Noplan claims another victim

A TREEHORN MESSAGE

NAPLAN/NOPLAN CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM – SCIENCE

Noplan, controller of Australian school standards, has done it again.  Determined to maintain a fear-laden testing base to Australia’s education system, it has added to a world wide school reputation that we can do without.

NAPLAN is the absolute, unquestioned, only cause of our ‘falling standards’. Yes. It is!

Once amongst the top dogs in the world-wide PISA contests and others, we are now 14th in Science, 16th in Reading, 25th in Maths out of 72 competing countries. Statisticians tell us that we are behind Asian countries, whom we once helped with their schooling problems.

What has happened to us?

Simple…..the children don’t like doing tests nor getting ready for them. It’s boring and unpleasant and not part of proper schooling. Our pupils are telling us to ‘…cut it out. We want to learn.’  We overdo it. As plain as the nose on your face, it’s clear that we are turning our kids off learning…..off schooling..

Noplan is a prismatic disaster.  It’s a failure, no matter which way you look at it.   Instead of provoking industry and scholastic effort, it creates dislike for subjects that, scholastically,  crave loving, fearless attention and spirit and challenge……not being belted around the place, used as weapons of  fear and anxiety and distaste.

Suppose you lived overseas [e.g. P.N.G.],would you, as a concerned parent, send your child to Australia for schooling?  If you wanted a complete, total, holistic, proper education for your child, would you send him or her to a school that claimed notoriety through its NAPLAN scores?

What is wrong with an education system that starts with the requirements of the child?
What is wrong with an education system that tries to satisfy each child’s zest for learning?
What is wrong with an education system that puts no limit on a child’s achievements?
What is wrong with an education system that develops learning habits that last a lifetime?
What is wrong with us?

What is learning?  What is schooling.  Don’t know?
____________________________________
Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486  07 5524 6443   0407865999   cphilcullen@bigpond.com

As we move closer to May 9 the day of attrition

Back to ‘Comments on Comments’ soon.

NOPLAN DAY IS NOT FAR AWAY
Time for the wise to withdraw their children.

As Australia moves forward to one of the most important days on its socio-political calendar – the first day of what is now called, The Noplan Tests, we need to consider the climate in which our present system exists. A drum-roll for those who are forced to head for the learning gallows on May 9 to do the tests!

The Climate

* Schooling movements in Australia are moving further away from democratic principles and it is noticeable.

*Australian politicians do not know how to prepare for the future ….the future of work, of living; a future  of doing better at anything we do.

*Australians do not have the courage to stand up to corporate lobbyists who are now determining our  children’s future.

* The obstacles to a healthy school-learning culture are political, not educational.

* The unscrupulous domination of the greedy  controls our entire schooling system.

* Our obedience to the desires of vested interests keeps us from discussing what is important.

*The elements of the devices used to control basic principles of learning, contain their own form of decadence.  [Children fail NAPLAN because of NAPLAN.]

*The greatest social and industrial handicap to Australia’s future is NOPLAN.  Naplan is a noplan. It’s a political curse for which Australia will pay dearly.

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Keeping in mind that the most esteemed educational practitioner of the 20th century, Sir Alec Clegg, said: 
there are two kinds of education: the education of the mind by imparting facts and teaching skills, and the education of the spirit … the child’s loves and hates, his hopes and fears, or in other terms, his courage, his integrity, his compassion and other great human qualities.

Australia has the capacity to have both for its pupils. We are willing and able to do things properly, if we are allowed.. Sir Alec’s little homily is appropriate….
When Michelangelo was going to Rome to see the Pope prior to his being employed to build the great dome of St Peter’s and paint the Sistine Chapel, he took a reference with him which said: The bearer of these presents is Michelangelo the sculptor. His nature is such that he requires to be drawn out by kindness and encouragement. If love be shown him and he be treated really well, he will accomplish things that will make the whole world wonder.

Every child is a  Michangelo  if we believe in the worth of our children.
0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Sadly, the climate of Australian schooling is certainly not conducive to child  care, progress and welfare. Aussies prefer that their teachers exert fear and worry and anxiety so they can pass tests.

The Child

* There is good in every child no matter how slow, damaged, ill-favoured or despised by others.

* Children will work to the limit of their abilities.

* All children matter.

* Happy relationships between school administrators, parents, teachers and pupils are extremely important.

* The life of every child is enriched by the development of its creative powers.

* Love and encouragement and having fun at school are much more important than fear and anxiety.

* Children need care-based pupilling rather than fear-based hard instruction and repetitive test-prep.

* Teachers need as much support as pupils. Both thrive on recognition.

Australians, however,  prefer to believe that children go to school to pass tests and examinations; and play sport. Nothing else.

The School

* definitions are clear and meaningfully used

* all adults on the campus think about their place in the scheme of things.

* thinking time is part of each person’s timetable.

* all members concentrate total effort on the improvement of teaching and learning techniques.

* progress through school is marked by increasing joy in the acts of learning as new thresholds are crossed. Such thresholds are not  marked by school years but by growth in experiences.  Schooling is fun.

* there is plenty of shared opinions about activities and efforts. The sharing of helpful opinion represent the limit of evaluation processes, because increases in learning joy would be the aim of any learning conversations. Shared opinions would lead to positive forms of self-evaluation.

* Oracy is part of the every-day time-table.

* ways  are found to develop talents as part of the normal learning process.

Times for unique interests are found but not over-ritualised.

Pupils  exit school with a greater love for some skill or interest of a particular kind than they had when they started.

 When decisions have to be made [e.g. whether to do Noplan tests]  they are based on a simple Four Way Test, not unlike the Rotary Test:

1. Does it help children to learn better?

2. Does it help teachers to teach better ?

3. Does it economise on efforts in the teaching/learning acts ?

4. Does it provide the greatest good for the greatest number ?

When you have the pupil in the middle of your eye, you can’t miss describing an effective, quality institution.

You end up describing joy in the processes of learning, growth in the quest for learning how to learn, and high satisfaction in achievement.

HOW DOES THE 4-WAY TEST APPLY TO NOPLAN? WHAT DO YOU THINK? Comments?                                                                                                                                                  _______________________________________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                                                                              Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486  07 5524 6443  0407865999  cphilcullen@bigpond.com  REFER: Who’s Who in Australia

NAPLAN is NOPLAN – A commentary

 

A COMMENTARY

This is an invitation to readers of The Treehorn Express to comment on the comments and examine the ‘credentials’ of NAPLAN testing in more depth than we have in the past.  First…

THE STORY

1. Former NSW primary principal, Ray Armstrong forwarded ‘Treehorn’ the copy of the interview conducted by a radio station in Victoria concerning the recently released results on the NAPLAN tests, and forwarded in the Treehorn Express on 9 March.

Ray:

……and listen to the attached audio….former school Principal John Nelson exposes NOPLAN

A national breakdown of school results shows a lack of improvement in numeracy and literacy levels of some high school level students. The data has been released today on the MySchool website, the one-stop online portal for parents to monitor schools’ performance. One former Victorian school leader who resigned over a NAPLAN controversy, thinks the flat line trend points to a need to lift both teaching and student standards.

  1. I thanked Ray in the following way…

    Phil:
    Thanks Ray…….from Treehorn.

    Looks like the State Control of Learning is a flop. Teaching is best left to Teachers, free to expand pupils’ learning to the limit…ignoring the political pursuit of naplan mediocrity. 

    Q.E.D.  “What was to be was demonstrated.”

    The Fallacy of Hegemonic Dominance certainly applies.

    3. This provoked Paul Wildman to comment in the following manner; and it is Paul’s observations that I should like to use to provoke further discussion.

    Paul:

Phil and Ray well done.  A few comments please –

Ray’s conceptual understanding of NAPLAN (and yours Phil to a point) is still quite narrow. The solution will be in our techno-utopian mind set will be More Of The Same that is more and intense NAPLAN applied by computers and discipline, funding loss, fiscal corporal punishment, so to speak, if failure occurs will expand exponentially.  Our culture is, I submit from a political perspective, only interested in the scientific-technical side of things not the socio side of things i.e. seeing schooling as a socio-technical exercise as per the late great Aust systems theorist Fred Emery.

NAPLAN is actually emerging as a complete alternative pedagogical world that is part of Big Business just like Big Pharma and Big Brother – in fact in NSW from next year you can’t sit for your senior certificate if you haven’t got an ‘8’ in NAPLAN – can you/we see how the Western Anglo mindset reproduces itself herein.  NAPLAN has now become THE pedagogical system for Australia NOT conventional subjects etc.  And this is just the beginning.

As with the EPA and FDA in the US we see what in ancient Greek is called ‘enantiodromia’ where the opposite is achieved to what is set out to do.  So these US bodies, by their decisions and actions (not their public remit) are now responsible for increasing pollution and increasing obesity and cancer in particular, respectively.  So, I fear, it is thus with Education Big Ed as it may be called.

Stopping NAPLAN and continuing say schools, centralised curriculum, hierarchical power over systems therein, Nation State based, same age cohort class groups, exclusion of community from pedagogy will solve only part of our dilemma as schools themselves are as we discussed simply antiquated machines for producing factory fodder for industries of yesteryear (indeed our whole Governance structure is similarly outdated) – now universities are the same mix – right down to Kindy curricula all decided centrally by the elite and all based on this failing user pays system.

You Phil support the work of school inspectors. I submit the inspectorate as a whole, functioned as a surveillance mechanism for the elite – which you were part of.   Systems wise the momentum was and is, in Anglo countries, only towards NAPLAN and its intensification within Anglo Nation States.

I welcome discussion of these broader issues as well as NAPLAN.

Ciao paul

Wildman, P. (1998). Biting the Bullet with Fred Emery. Futures, 30(6), Second Thoughts section: 573-583.

Wildman, P. e. (1998). A Retrospective on Fred Emery. Futures (August), 30(6), 573-584.

Paul Wildman  (1) Our future is not ours to colonise but is loaned to us by our grandchildren. (2) Scale needs to be sensitive enough to pick up context.Go CRAFT! crafters-connect.com . Go kids and adults learning kal.net.au  . Go the Bush Mechanic bushie.weekly.com  Brisbane LETS No: 140 Mob: 0412027818   KALGROVE Pty Ltd. Attn. P Wildman. PO 73 Northgate Brisbane 4013 Australia. NB: unless specifically and previously agreed emails cannot be assumed to be confidential.

  1. Paul’s observations needs further discussion. I’d like to start.

Phil:

  Paul’s observations are accepted without equivocation. The narrowness of my [aka Treehorn’s] crusade to get rid of NAPLAN, was confined to the criticisms of the macho-seditious way that it was introduced, the meek acceptance of the scheme by ‘education’ groups, the use of fear as a motivational instrument of learning, the deceitfulness of keeping parents’ democratic rights hidden from them.   I tried to concentrate on the lack of humanity in our treatment of children and the basic stupidity of NAPLAN.  Tough luck.  I just didn’t do any good.

As Paul suggests, the use of NAPLAN tests has initiated a new pedagogical system for Australia and my thin, weak  form of argument has been too focussed on its effects on the mental health and educative progress of young children…and little else.  Indeed, I thought that little else would be necessary, to have it banned,  but I was wrong. I have received a big red F for my efforts, and my stubbornness has not helped. I overplayed the criticism of kleinist attitudes. I guess I thought that I could crack the style of Aussie casual indifference to such schooling; and that every primary school principal in Australia would adopt my point of view;  but I couldn’t and didn’t.  We should now -at this present time in history – be undergoing a monumental shift from traditional pedagogy and the malpractice of  learning/testing traditional techniques to an unfulfilled urgent need for a nation of self-determined learners who can adjust to the dark side of corporate ideologies. THERE IS A SERIOUS  NEED TO DISCUSS THIS. WE NEED A RENEWED FOCUS ON SCHOOLING. AS AN ISSUE, IT IS BIG.

Curriculum issues have been limited to accountability, diagnosis and remediation.  We have dwelt on problem-solving related only to data gathering and  the passing of  tests, instead of enabling the young to be proactive in their efforts to make sense of a rapidly changing, innovative world. We need to talk about a curriculum that will help them to cope, but we seem to be prohibited from talking about it at length.  As we move from a pedagogy based on ‘teacher knows all’  and will teach children what they should know  and an andragogy that promotes more personal responsibility for learning and liking it, through to a future of heutagogical learning styles that will be essential for survival, there is no place for stupidities like NAPLAN. It had its day in 2009 when we learned about its seductive sabotage of basic child rights and its seditious intent, well described by Paul. It’s still around doing its damage and it shouldn’t be.

Within the profession, there is a critical need for a deep discussion on professional ethics and their relationship to UNESCO’s Rights of the Child. Why isn’t there a Code of Conduct that relates to them?  Do teachers observe a professionally initiated Code of Conduct or a bureaucratic Code of Control concocted by sciolist bureaucrats?  Are we, as Paul suggests, running schools that  are “….simply antiquated machines producing factory fodder for industries of yesteryear..”

When Bill Ford [1997] said that we should prefer ‘knowledge sharing’ rather than ‘knowledge hoarding’, Hase and Kenyon* said, ” In this respect heutagogy [i.e. self-directed learning] looks to the future in which knowing how to learn will be a fundamental skill given the pace of innovation and the changing structure of communities and workplaces”

While we have always spoken blithely about the need for pupils to ‘learn how to learn’, Australia has yet to discuss the kinds of pedagogy that work to set children on their learning trail from Year 1. Australia has also yet to discuss its casual indifference to schooling and learning matters and especially its toleration of the abuse of children’s mental health through the creation of fear and anxiety in the classroom.  Why do Aussie adults prefer to ignore serious issues such as these? How can we continue to tolerate the distress and anxiety it causes to almost every pupil…the suicides and the like? Would anybody notice if fictitious Treehorn regrew to his normal height and then turned a livid green..he did, and still is..[That message didn’t get through either, did it?] …..or notice that NAPLAN is failing with Greek ‘enantiodromiac’ spirit ? Will ‘Noticing’  itself ever become a syllabus requirement?  Did Aussies notice that Paul’s ‘enantiodromia’ was the main feature of  the most recent NAPLAN results.  The fear element was supposed to produce better results, but it took control of the contestants attitude to learning.  Learning, after all, is an individual act and you will not make me learn if I don’t want to. The pupils reacted to the last NAPLAN test in a very noticeable way….but….did we notice?  They reversed the intention. The next trick is for testucating sciolists to dumb down all future tests [if we are silly enough to persist with them] to ensure better scores on My School noticeboard. Who cares? Who would notice?

*Google: From Andragogy to Heutagogy by Stewart Hase & Chris Kenyon (2001) USC

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486 07 5524 6443  0407865999 cphilcullen@bigpond.com  REFER: ‘Who’s Who in Australia’
*

The Fallacy of NAPLAN’s Hegemonic Dominance

IT’S NAPLAN SEASON.  NORMAL SCHOOLING WILL RESUME ON MONDAY 15 MAY

 

THE FALLACY OF NAPLAN’S HEGEMONIC DOMINANCE

The manipulation by the ruling class of  developmental values that are

contrary to the authenticated needs of children (Maslow),

through the elite’s establishment

of a State Theory of Learning.

based on shaky quantitative measurement,

ensures a long-lasting  cultural hegemony

that seriously impedes wise and democratic decision-making procedures.

Maslow’s description of the motivational factors that spur people on to greater things, has been established, uncontested, for over half-a-century.  This five-stage model  of ‘growth needs’ arranged in hierarchical order which indicates that particular needs have to be satisfied before those higher in the pyramid of needs can be fulfilled.

NAPLAN applies  official indifference to the second rung of the ladder by attacking a child’s security and mental confidence with tests in the first year of schooling. Then, at about seven years of age, a crucial stage of a child’s development, it threatens, with totalitarian command, the warmth of friendly teaching/learning relationships with the rigours and anxiety of stern testing procedures.

It deliberately  establishes anxiety as a school requirement. A child’s Esteem needs are ignored so the chances of reaching their full potential are  seriously hindered. Most Australian children have Buckley’s chance of reaching their complete self-fulfilment while NAPLAN exists.

The lack of humanity shown by our political schadenfreudists borders on sadomachicism. They should know as well as any other sadist that the extremely  well researched dictum: ” The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distract and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” [Campbell] is real.    Last year’s PISA and TIMSS failures and NAPLAN’s flat-lining bear testimony to this.  As Goodhart’s Law also emphasises “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”….which gives credence to the prediction that NAPLAN will be dumbed down this year so that better scores can be obtained.

The use of NAPLAN as a cultural weapon of control over the democratic elements of schooling reveals a level of corruption and deceit that Australian schooling is unused to.

BEWARE

AUSTRALIA’S STATE LAWS OF SCHOOLING. [Developed and installed by Naplan experts]

Since life is linear, learning is linear. School subjects are linear, ordered and hierarchical within and between themselves.

Each subject is unique to itself and must be kept isolated from all others. Some are more important than others. The Vaccination Theory of Learning* applies.

Regular testing controls all school learnings. Tests do not need to be reliable nor valid.
Anxiety creation and the threat of fear of testing results are the essential elements of all learning processes.

All scores obtained by testing are to be officially regarded as reliable indicators of [a] a child’s potential for a happy and successful future, [b] growth in intellectual capacity, [c] creativity potential, [d] how well he or she learns,[e] how each pupil learns [f] how much is learned, [g] teacher ability.

Only a compulsory three-day rigorous workout once every two years can reveal how well each of these traits have been taught.

Humiliation of teachers and pupils is sanctioned as a motivational device.

Testing also shows how well children are taught, the organisational quality of school leadership, the curriculum leadership of the school authority; and the suitability of the curriculum content.

Standardised blanket testing such as NAPLAN has powers beyond the comprehension of the average human being. They should not enquire.

If learners are uncomfortable with this method of schooling, they must be taught to toughen up.

Views such as those expressed above by ‘The NAPLAN Law Of Dominance of Schooling’ will not be mentioned in any open company nor conveyed to parents of children who have allowed, either wittingly or unwittingly,  their children to sit the tests.

_____________________________________

VACCINATION THEORY OF LEARNING.   English is not History and History is not Maths and Maths is not Art and Art is not Science and Science is not Music and English and Maths and Science are major subjects and  History and Art and Music are minor.  Once you have been innoculated with these subjects you are protected and need not be vaccinated again.

____________________________________________

NOTE   Google ‘Hegemony” : The Marxist theory of cultural hegemony…is the idea that the ruling class can manipulate the value system and mores of a society, so that their view becomes the world view (Weltanschanung} ….In contrast to authoritative rule, cultural hegemony is “ is hegemonic only if those affected by it also consent to and struggle over its common sense”

______________________________________

The politics of testing.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

When first we practise to deceive.
         [Sir Walter Scott]

It’s NAPLAN season

The longer Australia persists with the notion that we send children to school to pass tests and public examinations, the worse things will get.

The result of using the NAPLAN system of testing within the Klein system of execrable schooling, imported from the United States in a most deceitful manner, has resulted  in a structured climate of threats to the mental health of Australian children and has exposed the dangerous prejudices and misologies of our political masters, notably Gillard, Rudd, Pyne and Birmingham.  It has failed.  The killer DNA within the tests themselves that forces children to dislike school learning,  has proved to be  degrading to our beautiful children and unworthy of its proponents and users. It has retarded the progress of Australian schooling very seriously.

Since such a system threatens the health and well-being of Australian citizens, shouldn’t it be incumbent on a federal minister who initiates such changes,  and on those who, following a change of government, continue with the unwarranted crudity, to demonstrate unequivocally to colleague ministers in the states, from whom the right to conduct such tests has been captured, that the new system is superior to any other? What hard evidence or indisputable empirical evidence do testucators have that would convince normal concerned citizens to support the continuation of this toxic device?  Forget the boganaire view that children will learn after teachers ‘Diagnose’ and “Remediate.” That went out with slate pencils. We’re talking about teaching and learning, about being happy and determined and confident while at school.  Diagnosis is part of the teaching/learning component…not something that is done to children some months later.

It is incumbent on our politicians occupying education portfolios to prove, beyond doubt, that this mode of schooling to which they expose  our children is far superior to any other kind……that NAPLAN works and how it does…..if it does. The patriachal control of education by the Institute of Public Affairs and the Australian Bankers Association is not helpful. The public must be told why our schooling relies so heavily on NAPLAN tests. The serious crushing results in the international PISA results and the TIMSS international  tests last year confirmed children’s and teachers’ extreme animus with anything Naplannish. Pupils flat- lined these local results, having already flopped the international ones, because the tests themselves contain HATE and DESPAIR and UNNECESSARY TENSION .  So, what do adults do? With casual disregard for children’s rights and with Treehorn-type negligence, they,  just as casually, dismiss all interest and allow the torturers to turn up the heat and keep trying old ways .. fiddling with test processes and modes of testing…not better learning habits….to get better scores. It’s not fair to kids. You know what, honourable members of IPA and ABA….and your political flunkies?  Kids hate having  to test swot and to sit tests. THEY PREFERLEARNING.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

“When the affective is secure, the cognitive is inevitable”  was the way that John Settledge described this basic teaching/learning dilemma.

Here’s a certainty. Drop NAPLAN. Just drop it, encourage school-based evaluation techniques; and watch PISA & TIMSS test results increase.

An alternatuve is to dumb-down the tests themselves – as is being widely predicted – so that public confidence is restored. That can work, but it will not remove the tension and fear of that testing moment and the damage that it does .

Message received, Mr. B ?  When will we ever get to talk about learning?……about schooling?….about pupilling?

No. You will keep subjecting our kids to the terrors of NAPLAN  again this year…….9 -11May……unless someone does somethings about it.

We know that NAPLAN is nasty, cruel, unnecessary, immoral, expensive, abusive, mentally crippling operation and a big waste of time.  It’s genesis is in the search for someone to blame for children’s lack of enthusiasm for being pushed around by your mob.

Most Australian parents and almost all Australian teachers dislike, even  hate the whole business, but feel that they have to ‘go with the flow’.  No political party is brave enough to mention it.  School principals dislike it, except for those who see a quid in it or believe that better scores provide better promotional opportunities.  If there was a public rally arranged to march on federal parliament to “STOP NAPLAN”, Canberra would not be big enough to contain the numbers.  Of course this wont happen while our indifference to the way kids learn remains at such a high level; and while greedy corporations maintain their control over the politics of testing.

Only passionate individuals and groups that worry about the way kids are treated, are prepared to stick up for them. “Nuggets’ was a once famous nickname for the meek, but that’s unkind. There are very few  groups of game, knowledgeable nitty-gritty teachers and parents in Australia who are prepared to stand up and keep pushing.  Too few,   Members of so-called learned groups like the Australia Primary Principals which was captured early in the piece,  enwrapped now in an impenetrable bozone layer that prevents individual members from speaking out or organising the parents of their school to refuse en bloc to do the tests or even to tell them of their rights. It’s understandable. It’s what Dan Kahan calls the Identity Protective Cognition : “As a way of avoiding dissonance and estrangement from valued groups, individuals subconsciously resist information that threatens their defining values.”  It then becomes easier to parrot the words of the controllers than to espouse ethical principles out loud.

While NAPLAN may not be a top issue on the usual election calendar because things are arranged to keep it so, it still remains a significant part of  each electorate’s disenchantment with the major parties. As quiet as it remains, any party that calls for its abandonment is on a winner.

Far too many Australians believe that we send children to school to pass tests and examinations in Maths, Science, Grammar and anything that is measurable.  What would happen, do you think, if authorities insisted that our kids be taught to like learning Maths and Science and  anything else that their school does for them…..presuming that the school knows what it is doing, of course; and that our authorities remain in that totalitarian neo-Fascist frame of mind to demand it. That Finnish Maths teacher, whom you saw on the Michael Moore clip, said that his pupils have to be “happy with Maths”.  Australian pollies don’t like that sort of thing.

Our schooling system is arse-about-face. Totally arse-about-face. Predicated on the belief that school kids will do better in life when they are threatened with failure and tested and tutored and ‘homeworked’ as much as possible, the system is just not working. There is no evidence anywhere in the history of the world that any fear-based system has ever worked for too long. Stagnation is the best outcome that fear can promote. Sure we all try harder when we are scared but the end-point varies.This descriptive crudity [a-about-f] of it clearly expresses our rear-vision predilection [‘worked for me’ sort of thing] that can only assure us of mediocrity and further failure. It is soooo arse-about-face. Amen. A more moderate description might be: ‘a dog’s breakfast’.

Put even more gently, it is at the wrong end of the effective-teaching-strategy continuum that ranges from pedantry to maieutic. 

Although many of our most efficient and dedicated teachers have left the profession because of the crudities of NAPLAN, there are sufficient left who make sure that children enjoy the curriculum left-overs – those aspects that can’t be measured.  We cannot rely on this state of affairs forever. Besides, the unknown future keeps reminding us that we need citizens who are adventurous in their learning habits, inquisitive, forward-thinking, innovative, zestful, excited by learning , compassionate, electronically charged,  tolerant, but we Australians are unconcerned about the future nor what is imperative for our schools to do.   How can Naplannic test-freaks help children to prepare for these essential requirements?   Teachers can, and oft-times do teach these developmental enhancers and produce true scholars, as part of their natural teaching genius,  but the system presently prohibits any emphasis on them.  Measurers focus on robotic test responses and do not see the yen to learn  as being of any use. The ‘yen to learn’ compnents of schooing have to be  caught not taught. Our masters believe that as much time as possible must be spent on test preparation for NAPLAN, HSCs and other learning inhibitors. Practice. Practice. Practice. It’s all so robotic and nasty and mediocre and negligent….and wasteful.

The Frankenstein monster has had its head inserted back to front.

YES! It’s all so back-to-front. so S-A-F.  The trend must be stopped. Progress in Australia’s ability to think laterally and innovatively is absolutely essential for its survival and progress. We need to pupil pupils so that they will like learning forever.

Why don’t we try?

______________________________________________________________________

Phil Cullen  41 Comnan Avenue  Banora Point 2486 Australia  07 5524 6443   07865999  cphilcullen@bigpond.com 

Michael Moore: Where do we invade next?

“Where to Invade Next?”

You know Michael Moore, that sloppy looking bloke whose fond of stirring the possum.

On Monday, 26 February 2017 he presented a documentary on SBS, which can be found of your TV’s “SBS on Demand”, called  Where to Invade Next? in which he ‘invades’ countries on the continent that have the most outstanding  ways of combating social issues and conducting some of society’s most successful social institutions.

His ‘invasion’ of Finland’s education system is outstanding. He queries some of their more preciously held beliefs on the nature of schooling The looks on the faces of those Finns amazed at the ways we treat our school children, is worth the effort of watching.

It’s a pity that a video clip of this section of his documentary cannot be sent to every schools in Australia. It says so much.  The reference below is not as easy to follow [poor sound] as that available on TV’s  ‘SBS on demand’.

But, no matter how you access it, please make sure you do.

You will note…
Schooling starts at 7 years of age.
No ‘rich’ [aka ‘private’] schools.  Rich kids must mix with lower class kids. No distinctions are noted nor made between neighbourhood schools.  Each one is proficient.
“Less is More’.  Allow time for kids to be happy, to be ‘hands on’, to be problem solving learners.
[You will note the surprise on Moore’s face when the Maths teacher said that his pupils have to be happy with learning Maths. Please consider the NAPLAN view of how the teaching of Maths ought to be handled!]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRJ1hgN7uAU

If you should like to find more, another handy video clip that gives 5 reasons for Finland’s supremacy, is useful. Any authority can copy them….or….at least….talk about them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfmFIEh2QjU

1. No standardised tests during schooling …only one at end of schooling.
2. More time for play and socialising. School week is only 20 hours at school.  No homework.
3. Teaching is the highest and most respected profession in the country. A Masters Degree is required for entry.
4. Post-schooling college and university education is free.
5. Pre-schooling is universal.

Treehorn insists : Australian schooling, now near the bottom of the international scale of effective schooling, has the potential and the intellectual power to leave Finland and other top-rated systems way behind in schooling achievements. It only lacks drive and initiative and thought..
  1. It needs to get rid of NAPLAN
  2. It needs to consider whether there is any social merit in Public Examinations generally. After all, they contain the elements of serious threat to teen-age well-being; suicide being only one of them.
  3. It needs to consider whether the creation of fear and anxiety in young children is preferable to the creation of play and being happy.
  4. It needs to think about the reasons for schooling.
  5. It needs to wonder why the kind of Finnish élan for learning works comprehensively better than the Australian macabre disposition for driving learning by fear.

    ________________________________________________________________________________
    Thanks Gavin.

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

    Which do you think is more important for Australia’s future……  Its Schooling or its Defence by submarines?

    [It’s a trick question.]


It is difficult

It is Difficult

It is difficult

to comprehend

the political mentality

of a country,

that relies on its schooling system

for its future;

then

copies a dud system

from somewhere else,

compounds its toxicity

and continues to spend billions of dollars

to maintain it.

It’s called Kleinism. It’s called NAPLAN. It’s called ‘child abuse’. It’s called ‘failure’ or ‘flop’. It’s called by thousands of ‘unrepeatable phrases’. It’s a real SNAFU.

Beloved only by a business institute and its whelp-force, it’s the kind of assault on our Aussie future with which only an inhumane testucator can comply.

Despite our Aussie casual indifference to crucial matters, there were some folk around a few years ago who sensed the danger in this alteration to sound schooling practices; and a couple of well-meaning senators initiated an inquiry or two. Forgotten now. Nothing happened.

Fair-dinkum Pupilling Girt by Naplan continues the story….

_____________________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486 07 5536 8443 0407865999 cphilcullen@bigpond.com Refer: Who’s Who in Australia

Chapter 5

GO FORTH SENATORS
The Senate is sometimes called a House of Review or a State House or something pleasant that justifies its existence. Senators never appear to be very busy people unless their party boss has given them a jersey in Cabinet or something. Senator Simon Birmingham is our Minister for Educaton, a South Australian and a lawyer as were Cristopher Pyne and Julia Gillard, all previous ministers. The appointment of so many South Ausralian legal eagles to a task that has proved to be quite beyond them has been a special feature of Australian schooling. It must say something, but I’m not sure what it is, because none of their changes has been a credit to the legacy of South Australian schooling of the era of Alby Jones, John Steinle, Jim Giles and other SA schoolies of distinction, when SA was clearly a great schooling society.  S.A. was aptly called the ‘Jekyll and Hyde of Australia‘ by David Hunt in his “True Girt” [P.179].  It must be the eagality side of the schizoid Adelaide kleinsmen that makes them different and do some quite peculiar things. S.A. legal eagles have been in control, or, more directly, ‘ out-of-control’  for a long, long time.

A dominant species, these predatory birds of prey – Klein, Gillard, Pyne, Birmingham – reckon they know more about schooling than anybody else, and, being of their species, keep picking at the bones of the under-nourished. With total disregard for the opinions of more honourable professions within the caring community, they have became the judge,  jury  and executioner of how educational renewables should be organised. A  big blackout. …2008.. left  Australians groping in the dark. We are still groping  in the dark for a schooling system based on learning; on pupilling.

There was enough concern back in 2010 and 2013 for the Senate to appoint a committee of inquiry into aspects of NAPLAN. It has to do something like this every now and then to justify its existence. So, there have been two that concern NAPLAN, both now forgotten, both fizzers. The terms of reference were wide on both occasions, but, as the issues were dealt with, a  generalised feeling started to pervade the deliberations so much so  that the committee only dealt with how the government can tidy up the delivery of the tests and how to make the My School site more palatable for parents.  The age-old hardies: national curriculum, school funding, disadvantaged schools all got plenty of attention; very little on the effects of child abuse and the use of fear as a motivator for better test results. Neither the keeping of administrative secrets from parents nor the ethical dimensions of  improper testing got any air time despite the efforts of some committee members. I got the impression that there was no sense of urgency; no sense of seriousness; not great concern for kids – lots of concern for the processes. It was a snafu situation. You tried, Senators.

Children as children, the effects of the testing on their mental health and humanity,  useful evaluation and accountability alternatives to the American variety, were sidelined. A reading of the submissions only  helped readers to sort the wheat from the chaff about the professional attitude of those who made submissions.

While proud of the submission that I had made, my participation in the events were an embarrassment. There seemed to be no seriousness of intent. I joined with some wonderful Australian educators, especially David Hornsby and Lorraine Wilson, members  of the Australian Literacy Educators Association; but it was hopeless.
[By the way, check out  http://www.alea.edu.au/documents/item/773/ for an insight into The Place of Phonics in Learning to Read and Write.]

On reading the submissions to the first inquiry, I was blasted out of my cockpit when I saw that APPA, the Australian Primary Principals Association, approved of the use of NAPLAN as a diagnostic and evaluative device. I have had some bitter disappointments over the past eighty years, but, as a former primary principal, this was the biggest ever. Since APPA claims to represent all primary school principals’ associations and a one-off Queensland association of principals as well, I did not see how this could have happened. No mention in their submission or too many other submissions of the impact on children’s mental health or anything like that.  I never ever thought that I would see the day.

At the time, all the APPA had to say to her ladyship was: “Primary principals don’t do those sorts of things to children.”….and NAPLAN was ‘dead, buried and cremated.’ When I mentioned this to the President at the time, his non-verbal reaction seemed to say it all. Trapped.

The statement still applies, but it would take more courage than is currently available to tell the authorities where to get off….and leave our kids alone….to let them learn….to be pupilled instead of badgered. Fighting casual indifference, a silent well-controlled media, disinterested political parties and an overbearing, inhumane government makes things difficult for once-ethical, usually placid, lonely classroom teachers and parents to express their wishes. As Forrest Gump says: ‘It happens.” 

I repeat what I said: “We shouldn’t do such nasty things to children and Australian primary principals should have had no part in it.”

I was absolutely amazed and crushed. If there was any group of educators in Australia that would call for the complete banning of NAPLAN because of its toxic effects on the curriculum and on children’s learning and mental health, I was sure that it would be a group of primary principals. I just could not believe what I saw and hear. They approved of this devilish dilution of ethics and standards and said so. I thought of the primary school kids attending schools for the following few years, where NAPLAN was jollied and enacted by its leaders; and felt devastated.

Poor kids.

It seems as if the holding of a senate inquiry provided a counterfeit closure on debate about important issues…… and none comes more important than the welfare of our children.
Is there anybody around to stand up for the kids?

Is there anybody around to stand up for the kids?                                                                                                                                             oooo0000oooo

Fair Dinkum Pupilling Girt by NAPLAN

Do you remember the old story of the beautiful maiden and the frog? She had been told that if she kissed this frog, it would turn into a handsome prince.  But what kind of stunning beauty goes around kissing frogs? Yuk. She did! Crash!  Bang! Wallop!   There, before her, stood the most handsome prince.  You know the rest of the story.

That’s the job of teachers, isn’t it?……to kiss frogs?    and never stop looking for frogs to kiss?