Education Readings October 28th

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allanalach@inspire.net.nz

So who says competition in the classroom is inevitable?

Thanks to Phil Cullen for this link about what appears to be an excellent book.

‘In this extract from her new book Beautiful Failures, the Guardian’s Lucy Clark tackles the culture of contests and rankings at school, arguing that for children – indeed all of us – it is unnecessary and damaging.’

‘In personally questioning the role of competition in education I have lost count of the number of people who have said to me, yes, but life is competitive and school is just a training ground for the sort of competition our kids will face as adults in the real world.

Is that what school should be? A warm-up for the main game? A simulation of grown-up life, where we wake up in the morning, put on our armour and go out to compete in a dog-eat-dog world?’

http://bit.ly/2ewEhP4

Teaching is among the ‘top three most stressed occupations’

I doubt that this is news to teachers, and it’s getting worse.

“Of all the occupations I’ve studied, and that’s about 80, teachers are in the top three most stressed occupations,” he said. “The hours are long and antisocial, the workload is heavy and there is change for change’s sake from various governments.”   

http://bit.ly/2f8ybqg

The Ticking Clock of Teacher Burnout

‘Initially, I believed that Finland was an outlier with the amount of time it offers teachers to plan, assess, and collaborate on a daily basis. But, later, I’d discover that this kind of arrangement is fairly typical among countries that excel on international standardized assessments, such as the PISA. Take Singapore, for example.’

http://theatln.tc/2eHyX9i

Technology reform full of good ideas, poorly executed

Politicians, seduced by computers and online instruction, could do well to read this.

‘And perhaps the most disappointing finding is that technology seems of little help in bridging the skills divide between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Put simply, ensuring that every child attains a baseline level of proficiency in mathematics seems to do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than subsidising access to high-tech devices and services.’

http://bit.ly/2eH6XWg

Teaching With Your Mouth Shut

‘The alternative to teaching through telling is what Finkel calls “teaching with your mouth shut.” In this model, teachers step back and become silent observers, rather than putting on a performance like an actor in a play. Instead of being “carriers of knowledge,” we become humble enough to say “I don’t know.” Instead of tightly controlling the learning process, we allow students to find their own solutions, thus “creating circumstances that lead to significant learning in others.” Refusing to teach through telling is also refusing to accept the traditional view of what being an educator means.’

http://bit.ly/2eNs9rF

The importance of creativity and shaking things up

‘So, circling back to the classroom, are we giving our pupils the chance to practice the skills required to become part of this creative class and reap the economic and personal rewards that come with it? My experience is that, on average, we are still preparing children and young adults for jobs based on outdated processes, subservience and narrow, short term thinking. To be fair, it is still the perfect system for anyone looking to become a university academic.’

http://bit.ly/2eSqtwH

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Quality learning: William Glasser – ‘Schools without Failure’ ; and Jerome Bruner – solving ‘learning blocks’.

Bruce’s latest article:

‘A number of years ago many schools implemented the ideas of Dr William Glasser. Glasser had written a number of books  all with a focus on achieving quality work for all students without teachers using coercion. Glasser’s belief is that, with the appropriate conditions, all students can do quality work but, it would be fair to say, many teachers find this hard to believe.’

http://bit.ly/2eH4oDw

Why Education, Not Punishment, Is The Solution To Reducing Crime

A brilliant and touching TED talk illustrating how poverty is linked to prison rates.

http://bit.ly/2dXZuAN

How Can Schools Prioritize For The Best Ways Kids Learn?

‘The education world is full of incremental change — the slow process of individuals learning about new strategies and approaches, trying them out, improving on their skills, and hopefully sharing their learning with colleagues to continue growth. While that process is necessary and good, if the changes to education are all in the service of doing the same thing better, they may be missing the point. The world has changed since education became compulsory and the current moment necessitates an education system that isn’t just better, but different.’

http://bit.ly/2eccmBb

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Developing a democratic curriculum.

Relating back to the ideas of John Dewey James Beane  believes that if people are to live democratic lives they must have the opportunity to learn what that way of life means. His ideas are based on the ability of students to participate in their own education. Democratic schools share a child centred approach but their larger goal is to change the undemocratic conditions of school themselves and in turn to reach out to the wider community.’

http://bit.ly/1JglCA9

Pride through personal excellence

‘It seems these days teachers rush through tasks to ‘deliver’ or ‘cover’ the curriculum. The idea of doing things well has been lost in this rush yet we all know that pride of achievement comes from succeeding so well at a task we even surprise ourselves. As a result students produce little of real substance. Teachers are too busy proving what they have done to focus on the more important need to see each student does the very best work they can. All the criteria and feedback formative assessment means little if the teachers have no idea of excellence.’

http://bit.ly/2eSotEs

Experience and Education -John Dewey 1938

‘Such a lot of the ideas expressed today have their genesis in the ideas of John Dewey.That Dewey’s ideas have yet to be fully realised says something for the power of conservatism in education. ‘Experience in Education’ is Dewey’s most concise statement of his ideas written after criticism his theories received. In this book Dewey argues that neither ‘traditional ‘ nor ‘progressive ‘ ideas are adequate and he outlines a deeper point of view building on the best of both. The following are ideas he expresses in his book.’

http://bit.ly/17J12HR

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The Moral Crisis

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. [Dante]

The Moral Crisis

How do we treat our children?

My twilight years are fading and my preciously held dreams of a schooling system where children will love learning for its own sake and be anxious to get to a school each day because of the wonderful, happy, play-ridden and challenging activities that the school provides, and that they would exit school with much more enthusiasm for learning than they did when they started, seem to have disappeared. Their teachers, I had foreseen, which we already have, will form a warm bond of cooperative learning, that is embedded in the true meaning of PUPIL, with each child anxious to learn because of the special bond with a person anxious to teach them. There would be no fear of learning, no restrictions on the limits, no stress that might effect anyone’s attitude to learning each and every day. Teachers would be trusted to teach in their own way and each school would be free to do the sorts of things it wanted. There would be ‘Freedom to Learn’

I had hoped to leave the place in better condition than when I entered it, but, bugger, the Australian system of schooling is declining rapidly….and it doesn’t give a fig about the way it treats its children. I’m truly saddened by what I see and hear. Its nasty, politically-driven way of ordering schools around is perilous. NAPLAN’s corruption of all the goodness in the curriculum is grossly immoral because it deliberately threatens the mental health of millions of young Australians. Recent extensions of testucation to the very young, to graduands and beginning teachers are ludicrous and downright stupid. They grow every year, madly uncontrolled.

The morality of the way our politicians tell schools how to treat children is gross. We must free our kids.
Our pollies can re-set the course tomorrow if we tell them to do so.
They need to cancel NAPLAN as a first step only.

We have the children and the teachers who want to share happy, effective learning experiences. They are there now in happy groups ready to GO; and they try hard despite the commands of those who still live in the dark ages, who prefer emetic methods of instruction and ‘tough love’ exchanges…all so that each ‘student’ [vis-a-vis ‘pupil’] can reach a mediocre standard in selected topics that are easily measureable. Data. Data. Data. That’s what teachers are expected to do these days…..generally, doing as they are told….. by the politico-corporate duopoly whose intentions have been suspect since the Testing Industry, as a separate entity from the Schooling Industry, assumed power over schooling processes in a number of western countries. Pollies have selected testucation over education.

The Testing Industry established itself in Australia in 2008 as a serious business enterprise, after Joel Klein, the New York lawyer who invented fear-based Kleinism, visited Australia as a guest of the banking industry. [Yes, the same big four!] Banks want to employ geniuses on their counters, not those from the lower base of the bell-shaped curve. Since they are stuck with selections from the honest school plodders, they applaud the use of crash-bang-wallop techniques in schools to force-feed higher measureable scores in numeracy…in the manner that Klein advocated. That kind of force, added to the Rudd-Gillard press for a new election trick, was exerted on the standard timidity of the teaching profession which succumbed very quckly. They produced NAPLAN…. a blunt weapon of the testucrats and their ‘godfathers’. To the ‘ho-hum’ of historians, they dug-up the old reliable tormentor: ‘Back to Basic Standards”, with a new face : More fear. Cunning parental deceit. Slick rhetoric. Cooperative media. Deafening media silence on important topics. Sham professional groups selling their souls for sponsorship. Unlimited public money for testing. Moral degeneracy was in the very air.

While ‘Back to Basics’ lobbies emerge every few years, this one is lasting much longer than usual….much longer than it should. I had thought that School principal groups and professional associations would have refused to have anything to do with it on ethical grounds from Day One – the maltreatment of children – and, having had a trial, the force of ethical opinion would cause NAPLAN to disappear at least by 2010. I was wrong….very, very, disappointingly wrong. The style of ‘client capture’ by managerialists had been refined; and some groups now remain hard-wired to willing corporate sponsors. Kids don’t matter any more.

[When I first heard of the NAPLAN requirements I suggested to the President of APPA that he should have said at the outset, “No way, Julia. We don’t do that sort of thing to children.” Great bloke. He had an answer, but …….]

The biggest effects of the GERM movement have been on child welfare. Never before, in modern times, have children been so maltreated by governments. Illness, depression, bullying, suicides, family disruption, diminishing family coffers…. all part of the 2016 school landscape, thanks to NAPLAN. The increase in the timidity of those who should be most concerned is mind-blowing; and the scandal that it is more than basic timidity, is mind-blowing.

The willy-nilly use of fear-based standardised testing – on 5-year olds in Year 1, 7 year-olds in Year 3, all pupils to Year 9, the linkage of Year 9 tests to Year 12 graduation; on neophyte teachers; on public money allocated to states……all in the interest of “getting more bang for the buck” [Bimingham] is a despicable, destructive way to conduct an education system.

WHEN WILL WE EVER THINK OF THE KIDS AND HOW THEY LEARN AND HOW THEY SHOULD BE TAUGHT…AND TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS WITHOUT FEAR … how happy they are at school, how much joy they find in learning, how ‘lasting’ their school experiences are, whether they leave school with much more interest and joy and zest for learning than they had when they started, whether the period leading up to and including NAPLAN week in May is as much learning-fun as the rest of the year. Schooling, after all, is about KIDS.

These are very serious issues.

Have you ever thought you would see the day when a mother would be so concerned about the effects that our test-crazy system of schooling was having on her child that she would do extensive research and probing and thinking and talking and pondering and then write a book about it? And that book would become a best seller? Even her article about the book received tens of thousands of ‘hits’ on Facebook. Yes, there have also been some stirring articles written in recent times by expert insider teachers that have drawn the attention of the public to the kind a schooling that has been introduced to Australia, but when have you ever read such a comprehensive description such as Lucy Clark’s on the experiences of her daughter? Its insight into schooling activities in this day and age is exceptional.

The public is awakening, Treehorn. Take heart.

Somebody cares.

The book, Beautiful Failures, is a classic. The author has remarkable insight into the subject of schooling. Some of her chapter headings are intriguing: Square Pegs, round holes. Darling, we just want to make you happy. Where’d I come from? The pressure pyramid. Adolescence, lost. Stealing childhood. A wedge between generations. What should education be? Welcome to Education Theory High. Because I say so. The mythical place down the road. Teachers, kindness and making time for compassion.

If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favour.

If, when you have finished it. and don’t think that we are on the edge of a deep national moral crisis, I despair totally.

_________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen, 41 Cominan Avenue, Banora Point, Australia 2486
o7 5524 6443        0407865999
cphilcullen@bigpond.com
Refer: ‘Who’s Who in Australia’

Education Readings October 21st

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allanalach@inspire.net.nz

Noam Chomsky on the Dangers of Standardized Testing

“The assessment itself is completely artificial. It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential, explore their creative interests. Those things you’re not testing.. it’s a rank that’s mostly meaningless. And the very ranking itself is harmful. It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank. Not into doing things that are valuable and important.”

http://bit.ly/1waGc0j

‘Schools must appoint teacher coaches to keep staff up to speed with rapid changes in technology’

‘Probably the biggest problem teachers have is the rapid rate of change that occurs in our computer-driven culture. Things change so fast, that we are now faced with “data obsolescence”. That which we believe to be true today, may not be true, or might be replaced by another fact or improvement in the upcoming year. Unless the very system that educates our population keeps up with these changes in a timely fashion it will itself in time become irrelevant. The model of professional development that the system relies on most heavily is the same system that has been in place for at least century.’

http://bit.ly/2ekaU1r

How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

‘However talented, no one is a natural-born teacher. Honing the craft takes significant care and effort, not just by the individual, but also by the school at large. Though experience does matter, it matters only to the extent that a teacher — regardless of how long he or she has been in the classroom — commits to continued professional development to refresh his or her status as a transformational teacher.’

http://edut.to/2b2HWyS

This viral video perfectly sums up what’s wrong with education today, and how we can change it

‘Here, he’s pointing to the lack of freedom that teachers often have to adapt classes in the most effective way for their individual students. Teachers, he says, “have the most important job on the planet” and “should earn just as much as doctors”. But far from appreciating their expertise and efforts, politicians force them into restrictive boxes.’

http://bit.ly/2entVQR

The dark side of classroom behavior management charts

‘With each new school year come shiny new behavior management systems decorating the walls of elementary classrooms. From sticker charts to clip charts to color cards, teachers choose bright and engaging systems with the hope that a little incentive might lead to improved student behavior. The thing is, these systems rarely work for any extended period of time.’

http://wapo.st/2eyukPe

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

#DSXOAK: A prototype school comes to life

‘If you could completely re-design the school experience, giving students the greatest possible creative agency, how would you do it?That’s what d.school edu fellow David Clifford is prototyping in West Oakland this weekend during his design sprint. David is a self-described “agitator” who “love[s] to mess with old ideas.”“The thing that we’re trying to do is redesign high school for the 21st century kid to help them navigate and affect change in the 21st century,” said David.“The current school model is still building kids to navigate the 19th and 20th century.” That model is meant to “manage humanity instead of inspire it.”’

http://stanford.io/2eluUDX

Arts-Infused Project-Based Learning: Crafting Beautiful Work

“I would argue that the arts is project-based learning,” says Emily Crowhurst, a music teacher. “In every music lesson, whether it’s a project lesson or what you might deem a typical lesson, there are project-based learning techniques going on naturally in the way that students are constantly critiquing and rehearsing what they’re creating; and they’re always working towards an end project that will have an authentic audience.”

http://edut.to/2dBbqsg

Embracing Failure: Building a Growth Mindset Through the Arts

Teach your students the recipe for success: taking risks, making mistakes, and integrating critical feedback.

‘At New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA) — a dual arts and academic curriculum — failure is taught as an important part of the journey toward success. Understanding that mistakes are indicators for areas of growth, freshmen learn to give and receive feedback. By senior year, students welcome tough, critical feedback — and even insist on it.’

http://edut.to/2dBa8NG

Rainstorms and Symphonies: Performing Arts Bring Abstract Concepts to Life

‘When early elementary teachers integrate music and theater, student learning improves in reading, math, and science as they become better critical thinkers and problem solvers.’

http://edut.to/2eiunRH

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Power through reading!

‘Reading, and writing, are not just processes to be ‘achieved’ but are all about power – power of the imagination, power of gaining messages through literature, and power to gain and share ideas that can change how you think. Unless students, particularly those from from families who lack ‘cultural capital’, appreciate this power why would they bother to read or write?.Arguments about literacy never seem to go away. Phonics or whole language arguments occupy literacy critics. Like the nature/ nurture argument the answer is both. Either or arguments only force proponents into corners; the future is always the best of both.’

http://bit.ly/1BYhkEN

Developing a democratic curriculum

‘Relating back to the ideas of John Dewey he believes that if people are to live democratic lives they must have the opportunity to learn what that way of life means. His ideas are based on the ability of students to participate in their own education. Democratic schools share a child centred approach but their larger goal is to change the undemocratic conditions of school themselves and in turn to reach out to the wider community.’

http://bit.ly/1JglCA9

Five Minds for the Future

‘Howard Gardner, renowned worldwide for for his theory of multiple intelligences, shares his latest ideas in his new new book ‘Five Minds for the Future’.Based on the premise that students are entering an accelerating world of change in every area of life Gardner believes that such changes call for new ways of learning and thinking in schools if students are to thrive in the world during the eras to come. The directions our society is taking and the future of our planet demands such ‘new minds’ able to explore creative alternatives for problems that cannot be anticipated.’

http://bit.ly/1Oxmmnt

Education Readings October 14th

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allanalach@inspire.net.nz

The problem of perfectionism: five tips to help your students

‘As well as affecting general well-being, perfectionism can lead to fear of failure. When your whole self-worth and identity are tied to your success, mistakes and setbacks are seen as a threat and you avoid taking risks.

We need to talk about these issues – but where to begin? Here are some tips for helping students manage and overcome perfectionism.’

http://bit.ly/2d8nzGh

Why For-Profit Education Fails

Good…

‘Indeed, over the past couple of decades, a veritable who’s who of investors and entrepreneurs has seen an opportunity to apply market discipline or new technology to a sector that often seems to shun both on principle. Yet as attractive and intuitive as these opportunities seemed, those who pursued them have, with surprising regularity, lost their shirts.’

http://theatln.tc/2dYEJ8M

Teachable Moment

What is a Teachable Moment?

Difficult to achieve in an education environment dominated by accountability/standards/raising achievement etc.

‘A teachable moment is an unplanned opportunity that arises in the classroom where a teacher has an ideal chance to offer insight to his or her students. A teachable moment is not something that you can plan for; rather, it is a fleeting opportunity that must be sensed and seized by the teacher. Often it will require a brief digression that temporarily sidetracks the original lesson plan so that the teacher can explain a concept that has inadvertently captured the students’ collective interest.’

http://abt.cm/2ddwFgi

Education in Africa

The Uberfication of Education by Bridge International Academies.

How a US for-profit, data-driven, education experiment is failing children from poor African families and homogenising culture.’

‘So bottom line. No reliable evidence of efficacy supported by independent academic research conducting randomised school trials.’

We live in a sick world…

http://bit.ly/2e8UVRh

Why do parents take such different approaches to their kids’ education?

Thanks to Phil Cullen for this article.

‘While some children spend the school holidays studying in tutoring centres, enrolled in sports camps or other structured activities, others are left to do their own thing.

So why is it that parents take such different approaches to education and how their children spend their time?’

http://bit.ly/2e97AnA

Getting Curious (Not Furious) With Students

‘When their students act out, I propose the novice teachers do the following: Get curious, not furious. Let’s explore what that means. Rather than a teacher resorting to traditional discipline measures, it behooves the student greatly for the teacher to realize classroom outbursts, verbal defiance, or volatile anger can be symptomatic of repeated exposure to neglect, abuse, or violence. Traumatic stress can also manifest as withdrawal or self-injury.’

http://edut.to/2dfrZWW

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

One best piece of advice to ensure students achieve quality learning and teachers time to teach: ‘Slow the Pace of Work’.

Bruce’s latest article:

‘Too many students spoil what they do by rushing through their tasks working on the principle that ‘first finished is best’. When teachers allow this ‘mindset’ to be an implicit part of the school culture students are not encouraged to stop and think (or reflect) about whatever they are undertaking and, as a result, a frenetic atmosphere can result. Slowing the pace  allows no time for teachers to give students (particularly those struggling) appropriate help.’

http://bit.ly/2dLWsyC

STEM to STEAM

‘Makerspaces are environments that foster passion for projects of all stripes and sizes. If you can dream it, a makerspace will help you breathe life into it.  I christened the makerspace the STEAMworks. The STEAM, as I told anyone who would listen, stood for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The “works” came from what we accomplished there. Even though I was a science and math teacher, I realized a needed to integrate the arts into the science curriculum. The arts play a crucial role in child/learner development and can benefit the STEM classroom and workplace.’

http://bit.ly/2dlEjsl

Ten Tips for Mentoring a Student Teacher

If you have a student teacher in your room here is some good advice.

‘I remember the first time I was asked if I would be willing to have a student teacher. Looking back, I was totally unprepared, both by my experience and by the university, to know what to do as a cooperating teacher. I relied on the experience I had just a few years earlier and tried to model after the cooperating teacher I had—sort of the way some teachers teach today.If you are in the same boat I was in back then, I have a few tips that I hope will be useful.’

http://bit.ly/2dlFZ4I

Students Use Phones, iPads to Create Digital Biographies for Senior Citizens

A simple but powerful idea:

‘A group of Orange County fifth-graders isn’t only reading about history, they’re documenting it.

As part of the Fullerton School District’s narrative writing and listening curriculum, 100 students taking part in the “Story Angels” program have begun interviewing seniors and using technology to create digital biographies of their lives.’

http://bit.ly/2dxi0gG

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Creative Schools – an impossible dream?

‘If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses’ said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.It is hard to believe that something that starts so well results in so many students leaving school with little to show for their experience – and even those deemed successful still have talents and gifts unrealised.’

http://bit.ly/2dlEXWL

What’s wrong with Ability Grouping?

‘New areas of research started to focus what was happening in classrooms which showed that teachers themselves are implicated and maintaining persistent patterns of differential achievement; that ability grouping helps create the very disparities it purports to solve. It does this in subtle and unintended ways through the ways it has on teacher’s thinking and through the impact it has on self-image for children in the ‘lower’ ability groups. It is obvious that teachers do not set out to do their children harm but they also know that children live up or down to what is expected of them.’

http://bit.ly/2eaC6i2

Please explain….

AUSSIE FRIENDS OF TREEHORN

 Please Explain….

 Australia could have the best schooling system in the world, but doesn’t want to try.

 Why doesn’t it talk about schooling ? Why does it force children to be institutionalised and then be nasty to them?  Is it some sort of mystical belief that our politicians follow …that fear and coercion as part of an all-powerful and all-encompassing testing routine really motives people to learn better?  Why does it neglect the great parts of the curriculum?

 Australia plainly wastes heaps and heaps of money on testing.  It costs billions to conduct NAPLAN testing and it knows that the program  is a total waste and is dangerous, but it is reluctant to examine the financial [and human] costs.

 Why does it waste so much on such useless junk? The damage that is being done is staggering. We persist. Why?  Where’s the benefit?  ‘Scuse me…..WHO benefits?

 Some Australians believe that scores on test are indicators of educational standards.   Please explain!

 Why can’t we discuss what happens in schools and what ‘standards’ are all about and what we  do to promote confidence in child learnings?

 Why Australia runs an ordure,  fear-based education system,  copied from one of the weakest systems of schooling in the world.

 Why  is this so?  More successful authorities concentrate on love and encouragement and interest and challenge and dignity and pupil-based evaluation techniques.  Why can’t we ?

 Why state-governments are so toady and fictile when the feds tell them how they should run their schools.

 Don’t states ‘own’ their schooling systems? Haven’t states got any school educators who can run systems as learning systems, say like Finland, that are based on pupilling, instead of testing? Must they comply so easily and just add duplicitous test clones of the worst kind of standardised blanket testing : NAPLAN?

 Why do some states want to brand children as young as 4 years of age as failures? 

They might as well tattoo “Failure” on kids’ chests straight after the Year 1 probe [2017].  The smear lasts forever, in any case.  Can’t we give the young-uns a fair crack of the whip and help them to learn?

 Why  parents are deceived into believing that NAPLAN tests are mandatory?  Few realise that they can ‘opt out’.  Please!! Tell them.

 This is unctuous fascism at work isn’t it?  After nine long years, the freedom of choice has yet to be announced or mentioned in the public arena.  Schools are forbidden to announce that children have a choice. The media seems to be forbidden as well.

 Why so many quality young teachers are leaving the work force, feeling degraded by the expectations and the demands of testucating charlatans?

 When will Australian teachers be allowed to teach properly again?   When will their ethical principles be realised?

 Why teachers, who were once the leaders in the caring professions and respected for their ethical and  prodigious output, have lost their mensch and are now regarded as feeble flunkies,  ethically weak at the knees doing what any ‘hired political gun’ wants them to do.

 Is it because it’s now just a job?  Maybe, one day they will stick up for themselves.  In the meantime the pressure on them from the obscurant  ‘friends of NAPLAN’, hired to prevent the spread of knowledge,  is scary.  After all, our cohort consists of those amongst the best in the world. Let them teach properly.

 Australia wants to prevent its young from learning as much as can be learned and to enjoy the experience.   PLEASE  EXPLAIN!

 Australia persists with a standardised,  mediocre schooling system, maintained for questionable purposes when the sky is the limit.

 PLEASE EXPLAIN !

PLEASE.

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

Serious alert. Gonski & NAPLAN unite.

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”  Dante

 AUSSIE FRIENDS OF TREEHORN

Gonski and NAPLAN unite

Serious alert

Gonski changes from its needs-based ethos to test-based.

NAPLAN increases its levels of debauchery.

 Australia’s sick obsession with numbers applied to the status of the country’s learning habits will certainly continue to push us down towards the lowest of the international ‘achievements’. It’s on the way now. The fake concern of our erstwhile politicians for child welfare and progress continues to be exposed. 

 Tests create disengagement. Disengagement creates failure in test results.  Failure creates mental health problems. Mental health problems create stress for pupils and parents.

The whole system gets sicker and sicker.

 One observation remains constant: Our politicians and their testucrats do not like public school kids.

 Now…..

 The federal minister of education has recently indicated that the levels of Gonksi needs-based funding from the Commonwealth to the States, will be linked to each state’s results on the previous NAPLAN  tests. 

 For many voters that’s raw fascism at work; and those politicians who remain silent on the issue need to be called to account in the public arena. Do they support this change of Gonski ideals….from needs-based to test-based? It’s a despicable way to fund schooling and will do nothing to repair our broken system. This use of fear as a weapon of social activity was a feature of the 1930s, as Pastor Martin Niemolier pointed out at the time.  It was introduced to Australia in 2008 with the intrusion of kleinism.  It destroys a country’s reputation and any learning ethos that it has.

 It’s fear-imbedded ideology is certainly getting out of hand in Australia….now.

 The latest extension to NAPLAN  is the decision to test the 4 and 5 year olds when they enter school [NSW], so that pollies can have a benchmark for all subsequent data gathering. They’ll brand each and every pupil with a number [unless a parent objects to it].

Then they will use NAPLAN tests for 7 and 8 years olds in Year 3…..at the same age as advanced countries lovingly introduce children to play learning at a school….and our testucrats check the brand  [unless a parent objects to it].

 Then they do the same for Years 5,7,9 encouraging professional teachers to provide  plenty of practice and tutoring and homework and  useful modes of cheating and pharmaceuticals for each two-year section of schooling [unless a parent objects to it].  

 One of the craziest is the recent official suggestion of a linkage of NAPLAN results at Year 9 to HSC graduation at Year 12.  That’s a doozy of creative testucation.

 AND

 NOW OUR TEACHERS HAVE TO CONTEST NAPLAN BEFORE  THEY CAN ENTER THE PROFESSION.  PROFESSION !!  WHAT A GREAT PROFESSION! WHERE IS THE TEACHING  PROFESSION?

 WHAT A MESS.         ( ♬ We’ll meet again….  ♬)

 It’s a provocative statement to make, but it does appear that, after nine years of sinking standards of all kinds,  only sensible parents consider the effects of true schooling, compared to those who participate in the artificial schooling according to numbers; and the more alert ones opt out of the use of NAPLAN,  the agent of schooling destruction. Many get in a real tizzy, take their kids to tutors, purchase mind-altering pharmaceuticals, hire counsellors,  pay enormous amounts of money to send their kids to a private school, where, they believe, schooling is better; and generally panic about the place of their kids  in the competition stakes.  Every child should be a winner, shouldn’t each one?

 That’s our system. Yes, Julia. Kleinism has certainly revolutionised schooling in Australia!

 Sadly, at standardised schools, those children, freed by their alert parents from the rigours of being tested and numbered, will, as a rule,  go through the same heavy test-prep routines as the others until the number of learners replaces the number of testees, as they do at advanced schools like Kimberley College where almost all the parents will not permit their children to contest NAPLAN. They, more than most, seem to be able to see through the stupidity and dangers of  standardised blanket testing and the school can get on with the business of learning. The NAPLAN system is absolutely crazy as it exists; and it exists because of the government’s obsession with scores and numbers and data. “No wonder kids keep getting more messed up.” says Lucy Clark –P. 20. “It’s because we judge every inch of their worth by a silly number.”  It’s true. Caring parents opt out.

 {By the way. Weren’t you impressed by the dramatic ending to Lucy Clark’s Beautiful Failures ?  What a remarkable young lady her daughter!}

 If NAPLAN continues, the time is coming when standardised schools will have to provide two levels of schooling.  One level establishes the passing of tests as its centre-point. The ‘fat controllers’ demand it.  The other level recognises the supremacy of the child’s holistic development and the pursuit of learning as its centre-point.  Their parents have pulled them out of the rat-race. Both groups will have to exist in each school, side by side.  The Naplanners and Non-naplanners.  Spare a thought for management.  Staffing arrangements will be tricky.

 Finally. …..while we are flinging NAPLAN tests around everywhere,  how do you think our politicians would  go on, say, the Year 7 NAPLAN tests, prior to selection . Join the teacher neophytes.

 Now. There’s a thought.

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

 

“They came first for the Communists,

and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,

and I did not speak up, because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,

and by that time, no one was left to speak up for me.”

— Pastor Martin Niemöller