Education Readings August 4th

By Allan Alach

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

Why there’s no such thing as a gifted child

‘… the latest neuroscience and psychological research suggests most people, unless they are cognitively impaired, can reach standards of performance associated in school with the gifted and talented. However, they must be taught the right attitudes and approaches to their learning and develop the attributes of high performers – curiosity, persistence and hard work, for example – an approach Eyre calls “high performance learning”. Critically, they need the right support in developing those approaches at home as well as at school.’

http://bit.ly/2uXP9xf

Challenging the Status Quo in Mathematics

‘In short, building relationships between how to solve a problem and why it’s solved that way helps students use what they already know to solve new problems that they face. Students with a truly conceptual understanding can see how methods emerged from multiple interconnected ideas; their relationship to the solution goes deeper than rote drilling.’

http://bit.ly/2ulAs3B

Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud

‘Kagan’s analysis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) concludes that it is more of an invented condition rather than a serious illness. Moreover, he thinks that the pharmaceutical industries and psychiatrists have invented the disorder because of money-making reasons.’

http://bit.ly/2u5vJaV

Guess What? We’re All Born With Mathematical Abilities

‘And also their ability to engage in cardinal reasoning i.e. knowing that the number three — when you see it on a page or hear someone say “three” — that it means exactly three, which is really at the root of our ability to count. This cardinality, in particular, seems to be the most important skill that we can measure at a very young age and then predict whether kids are going to be succeeding in a much broader assessment of math achievement when they enter kindergarten.’

http://bit.ly/2vk8iKG

What Works For Getting Kids to Enjoy Reading?

‘So in fact, getting kids to read will not only improve their reading, it will make them like reading more. Getting children to like reading more in order to prompt more reading is not our only option. We can reverse it—get them reading more, and that will improve reading attitudes and reading self-concept. Well then, how do we prompt a child with negative or indifferent attitudes toward reading to pick up a book?’

http://bit.ly/2vr0err

Harry Potter’s world: keeping spaces for magic making in our schools

‘We need to ensure that the spaces for creative writing and creative learning are not squeezed out of formal education and that the inspiration of Harry Potter and friends can continue to provide the means for young (and not so young people) to become immersed in real/non-real, familiar/strange and magical worlds that can become the gateway to new forms of creating understanding, being and becoming.’

http://bit.ly/2ulxVGG

Digital curriculum completely misses the point

‘I was surprised by the release of the draft digital technologies curriculum content (DTCC) a few weeks ago. Actually, I should say blind-sided. It wasn’t that a digital focus was coming to our curriculum that shocked me (it is well overdue), but rather the rigidity and narrowness of the document. I believe the DTCC has completely missed the point of education, and the place and purpose of digital technologies.’

http://bit.ly/2fa3Urn

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

I Am Not A Hero Teacher

‘However, when the day is done, students often are reluctant to leave. They cluster about in the hall or linger in the classroom asking questions, voicing concerns, just relieved that there’s someone there they can talk to. And that’s reason enough for me to stay. The odds are stacked against me. Help isn’t coming from any corner of our society. But sometimes despite all of that, I’m actually able to get things done. Everyday it seems I help students understand something they never knew before. I’ve become accustomed to that look of wonder, the aha moment. And I helped it happen!’

http://bit.ly/2f9YoFn

How to Be a “Great Student” and Learn Absolutely Nothing At All

‘What happens when you take a child from her sandbox — where she has learned to get dirty, play, laugh, and see the world with wide, curious eyes —to lock her into a “regime of fear” where the new Gods are efficiency and optimization?

Will she still build sand castles?’

http://bit.ly/2uldPMO

How Data is Destroying Our Schools

‘There are teachers who will read this and think I am wrong.  They have heard the drum-beat of data-driven education since they first decided to become teachers, and they – like me, a few years back – still believe that the data is meant for them.

It isn’t.

Data is destroying education, and we need to stop it before it is too late.’

http://bit.ly/2w8bTZZ

Adora Svitak on developing creativity: We need ‘childish’ thinking

‘Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.She also notes that “childish” is often associated, dismissively, with irrational thinking – but says in some cases we can, and do, truly benefit from irrationality.’

http://bit.ly/2u1NdRm

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Education is about playing the whole game 

‘David Perkin’s point is that formal learning rarely gives students a chance to learn to ‘play a whole game’. All too often learning by teaching isolated ‘elements’ first or students are required to ‘learn about’ things because of distant future need. In both cases ( one resulting in a ‘piecemeal’ curriculum the other lacking personal relevance) students struggle to see the point of learning. Perkins contrasts this ‘mindlessness’ to learning a new game. Education , Perkins writes, ‘aims to help people learn what they cannot pick as they go along’ unlike, he say, learning ones first language.’

http://bit.ly/1PxqsZB

Guy Claxton – building learning power.

‘Claxton’s message was that by focusing on developing students ‘learning power’ ( NZs ‘key competencies’) teachers and their students will cope the standards without too much anxiety. As Claxton quoted, ‘Are we preparing our students for a life of tests or the tests of life?’We need , he said, ‘To provide our students with the emotional and cognitive resources to become the ‘confident, connected, life long learners’; the vision of the NZ Curriculum. To achieve this is all about powerful pedagogy.’

http://bit.ly/1G23Q2m

Education Readings June 9th

By Allan Alach

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

Finland Will Become The First Country In The World To Get Rid Of All School Subjects

Thanks to Phil Cullen:

‘How many times have you wondered if you were going to need subjects you were made to learn because the curriculum said so? Finland has decided to change this in their educational system and introduce something which is suitable for the 21st century.

By 2020, instead of classes in physics, math, literature, history or geography, Finland is going to introduce a different approach to life through education. Welcome to the phenomenon based learning!’

http://bit.ly/2qVv8mt

Persistent bullies: why some children can’t stop bullying

‘Persistent bullies continue bullying in spite of interventions and sanctions employed by schools. Why they persist remains unclear. These students were the focus of our research. We believe understanding their behaviour and why they may be resistant to change will be gained by accessing their lived experiences.’

http://bit.ly/2s2DGfx

Data Walls: Why you will never see one in my class.

New Zealand teacher Melanie Dorian:

‘While I acknowledge that children will always know if they are bottom of the class or not, we can give them the dignity of some privacy.  To display their next learning step or what they have achieved on some reading rocket is garish in my opinion and unneccessary.  There are other ways of informing students of their achievements, next steps and goals that do not make them despondent about learning.  As one of the first photos I published at the top of this post says, “How would you like to be Norissa?”’

http://bit.ly/2sReZiO

On the Wildness of Children

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT TAKE PLACE IN A CLASSROOM

‘We have forgotten that these were the original purposes of the factory-like institutions that most of us grew up in; we speak of our familiar school experience almost as though it were an integral part of nature itself, a natural and essential part of human childhood, rather than the vast and extremely recent experiment in social engineering that it actually is.’

http://bit.ly/2r08Rbc

Research Finds The Effects Of Homework On Elementary School Students, And The Results Are Surprising

‘After over 25 years of studying and analyzing homework, Harris Coopers’ research demonstrates a clear conclusion: homework wrecks elementary school students.’ 

http://bit.ly/2bpQuFj

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Black and brown boys don’t need to learn “grit,” they need schools to stop being racist

‘Everyone seems to think that a lack of “soft skills” is the reason why students of color aren’t ready for college and careers. More schools and after-school programs are teaching students how to have “grit,” compassion and a “growth mindset.” Rubbish! Soft skill training is disguised bootstrapping, which insidiously blames youth for failing in racist systems designed to block their success, and it abdicates the middle class from any responsibility to uproot inequality.’

http://bit.ly/2rzHZNS

Inside a Multiage Classroom

‘Dividing students by arbitrary birthdate ranges doesn’t make sense, advocates say.

Multiage education is not a return to the one-room schoolhouse of yore, in which students of all ages learned different subjects in one space. Instead, students from (typically) two grades learn together in an environment that, advocates say, encourages cooperation and mentoring while allowing struggling students enough time to master material.’

http://theatln.tc/2rGeBG7

Finland is famous for its education system. What makes it different?

‘For as small and homogeneous as Finland may be, its repeated success in national education rankings means there are at least a few lessons the US can learn.For one, the tiny Nordic country places considerable weight on early education. Before Finnish kids learn their times tables, they learn simply how to be kids — how to play with one another, how to mend emotional wounds.’

http://bit.ly/2s10Dz5

How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School

‘At a recent teaching conference in Richmond, Virginia, a session on “design thinking” in education drew a capacity crowd. Two middle-school teachers demonstrated how they had used the concept to plan and execute an urban-design project in which students were asked to develop a hypothetical city or town given factors such as population, geography, the environment, and financial resources.’

http://theatln.tc/2r6MAZF

Mindful in Middle School

One teacher’s experience incorporating mindfulness into her middle school curriculum.

‘Mindfulness is emerging as a technique adopted in education to address student anxiety and stress, increase focus and creativity, and foster stable behavior and patience. In this essay, I briefly discuss my journey in implementing mindfulness with my sixth and eighth grade students, implications for teaching practice, and lessons learned along the way.’

http://edut.to/2s16owL

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Negotiating the Curriculum

‘Learning is a process to deepen personal understanding or skill. This is best achieved with the assistance of a learning ‘mentor’. Such a ‘mentor’ negotiates learning with the learner, always leaving the ‘power’ to learn with the learner.In the book ‘Negotiating the Curriculum’, edited by Garth Boomer, four steps are suggested to negotiate a study with students applicable for any level of schooling. Essentially it is an inquiry model that emphasizes valuing the ‘voice’ of students in the their own learning. It is very much in line with the ‘co- constructivist’ teaching philosophy.’

http://bit.ly/1Kc8Kd3

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.’

http://bit.ly/17J12HR

Education Readings June 2nd

By Allan Alach

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

Fidget spinner fad may point to deeper problem in the classroom

‘We need to look at making the curriculum more engaging so that fewer kids need fidgeting toys. Fidget spinners are the hottest new gadget among school children, and while they’re billed as useful tools to help kids focus, a University of Ottawa professor believes schools need to better accommodate students who get fidgety and need to move.’

http://bit.ly/2qHZ1Wp

Arts-Based Research: Surprise and Self-Motivation

‘A sense of delight in learning comes as much from encountering what you hadn’t expected as it does from seeing a project shake out the way you intended it. I love project-based learning for the sense of accomplishment it engenders in students, but I miss the sense of surprise — the notion that anything can happen. While it’s important to help kids see the path that will enable them to succeed, I also want them to get lost from time to time — not to take the road less traveled, but to leave roads altogether in favor of the forest.’

http://edut.to/2qI4VHg

Education Technology as ‘The New Normal’

I’m well known, I think, for fierce criticisms and cautions about education technology, and what I’ve prepared today is perhaps even darker and more polemical than I’d like, strikingly so on this beautiful campus. I confess: I am feeling incredibly concerned about the direction the world is taking – politically, environmentally, economically, intellectually, institutionally, technologically. Trump. Digital technologies, even education technologies, are implicated in all of this, and if we are not careful, we are going to make things worse.’

http://bit.ly/2rGnzUT

Boxing Creativity

‘There is a major difference between telling someone they can be creative and telling someone how to be creative. I’m firmly in the Everyone Is Creative camp. I don’t even mean that with the qualifier, “Until it’s beaten out of them by school/work/life/the Trunchbull.” I mean every single person on Earth, and everyone living in the secret moon base established by NASA in the ’70s, has the innate ability to be creative. And every one of us uses that ability on a regular basis.’

http://bit.ly/2qCzPlj

OPINION: It’s time to stop the clock on math anxiety. Here’s the latest research on how

Jo Boaler:

‘Unfortunately math continues to be taught in ways that are far removed from the research evidence on ways to teach well, and many ineffective classroom practices – timed tests, speed pressure, procedural teaching – are the reasons for the vast numbers of children and adults with math anxiety. They are also the reason that so many high-achieving students leave not only mathematics but the numerous STEM courses that require mathematics.’

http://bit.ly/2qCGLTh

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Personalized Learning Pathways & the Gig Economy

‘Students need to be prepared for short-term jobs and not expect full-time employment. How empowering is that?  Sounds like the goal of this radical re-imagining of education is to produce workers willing to eek out a precarious existence in the gig economy.’

http://bit.ly/2qCaxHI

The Loose Parts Movement: Bringing Adventure, Nature and Imagination Back to Children’s Play Time

From Wayne Morris:

‘It is a disappointing thing to see new playgrounds developed in city spaces sit there empty each day, or to walk in the park and hear no laughter. What is missing here is not the children per se, but materials and environments that create challenge, imagination, and creativity that make children want to play outdoors. The absence of such play environments is not only influencing the quantity and quality of children’s play, but also affecting children’s health and well-being.’

http://bit.ly/2soJts3

Sight Words Are So 2016: New Study Finds the Real Key to Early Literacy

This article relates to what creative teachers in NZ  believe. Simply put, children who used invented spelling developed stronger reading skills over time, regardless of their existing vocabulary, alphabetic knowledge, or word reading skills.So, what exactly is invented spelling? Invented spelling refers to a young child’s beginning attempts to spell words. Using what they know and understand about letters and writing, children who use invented spelling are encouraged to create their own spellings based on their own phonetic knowledge.

http://bit.ly/2rGmo87

Efficiency Can Cost Education

There are very good reasons to resist (or at least be skeptical of) efforts to drive “efficiency” in public education.

‘One of the biggest reasons is that any attempt to maximize efficiency automatically elevates – some might say inflates – the role of performance metrics. Once we decide which indicators are going to define success and then set people off to find the swiftest and cheapest way to get those outcomes, we can begin to distort complex enterprises. Other outcomes become expendable, even if those outcomes are important.’

http://bit.ly/2rqInyJ

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Written in 76 – so what is new?

‘Making use of students own experiences, question and concerns as the basis for learning is still an important issue, as is making full use of the immediate environment. This is all the more important these days as far too many children spent too much time receiving a second hand edited world through TV and computer screens.From their own questions and concerns, and through environmental explorations, ’emerge’ real reasons to write , read, to count and measure, and to make art. All students need are teachers with the ‘artistry’ and confidence to take advantage and amplify such learning opportunities.’

http://bit.ly/2qC4dA8

Slow food movement – and teaching as well!

We need an educational equivalent of the ‘slow food’ movement

‘We now need an educational equivalent of the ‘slow food movement’ so as to value the richness and relevance of any learning experience. Students need to appreciate that the act of learning is at the very heart of their identity and a high quality life and as such should not be rushed.The standardized ‘fast education’, as exemplified by the curriculum statements of the past decades, has resulted in a loss of appetite for real learning. There is just no time.’

http://bit.ly/2rGpc4K

Putting the heart back into teaching.

‘Learning is about relationships. Relationships with content and with people who help us acquire it. It is about having mind changing experiences that tap into our desire to make meaning and express what we know.To be attracted to an area of learning relates to what attracts our attention and whether or not we want to put in the energy in to learn more. Curiosity is at the basis of all learning.’

http://bit.ly/1JT6S8O

What If?

Treehorn recently speculated as to what would happen if Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party included the banning of NAPLAN as part of its policy.


If it did, it would be ‘London to a brick’ that she would become Prime Minister, the  Honourable Pauline Hanson at the next election. Wouldn’t it? There are a few million teachers and parents and others who just don’t like what NAPLAN does to our kids, how it contributes to our lowering of status and ‘standards’ on international tests, what it does to the mental health of our young and the blatant waste of  billions of dollars  through ACARA’s  assault on our schools each year.

Pauline has a leadership style that is different.  While neo-con business corporations and bankers will try to ‘persuade’ her to join their other units – Liberal and Labor – she seems most likely to resist.

No.  She’s not my cup of tea; but dissatisfaction with major parties seems to be increasing.  If she was able to get rid of NAPLAN, one of the greatest threats to our nation’s progress ever, she’s worth considering….just because of that.

It’s a very real possibility, don’t you think?

As our squirming, nervous  kids get closer to the May NAPLAN testocaust, things should get interesting.

In the meantime……

A thought.

______________________________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486  07 5524 6443  0407865999  cphilcullen@bigpond.com    Refer: Who’s Who in Australia


Fair-dinkum pupilling. Chapter 2

Attached is the next chapter of FAIR-DINKUM PUPILLING GIRT BY NAPLAN.

WHY?

Chapter  1 talked about kids, those little testucated robots that are forced to attend school to do NAPLAN tests.

Very few people bother to query why we do what we do to children.

Australian adults don’t take much notice of them nor of their plight nor want to discuss why our education system has imported peculiar curricular intrusions to take up a lot of school time! We have replaced items of the school curriculum that are of immense value, with soul-destroying test preparation that doesn’t work. Our system has gone quite crazy, but we don’t want to talk about it.

Children’s pleas for rescue and the system’s need for improvement through the use of reliable pupilling interactions, have fallen on deaf ears.

While adults tend to applaud high achievements and scores,  Australian adults have failed to notice the diminishing scores on PISA tests ….nothing to applaud….which ridicules our NAPLAN efforts, tells the world that we are getting worse at scoring well,  flattens our learners’ egos, attacks their mental health and threatens Australia’s industrial future.

We know that it is happening.  We tolerate it.  The school system is not allowed t change it.

WHY CAN’T WE JUST BANN NAPLAN AND GET ON WITH THE TASK OF TEACHING AND LEARNING?

Chapter 1 finished by asking “WHY?”.  Chapter 2 attempts an answer. See below.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

A THOUGHT BUBBLE…. So many of the silent majority hate NAPLAN so much, that, although they won’t talk about it in public,…… If Pauline’s Party was the first to include “Bann NAPLAN” in their electioneering policy…… the Hon. Pauline Hanson would be our next P.M.

Garn!   You agree, don’t you?

If not, Which Party or candidate will be first?              =-O           It’s got to be worth a few million votes over  all.  Disaffected mums and dads, all teachers, the boys at the local or at the club.                                    

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Phil Cullen, 41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point Australia 2486      07 5524 6443      0407865999     cphilcullen@bigpond.com   Refer: Who’s Who in Australia


CHAPTER 2

WHY?

Back to 2007. A possible scenario…

It must have been after a business lunch, enjoyed by Kevin 07 Rudd and his many big-time corporate friends, that Kevin ran into an unhappy banker, or a business man who acted like an unhappy banker, who gave Kevin a spray…..as they do.

I don’t know what they teach kids at school these days. This morning I dictated a letter to my secretary and said that we operated under the auspices of the Liberal-National Party and, back came the printed letter which said, ‘acting under the ‘orse pisses’ ….”

Kevin grinned. 

You know that that story is a make-up but you also know that such lunches, cocktail parties and barbies are an essential part of running a country. For one, politicians do not have to use tax-payers’ money to eat as well as they do if they are guests of ‘business friends’; and no record is kept of the instructions given by the big-boys to the polly….which they do….the reason for the lunch, of course.

Kevin, however, knew everything. He was hardly a lover of the teaching fraternity and he was looking for something to show his great strength to the electorate. Going “Back to basics” and bashing teachers in the big, bad world is like Marilyn Munroe’s seven-year itch. It’s sure to happen every now and then. When it happens, peculiar memes comes out of left field for all sorts of reasons, receiving unkind media attention, making politicians panic and causing gross disturbance in various communities. Professional groups duck for cover and the issues slowly dissipate due to lack of interest. Kevin reckoned that he could generate a panic. He sure did and it has lasted.

The really big ‘standards debate, prior to this NAPLAN debacle was in the seventies when some ‘Black Papers’, written in England, criticised school standards and this false meme kick-started a crusade for better standards around the world. Led by The Bulletin in Australia, there was an enormous quantity of unwarranted criticism dumped on schools. It led to nation-wide TV debates, special documentaries, large public meetings, special conferences, the whole box and dice. It proved to be a big-time media hoax. Sales of The Bulletins skyrocketed.

You can be sure that, after NAPLAN has been seen for what it is; and has disappeared from the landscape. [“gone, dead, buried, cremated” to quote our once great leader]..and schooling has returned to pupilling…..things will get itchy again after a few more years. It happens

Schooling, in the late 70s and early 80s, was left vulnerable by this gigantic illegitimate meme and the gate was left open for the attacks of unhappy do-gooders. The moral crusaders got on the warpath. They caused an itch that became a rash. The League of Rights, the John Birch Society, Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, the Australian Council for Education Standards, The Committee to Restore Educational Standards, The Campaign for Responsible Education and other alphabetical groups had a field day for about a decade under the leadership of educational priestess, Rona Joyner, head of STOP-CARE [Society to Outlaw Pornography-Committee Against Regressive Education] who believed that she and her troops had the right to condemn school programs [no need for a test] that they didn’t like; and to punish the wrong-doers. They had the ‘ear’ of the most powerful and her ladyship was often seen around the foyer of Parliament House looking for an unused ear. She had a unique talent for effective politicking. [Methinks Pauline took lessons] Perhaps, because human relationships are not performed according to numbers, like NAPLAN is, she and her storm-troopers faded away after a while.

Please don’t tell our naplanners that Rona did very well at her job; and had Joh’s Queensland cabinet wrapped in her moral fibre for quite a while. And one might note with caution that the son of her claimed mentor, Jerry Falwell Jnr. has now been invited to join President Trump as an adviser. 

Back to the present itch.

When a pollie uses the taxpayer’s generous ATM on himself or herself, the sky is the limit for a lunch. That’s another trick. No, it’s not always political largesse for help rendered. Sometimes it’s plain party business. ….maybe to dissuade a recalcitrant from behaving sensibly. In any case, many, maybe most decisions that effect the lives of all of us are made at lunches and parties shared by the big boys and our pollies…..and later ratified at the big house. It’s called ‘politics’. 

That’s how our education system got girted. 

Kevin 07, always on the side of big-business as is our present-day day neo-liberal Labor Party, agreed with that old business fart and a friend pf his wifei, we think, had also complained about a check-out girl at the supermarket, who had trouble calculating the total cost when Therese’s friend suggested the machine wasn’t working properly. 

From such earth-shattering major incidents, new nation-building schooling systems are born.

That kind of robust research was enough! The system needed reform! The evidence was clear; and he was the lad to smarten things up. He had just been appointed Prime Minister and had had enough experience as offsider to Premier Goss during the crazed restructure of the Public Service in Queensland, when it went ‘back to drastics’, organised according to Harvardian Business Management principles and some added academic foibles, to know how to go about it. He thought. Keeping the underdog in check is the secret and hanging on to the coat-tails of hired help from academia can help one ‘get ahead’.

Kevin, who always had trouble distinguishing knowledge from wisdom, started to harbour impure thoughts. If he gave this reform task to dear colleague Julia, Minister for Education, and she buggered it up, he’d still come out clean. Smart move 07. She obliged. She will now, for ever be blamed for introducing fear- based kleinism into Australia.

Of course, in his haste to be known as a master reformer and teacher-basher Ruddy, ally Julia and mentor Joel, overlooked the fact that profit-based business operations were ‘wild societies’, that had to forage like wild cats for their continued existence. They were very different from schools: humane, ‘domesticated’ operations, pussy-cat type caring institutions that perform moderating operations for the country’s welfare. The better the schooling, the more prosperous the country. But then, BCA types and the Ruddy/Gilly coalition believed that schools could and should be run like any old business enterprise; or like a prison or insane institution. Once the inmates are confined, the high authorities can do what they please with the inmates. In his business studies off the coast of China somewhere, Kev and his cronies did not have access, it seems, to the definitive work of one Richard Carlson who based his business studies on the nature of the client, the users of the institution….the customers, the kids. Carlson made it clear that schools and businesses are very different kinds of circuses, and require very different forms of administration……depending on the status of the client and the control over their admission to the firm or institution. 

Ironically, Richard Carlson died during a trip to promote his final book; “Don’t Get Screwed. How to thrive in a world full of Obnoxious, Incompetent, Arrogant and Down-right Mean-spirited People.” A telling treatise, one doubts if the book will be found on either of the Education shelves behind the door of the Federal Parliament Library. 

Also, schools are constructed for kids, a form of human being who sometimes survive childhood despite the thoughtless things that politicians and testucratic educators want to do to them. Things would run much better for such adults if kids were true robots. The notion that kids are really human and have deep feelings has escaped every single Australian politician, every testucator and most of the adult population.

Fair-dinkum Pupilling – Girt by NAPLAN

Basic Human Rights for Kids

It is said that you can judge a country by the way that it treats its children.  Most countries provide schools and teachers to help children cope with the world. Then….it happens. 

There are some basic tenets that become embedded within a country’s culture and are reflected in what they do with their children. Each one, each country is different. Australia’s organisation culture is quite unique, in an unpleasant and shameful kind of way, being  much closer to the US minimum competency culture than to any other, much closer to a shared  declining maverick kind than to successful schooling.

Our school  system is not based on UNESCO principles and arrogantly breaches aspects of UNESCO’s Rights of the Child. Says the UNESCO Convention: “The importance for the Convention of the general programmes of UNESCO should not be overlooked. Human rights are indivisible: the promotion of individual rights cannot be pursued in isolation from the advancement of social and economic rights nor will the rights of children be fully respected in situations where adults are denied fundamental freedoms.” Australia clearly and deliberately breaches these democratic conventions. It keeps its adults in the dark in regard to the nature of NAPLAN testing, for instance, and has no inclination to change the rule. Parents’ fundamental rights to know that they have a choice for their children to do the test or not do the test are deliberately hidden; and schools are expected to keep this information secret unless they are asked.  It is a shameful state of affairs.

On a scale that runs from “Care for kids” to “Abuse our kids” , Australia is much closer to the ‘abuse’ end than to the other. It abuses children by attacking their yen to learn, which is a natural instinct for children; and to make them uncertain about their abilities. Its centres for learning  aka schools, are being operated using non-love tactics and dirty tricks .  Fear has replaced Love as a motivator for learning; and is not working well.

Fear and its connection to wide-scale high-stakes testing, as introduced by the sandal makers. are embedded in school routines and the bunkum-based morphing  of NAPLAN. Its use barks at basic child rights.

We can, therefore,  add another dimension to Treehorn’s ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE table of Australia and compare it to democratic principled places rather than to Finland alone . If we stick to true-blue Aussie principles, we can donkey-lick the rest of the world in providing the richest life-style that there is, whenever we like……It’s such a pity that we have allowed the present state of affairs to happen.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-12-38-am

 WORLD : Love children. Respect childhood. Care for Kids.  Provide holistic curriculum.  Teach well.  Do not abuse children. Educate them

AUSTRALIA: Gather children together. Keep critical information away from parents. Test pupils for literacy and numeracy levels. Keep testing and widen its influence. Hire people to check for        and attend to  shortfalls in achievement and mental health. Use every testucator available  to maintain outcomes at the normal mediocre level.

We cannot afford to be proud of our efforts during the past decade. We should feel ashamed; and attempt to provide a decent schooling based on high levels of human rights and ethical behaviour. We need to take pride in the way we care for kids.

We know that the attempt to control schooling  by fear has not worked.

________________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen, 41 Cominan Avenue, Banora Point, Australia 2486   07 5524 6443  0407865999 cphilculen@bigpond.com
Refer: ‘Who’s Who in Australia’

The Defenceless

Aussie Friends of Treehorn
protecting school children from nasty excesses of the greedy and misguided
encouraging adults to think sensitively, to care for kids, to make wise choices….with their hearts in gear, their pens active and their votes available.
The Defenceless
{Catholic Bishops of Australia}
“There are others in our community, near and far, whose voices are unheard,
whose faces are unseen. They are seen as politically irrelevant. They will not 
decide any marginal seats nor determine the result of the election. Yet any
society is ultimately not judged on how well it manages the economy but on 
how well it treats the thrown-away people,”
…THE SCHOOL CHILDREN OF AUSTRALIA
Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486  07 5524 6443    cphilcullen@bigpond.com