing no matter what they do.

 Neo-liberals have firm beliefs in privatisation.  Governments run some services with a humanitarian core that can be better used for profit.  Schools and hospitals, tollways, electricity, banking, railroads are some examples. Rules and regulations that impede profit-making in these sectors should be abolished. The counterfeit aura of sharing the wealth is their fanciful catch-cry; but the poor ’… still have children’.

The market rules.  They prefer situations where the poor find their own solutions to their health and educations. If they don’t survive, they are lazy or illiterate or both……or controlled by unions.

 Prime amongst their exertion of management techniques is their use of their power to reward and punish. They can easily buy advice and hard labour and lobbyists and politicians and political parties.  They can purchase the best in each of these fields.  They pay well and they usually get what they want. When they overstep the mark they flop badly and leave a mess. Clive seems to have; and Donald is about to.

 Unfortunately, such people drain the humanity out of social enterprises like schooling and medical services, even politicking.  The concept of Care has lost its meaning in too many  institutions where neo-liberals now have control. Sadly, they have been able to round-up the more gullible in various caring professions  and use them as disciples. Witness the school testing industry. It has removed the humanity from schooling and has seriously flopped in its own intentions. Never mind. Neo-liberalism and its patron saint Rupert will prevail and  will force his will on us, on our media and our parliamentary representatives. Neo-libs will continue to treat our children, in particular, as expendable items, whose time as children does not last long and can be used for purposes other than intended while they are institutionalised, unable to exert the free will that they share with their parents. …unable to learn with any open gusto.

 As Mexican authors Martinez and Garcia  conclude: “The beneficiaries of neo-liberalism are a minority of the world’s people. For the vast majority it brings even more suffering than before.”

 We are conscious of the control of neo-liberalism on the politics of the Labor and Coalition political parties in Australia. Its efforts in the education services have been monumental failures, but they will persist. Onwards ever onwards to privatisation!  Unions and professional organisations are powerless. First step, Independent Public [aka Charter] Schools and the loan of groups of needy schools to private enterprise; the continuance of coercive management and kleinism ( test-frightened children) ; the denigration of the work force and the disrespect for  curriculum standards; the playing of managerialist ‘square pegs’ games.  Humanity has no real meaning. 

 Neo-liberalism is here to stay…..busily exploiting educational and other services.

 Social consciousness is a forgotten ethic.

Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486  0              

Inanity and Despair

 “The 2008 shot-gun wedding of testucators and politicians, paid for by big business, needs an early, clean, decisive divorce. Let the testucators continue with the weighing of pigs to see if the measuring helps the pigs to gain weight and the politician continue kissing the backsides of the rich and powerful. Stay away from our kids!  School education needs to be returned to a more humane pedagogy in the hands of school professionals who know what they are doing, who will not tolerate school invasions of the klein kind nor the child-abusive violence of the NAPLAN kind.  Australia has the capacity to show the world what school learning is all about, but not while this domineering politicised husbandry of teaching remains. For the present, we are heading the wrong way. Lost. Schooling by test scores  is not schooling.”





 “Treehorn sighed. ‘I don’t think I’ll tell anyone.’ he thought to himself. “If I don’t say anything, they won’t notice.’” 

Inanity & Despair

 It gets hot in the tropics as many will know. One day, while my friend Oscar was teaching at McDonnells Creek, 30 kms. from Cairns, the temperature rose and his Head Teacher said to him, “I don’t think the Department would mind if we removed our waistcoats today.”  Yes. It was a fair while ago. The Department. It ruled. It controlled our lives, how we dressed, what we thought. More than just an employer, it was something like a vocational idol, established for adoration purposes only.   Maurie Kelly, first President of APPA, recalls that, while teaching at Kajabbi in the remote far north-west of Queensland, closer to the Arafura Sea than to the Pacific Ocean, he always kept a sports coat hanging on a nail behind the door in case someone from the Department should call. We all did such things, many ridiculous. It wasn’t out of respect for the Departmental representative or the office itself.  It was fear of being thought unworthy in the eyes of those who controlled our salary.

 A large organisation like a state department can be riddled by inanities of many kinds.

 EICHMANNISM  Many readers of this article will know of similar stories. Those of us who have been around for a while have an endless number of them, perhaps well described as ‘eichmannism taking over from plain common sense’. The cause, too frequently, is that we teachers, well known for giving-in easily, as a rule, and behaving in a way  that we think we are expected to behave, do as we are told too easily.  The introduction of NAPLAN represents an instance of inanity taking over from professionalism and teaching ethics…and taking possession of the curriculum because our  teachers knew what was expected of them[in the eyes of our politicians]; that is  to be nice, compliant, obedient people and not be the rigorous, firm, fearless kind of professional that marks a proud species.  We are not known for being brave, in any professional or ethical sense.

 Obedience, born of the kind of coercive control that always threatens independent democratic progress and does not expect high levels of enthusiasm or progressive initiative, has maintained itself through the ages.  When NAPLAN was introduced by the new managerialists and ill-informed politicians , who ignored the basic elements of liberal democracy and [1]…used totalitarian coercion to force  easy-to-tests on the school curriculum, expecting only  mediocre outcomes; [2]…. hid the rights of parents to make a choice; and [3]…. pretended that standardises basic testing was an acceptable routine curriculum activity, eichmannism seemed to be the only choice for school administrators.   Principals observed tradition and  were easy to ‘cattle pen’.   They chorused, “Yes, Sir. How high?”

 Although such cowering thoughtless obedience has been a trademark since children started to be prepared en masse for the mills of England, there was a time that one was fortunate enough to live through….the freedom years of the 1960s and 1970s.  When ‘freedom to learn’ originating from the British primary school and the landmark Lady Plowden’s Report 1967,  “Children and their primary schools” gained traction for over a decade or so in the 60s and 70s and the world progressed and produced lateral thinkers who are now providing the social goodies that we are enjoying now, it was so delightful. Principals themselves controlled their individual curriculum activities. Teachers were in control of the teaching/learning act and classrooms became exciting learning centres. It was a wonderful period of exciting school learning and It gave us a taste of the possible. Red-necked traditionalist found the times uncomfortable but it made many others think about the art of teaching.

 Then, when managerialism was released from the  Harvard Business School, in the mid-80s,  used and promoted by political wankers, identified by their brown noses,  whose ambitions were bigger than their knowledge of organisational outcomes, leadership became confused. Plumbers started to repair automobiles. There were serious consequences for educational enterprises; and professionalism lost its way.  Ignorant of the limits of the nitty-gritty of teaching and learning, politically-sponsored bureaucratic commands took control of our schools; ignorant of the effects of their directions on the learning chances of children,  good teaching became  identifiable only in the non-test-prep hours. The mediocre has now become the norm while the system fiddles with the gathering of  useless data. After witnessing post-2008 organisational clownsmanship usurp a vision of  what might have been, as part of  70 years of witnessing many different kinds of influences from many different sources and from many different observation posts,  I now despair for our teachers and our kids of the present day.  They’re getting it tough. School education is at the lowest point it has been in over half of a century.

 Worse still, the future of Australia is in jeopardy and Its long term future cannot be secure while NAPLAN is around;  and while politicians who consider themselves liberals and progressives are fans of such testing procedures. Because of the present approved nature of schooling and hounding of its professional staff, schools are prevented from producing the kind of brain-power that a country like ours needs.

 Marion Brady makes this point in a recent [Aug.27] article in the Washington Post, “Why school is a confusing mental mish-mash for kids.” 

 https://www.washingtonpost. com/news/answer-sheet/

 Brady notes, as all reasonable educators do, that “Learners discover and deepen their understanding of relationships [between and among aspects of reality] by inferring, hypothesizing, predicting, sequencing, extrapolating, valuing, generalising and so on – thought processes too complex and interwoven to be to be evaluated by standardised tests.”  Billions of dollars, trillions of hours, and intellectual potential beyond measure are being wasted on tests that dumb kids down.”

 If this kind of statement does not make sense to testucrats, nothing ever will!

 Australia is succeeding in its effort to institute a mish-mash system that can only end in dumbing down the whole bloody country.

 I don’t think I’d select teaching as a first-choice professional occupation as keenly as I did way back in my teen ages, when I dreamed of becoming a primary school teacher; and I certainly would think seriously about sending my child to a school that had allowed NAPLAN to enter its premises. The teaching profession has gone to the pack and the presence of NAPLAN  says something about the school and its management that scares me.

 Besides taking over our schools, eichmannist principles also apply to the teaching act itself.   Our government seems to believe that didactic forms of teaching, supported by regular, compulsory, standardised tests of achievement is the way to run a classroom. OMG. Witness the allocation of many millions of dollars to packaged direct instruction merchandise.  A show-off, loud-mouthed Gradgrind-follower Minister  demanded its use; some teaching pretenders found comfort with the approach and then one group of victims revolted, having not learned anything to their parents’ satisfaction.  It’s an example of how our system, on every measure possible, is heading downhill.  It’s  too obvious.

 The most recent PISA results should surely persuade testucators of all kinds to consider professional hari kari and disembowel themselves of their nonsense.

 It’s so easy for a Principals’ association of any kind to act professionally and tell its political masters that it can no longer tolerate the ideologies on which the present system is based. But they wont. Why don’t school principals do this ? Have they lost their way? Are they too busy with internal  “club” activities to be bothered? What’s going on?

 PRETENDERS  When high level sciolists [of limited practical teaching knowledge] are placed in charge of an education system, they breed battalions of pretenders whose vanity disposes them to make statements about curriculum and its evaluation as if it was their own toothbrush. [Darwin said something like that in his discourse about some other peculiar species.] In Australia, some mechanical data-bound score-crazy accountants, able to enact their base prejudices and new-found influence, have claimed the field for neo-liberal purposes . Appointed to control a testing status quo in contravention of basic teaching and learning principles, they are measurement crazed and they are manipulated by forces whose purpose is rooted in politics and profit. Because they have a grit feeling that they may be right, despite the evidence to the contrary, they assume that they possess the definitive word about the learning habits of the young and what true-blue classroom teaching behaviour entails.  The most recent PISA results have shown, in hard  measurement terms, that this stance has failed. Will we be correcting the shemozzle any time soon?   The kleinist, fear-based notions that support NAPLAN have not produced the goods, but now that  our erstwhile so-called politico-education leaders, doyens of pretence, having eased themselves into an ideology of self-belief and control-power, they will persist with kleinism, simply because it exists. It has such base beginnings and built-in failure factors and they have flexed their big-business-based muscles so much  that they must continue to force better test results rather than to use humanitarian forms of evaluation and accountability in the application of sustained learning. It won’t work, but it will be maintained for many years and become part of the framework of Australian schooling for another generation of unhappy kids.

 Let me repeat : NAPLAN will continue its useless dumbing down of learning simply because the test itself exists.

 How long will this mish-mash last?

 NSW is about to introduce the branding of social status by using soft testing of Year 1s.  It’s diagnostic of course, better than teacher opinion it is said, and it will help our leaders to see if the Year 2 and 3 teachers have done their job as adjudged when the cohort is naplaned in Year 3.  Sarcasm aside, will arrangements be made for parents to express a choice ? Can parents be assured that the remediation processes are reliable? If the tests are one-on-one, it seems essential that teachers do them for their own pupils; but where do they get the time? Please explain.

 Is this sort of thing an indication that our testing industry is too cocky and has gone crazy.. …that it doesn’t know what happens in classrooms? Don’t they know that children are pre-wired [Brady] to make sense of the world and to love learning and want to learn as much as they can?  Why do our test-crazy monsters want to spoil their lives?

 The 2008 shot-gun wedding of testucators and politicians, paid for by big business, needs an early, clean, decisive divorce. Let the testucators continue with the weighing of pigs to see if the measuring helps the pigs to gain weight and the politician continue kissing the backsides of the rich and powerful. Stay away from our kids!  School education needs to be returned to a more humane pedagogy in the hands of school professionals who know what they are doing, who will not tolerate school invasions of the klein kind or child-abusive violence of the NAPLAN kind.  Australia has the capacity to show the world what school learning is all about, but not while this domineering politicised husbandry of teaching remains. For the present, we are heading the wrong way. Lost. Schooling by test scores  is not schooling.

 Most advanced countries want an education system that will ensure its advancement…. not just its survival.  We’re behind the times. We’re too confused.

 INANITY  The pursuit of this cane-toad-type project invented by a callous Big Apple  lawyer, which was failing in its own paddock when it was borrowed, and then released  before considering the future outcomes,  is not exactly the mark of a wise government. Then, to hand the project over to a sciolist group of ardent testucators with authority to use  as an integral part of a national curriculum is a cause for concern. Combine this with the promotion of tedious eichmannism amongst its educational pretenders and you have pure and simple inanity, 

 The vision of a country that provides neighbourhood schools where teachers are skilled at using a variety of strategies and techniques that range from the maieutic to the didactic, and who follow  known learning principles to help children to extend themselves as far as they can and to enjoy a learning life in the happiest of circumstances is not beyond us.

 Let’s take off our waist-coats and get into making kids lives better and more productive.


Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486  07 5524 6443              
Please make sure that you read Marion Brady’s hot-off-the-press article.

What is music?

 Hello from Treehorn…

 Music is a school subject that is one of the first to be scrapped while any kind of test-preparation is in hand. It’s not important according to Naplanists and testucators.

That’s one of the great traditions of the Australian testucation system.

Music folk don’t agree…..


  Would you like to be human? 

 Remember Postmann and Weingartners’ Vaccination Theory of Education  about subjects that exist in complete isolation from each other, especially at upper levels of schooling:

  ‘English is not like history and history is not science and science is not art and art is not music and art and music are minor subjects and a subject is something you ‘take’ and when you have taken it, you have ‘had it’ and if you have ‘had it’, you are immune and need not take it again.’?

 ….and Australian NAPLAN is a specialty that replaces major subjects. Only subjects that can be tested in NAPLAN tests are important subjects because value-judgments can be made only about  NAPLAN results. Nothing else that a school does is more  important. The methods used to impart NAPLAN bits are in inverse proportion to their significance to the learning process; but children will get a good job if they have ‘done good’ at NAPLAN.

Forward to fundamentals. For politicians who read about the important issues.

 Treehorn says ‘hello’…….

 “An example of crass political stupidity: If the Labor Party had thoroughly examined the impact of kleinism and NAPLAN, which are based clearly on ‘motivation by fear’, and had made ‘Ban NAPLAN’ part of its election commitments, it would have increased its voting numbers by tens of thousands.  There are heaps of teachers and concerned parents out there who would have willingly subscribed to the catch cry if it had been emphasised.  The evil of NAPLAN has been clearly validated and the ALP would have had a push-over. Even fair-dinkum liberal Libs. would have voted Labor.   The same admonition applies to all political parties.  Political parties can’t count.”

 Forward to Fundamentals

Silly Labor Party

 It’s all over. The coalition has a majority of one.  Chaos for another few years. We’ll fiddle around with gay marriages, superannuation, immigration, equal pay, trade unions, banking, pensions without addressing fundamental and vital issues concerning the direction of Australia’s economic and social future. I suspect that our PM would like to address more worthy  and more critical issues than those currently on the agenda, but is not allowed to do so.

 Australia seems to have about 100 years before we are completely embedded in an Asian culture of some sort and our children’s children and theirs will be part of it. Historian Ian Morris: “WHY THE WEST RULES – FOR NOW “  (Profile Books, 2011)  gives ‘us’ until 2103 [Don’t ask]. How well will our children’s children survive?  Should we care?  Nah…

 Well, at present we don’t  care much about the near future or our children’s part in it;  anything beyond next year is beyond us. Our education system, with its ‘back to drastics’ whimpishness,  under the control of an endless number of politicians, experts and media commentators,  who, in turn do what our father who art in New York wants them to do,  is in a mess, but we do nothing about it.

 Our system is a mish-mash-mess. Is the education of our children important or isn’t it?   Why do we pussy-foot around its importance?

 All the smarty pants [SMH Editorial 29/08/16] blame the quality of the teaching force for the decline in scores on PISA tests. That seems to be about the highest level of ‘intelligent’ public comment .  While all professions can be cited for improvement, Australians tend to pick on the teaching profession  because teachers give in so easily.  They’re easy meat.  If one travels overseas, however, one finds that there is nobody as efficient in the classroom as an Aussie teacher.  They are generally regarded as the best in the world. Where did our fellow whimps and know-it-alls get the idea that teacher quality is poor and is the cause of diminishing scores in NAPLAN tests, upon which nincompoops rely for value judgements of school performance? Cowardly Aussie commentators don’t bother to examine the subversive nature of the tests themselves  while such soft uncomplaining targets are available. Too easy.

 An example of crass political stupidity: If the Labor Party had thoroughly examined the impact of kleinism and NAPLAN,  both based clearly on ‘motivation by fear’, and had subsequently made ‘Ban NAPLAN’ part of its election commitments – for known reasons – it would have increased its voting numbers by tens of thousands.  There are heaps of teachers and knowledgeable concerned parents out there who would have willingly subscribed to the catch cry  ‘Ban NAPLAN’ if it had been emphasised. Even liberal Liberals would have voted Labor.  The evil has been clearly validated and the ALP would have had a push-over. The same admonition applies to all political parties.  They don’t seem to give a stuff about kids.  And….Political parties, certainly the ALP,  just can’t count.

 These comments do not take account of the financial cost. No politician is brave enough to reveal how much the administration of NAPLAN testing costs. It is said to exceed $20 million. $30 million has been mentioned. More like a billion dollars when every aspect of kleinism in taken into account.  What is the cost of the tablets being provided just to make the test results get to testucrats asap, so that the data can be compiled? What is the cost of waste?

 NAPLAN is a complete waste of money and time[“Millions of dollars and trillions of hours.” according to Brady]. You can bet London to a brick that the savings that can be made by its abolition will not be one of the measures for our famous omnibus. But then the money can be transferred internally to useful activities that Education Departments perform. Let’s hope so.

 Let’s guesstimate  that NAPLAN  IS costing millions and millions of dollars. Over a billion!  Probably. Can Australia afford to chuck so much down the drain for such universally known, worthless enterprises?  Does Mr. Morrison like NAPLAN so much?  Wouldn’t Mr. Pyne prefer to spend the money on another submarine that will prevent an anticipated armed invasion [from New Zealand? ] at some time during the remainder of this century?  Do our thinking caps fit?

 Don’t these people and their colleagues want the best for their children?

 Which all begs the question……Where are our priorities?  Can we afford to be so inane…insane…crude….plain stupid?   Where are we going?  How did Finland and other places develop a philosophy of achievement and joy in learning ?  Why can’t we?  It’s not what they do now, but how did they arrange it? Why don’t we have a clear vision?  Why don’t our kids love learning for what it is?  Why do we keep just chucking money around on the worthless?  With a bit of Aussie gumption, we can do better than any other country on the planet.

 Bugger it. Nobody’s interested.

Phil Cullen 07 5524 6443  0407865999

NAPLAN-type tests for graduating teachers.


Australian Graduating Teachers Take Tests

 We are going to test graduating teachers using NAPLAN style of testing in literacy and numeracy that the system itself promised to impart to one and all.

 Come off  it, Birmingham, Hattie,  ACER,  ACEL,  ACE,  AEU,  APPA,  ACPPA,   ASPA.

 Where are our professional standards ?

 What is going on?


How childish can we get?

 Amongst the plethora of associations, councils and groups pretending to be guardians of our schools and other educational institutions, is there an Australian Council for Professional Ethics in Education?    There is an obvious need for the thorough examination of political innovations such as these tests and of any standardised blanket tests and of their effects, well before they are introduced. Present day easy compliance with crude, sudden declarations of political quirks is not the mark of professional ethics nor of political wisdom nor of concern for our country’s future nor of ethical protection of its children.  It seriously demeans the profession to which one claims to be a member.

 Such petty approaches are unworthy of us.  Can’t Australian think big?  This kind of denigration of the teaching profession by the testing mafia is counter-productive.  Teachers in Finland start with a Masters degree and recent school reforms indicate that more of what they do in  schools is appropriate, wheras more of the same in the USA – THE KIND OF COERCIVE MENTALITY THAT AUSTRALIA CONTINUES TO COPY – can be disastrous. Don’t we know where to go? Please read this comment by an American academic located in Finland….

 Serious professional teachers need to be heard for the sake of Australian children.

 If there was such a council, it would be a busy one.

 What is stopping us from discussing professional ethics, how children learn, how schooling helps children to learn, the role of teachers in the classroom?  We could come up with a system that would out-Finn the Finns.

 Australian schooling has run off the rails.


Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486              

Education Readings September 2nd

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

It’s not about the tablets. It’s about the learning

José Picardo: when schools buy tablets, they must put learning first.

‘Providing pupils with mobile devices is an enormous decision for any school, and it is one that must be considered carefully. If you start from the assumption that providing pupils and staff with shiny slabs of aluminium and glass is all that is required and that everything else will take care of itself afterwards because “the children know how to use them anyway”, then you are in for a shock. Bringing in hundreds of mobile devices and only then worrying about the pillars that will prop up your mobile learning project is a recipe for disaster.’

The ‘halo effect’ that helps beautiful students get better marks

Thanks to Phil Cullen for this link.

‘Good-looking boys have hit the jackpot when it comes to success at school and university. But girls who perhaps aren’t known for their looks could be in trouble. It’s called the “halo effect” and it’s having a noticeable impact on students’ grades.’

Focusing on tests and invalid assessments is the wrong way to measure teacher quality

Another link from Phil Cullen:

‘Recent policies such as the rise of the inspectorate and the use of graduation tests for students and teachers in Australia seem to be taking us back to the old world of external, invalid measures. The assessment of teaching should start with respecting teachers rather than inspecting them.’

Change your thinking, change your mindset

Tom Barrett:

‘A maxim that I have been testing, applying and thinking about a great deal over the last few years is that “nothing changes unless mindset changes.” On reflection, admittedly it is a little extreme, however it does present an urgent (and often much needed) provocation regarding the way we are thinking about learning in schools and other organisations.’

What Kind of Work?

‘What kind of work are students doing in your classroom? To what end? What is the purpose of the work they are doing? Do they even know? Do you know why you are assigning the things you assign? (Sorry, that last bit sounded nasty, but we need to talk about this.) Think about the last thing you set before your students, whether as an in-class task, or as homework. What was the purpose of that work? The ready answer is perhaps, “To help them learn <fill in the blank with appropriate content>.” Okay, sure. I’m with you there. But my question remains, and it really is more philosophical, I guess: What is the real purpose of that work?’

The HeART of the Matter – the Gordon Tovey Experiment.

A review of a movie about a very influential New Zealand educator whose affect on Arts and Crafts was immense, back in the day before New Zealand was severely damaged by the current neoliberal agenda.

‘The film explains how Tovey hand picked high performing students from various teacher training colleges, invited them to an interview and then had conversations with them about what they liked doing artwise.  He then selected a group to take to Dunedin to train as Art Specialists. These Art Specialists were then sent all over the country to run workshops for teachers and do demonstrations in classrooms to encourage teachers to have the confidence to teach art.  This was part of Beeby’s plan to change the appearance of classrooms in accordance with his modernisation of the education system.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

What the modern world has forgotten about children and teaching, and solutions to ensure all students learn.

Bruce’s latest article.

‘Modern Western learning and teaching based on ‘collecting data on human learning  of children’s behaviour in school is like collecting data on killer whales based on their behavior at Sea World.’

5 Steps to Unleash Your Creativity

‘Nearly all great ideas follow a similar creative process and this article explains how this process works. Understanding this is important because creative thinking is one of the most useful skills you can possess. Nearly every problem you face in work and in life can benefit from creative solutions, lateral thinking and innovative ideas.’

7 Ways to Destroy Your Creativity

On the other hand …

‘The biggest assassin, though, the not-silent-killer of creativity is this:

Doing nothing.

Plenty of novels are abandoned, canvases left blank, photos left untaken, and word documents left with the cursor blinking serenely through this one easy hack.

By doing nothing, you too can kill your creativity for a lifetime.

In fact, it’s the only way to assure you do.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Why schools don’t educate.

John Taylor Gatto: Why schools don’t educate. If you’ve not read his work, now’s a good time to start.

‘We live in a time of great school crises, Gatto began his presentation, ‘and we need to define and redefine endlessly what the word education should mean. Something is wrong. Our school crisis is a reflection of a wider social crisis – a society that lives in the constant present, based on narcotic consumption’ In his 25 years of teaching Gatto has noticed that schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant. The truth is, he believes, schools don’t teach anything but how to obey orders not withstanding the efforts of countless human caring teachers. In spite of the teachers hard work the institution of school is psychopathic – it has no conscience. Every thing revolves around the bell, timetable and fragmented learning.’

Leave the learning to the kids!

‘Education is too important for adults to take so seriously – such seriousness kills the creative spirit that is every child’s evolutionary inheritance. Schools, like doctors should at least do no harm! Progress depends on first imagining possibilities. As Einstein said,’Imagination is more important than knowledge for knowledge is limited whereas imagination embraces the entire world stimulating progress giving birth to evolution’.He also said it was a miracle that children’s’ sense of wonder was not crushed by modern schooling.’

Educating Boys…and girls?

‘Sometimes it seems easier to think about who succeeds at schools than who don’t. All too often schooling does not suit boys. This is the thesis of a book, yet to be published, by Massey University Education Lecturer Michael Irwin. My blog is simply an edited extract published in the Sunday Times. It would seem to be a book well worth acquiring. Much of what the extract says reflects what those who have long believed important – an activity/inquiry arts based programme is the basis of productive learning. And such programmes would also suit girls by making them more adventurous? And it makes light of the Government’s current push to focus even more on literacy and numeracy with their reactionary National Standards!’