Posted by: PPTAweb
on 21, Nov, 2012
Dear Ms Longstone,
Some of us who have been involved in educating students for many decades in NZ cannot understand the recent attack on NZ's education system.
It is obvious you have been appointed by some who feel that you can make some progress in bringing NZers to heel as this government is not prepared to spend money on education.
The comments by Education Ministry CEO Lesley Longstone that the NZ education system is not world class were not made in a vacuum.
The comments come in the wake of imposed policies on (a) national standards (b) charter schools and (c) the abortive attempt to increase class sizes – all of which run counter to the equity outcomes that Longstone now professes to be dead keen on promoting.
I think we can add the attack on struggling Christchurch schools to this list.
Unlike England, many members of this government and perhaps some of your advisers, NZers have a long history of egalitarianism.
To attack the fact that you say education is not equitable for all in NZ, when our education has unfailingly demonstrated its robustness even under the extreme attacks from governments is folly on your part. No-one believes you for a moment.
Just as in England, public school educated people feel that their education system is the best ever, so do most kiwis.
Posted by: Tom Haig
on 25, Oct, 2012
Tagged in: teaching
, Mike Feinberg
, John Banks
, charter schools
, Charter school working group
, Catherine Isaac
, ACT Party
Reading the start of Hard Times in the library last weekend, I had to stop myself accosting the nearest person with how strikingly relevant it is to the educational debate today.
In a miserable class room in a northern English industrial town a school inspector and a new teacher drill a class of youngsters with facts in the modern, 1850s, method. Exaggerated as they are in Dickens’ inimitable style, Misters Gradgrind and M’Choakumchild are recognisable still as archetypes of the ‘filling a bucket’ style of educator. Dickens describes the teacher “…looking into all the vessels ranged before him, one after another… from thy boiling store that shalt fill each jar brim full [and] kill outright the robber Fancy lurking within…” and so on.
So, what’s so exciting about this?
First, it’s that, even in 1854, this style of education was quite obviously mocked and criticised by Dickens, and presumably other people too. There’s this mythologising that goes on, from educational consultants and people on TED talks in particular, that the twentieth century industrial model of education was about pumping kids through schools and filling their heads in a regimented manner and rhythm, and that we have to change this because of the ‘new economy’ or ‘new forms of knowledge’ or whatever. What nonsense. The tension between education as a personal, holistic, creative endeavour versus the acquisition of knowledge, at least reaches back to the mid nineteenth century, and I suspect much earlier indeed.
And the relation of this to charter schools is simply that Mr Gradgrind sounds like a perfect candidate to run a KIPP school. “A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations… With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket... ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature…” this sounds like a man ideally fitted for the ‘no excuses’ extreme-accountability regime of the (commonly known as) Kids in Prison Programme.
Posted by: Michael James Stevenson
on 15, Oct, 2012
Having attended the Woteva nxt themed 2012 ANZELA conference and witnessing the launch of the New Zealand Teachers Council’s new social media website http://www.teachersandsocialmedia.co.nz/, my attention was drawn to the 2007 Pennsylvanian case of Stacey Snyder v Millersville University et al.
The matter is commonly referred to as the Drunken Pirate case, as Snyder, a student teacher at the time, posted photos on the social media website MySpace dressed as a pirate drinking from a plastic cup alongside the caption “Drunken Pirate”. The actual photo is widely available on the internet and displayed below.
Posted by: PPTAweb
on 01, Oct, 2012
Ben Levin writes - "..... most countries with high performing school systems work hard to create a high degree of consensus and positive energy around schooling rather than an atmosphere of crisis, incompetence, and blame."
Learning From Abroad: Rapid Improvement Is Possible, Even in a System Like Ours
Posted by: PPTAweb
on 24, Aug, 2012
Tagged in: teaching
, student achievement
, social disadvantage
, Office of the Auditor General
, Maori achievement
, Education Review Office
, education politics
, education policy
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has announced a 5 year foray into Māori education.
|"School visits for education performance inquiry
Radio NZ, 22 August 2012
About 30 schools are to get a visit from from the Auditor-General's office, as part of a new drive to make regular checks on how well the education system is supporting Maori students."
It seems the OAG has spare resources and is looking for work. The OAG document "Education for Maori: Context for our proposed audit work until 2017" is a document of somewhat selective references. It has a five year plan for this and a very very select group of advisors.
But why is the OAG duplicating work in an area that another statutory body is responsible for? It seems a wasteful duplication and use of the financial and human resources of government and schools.
The Education Review Office is set up specifically to evaluate and report on the education and care of students in schools and early childhood services.
Within the Education Review office the leadership team have extensive education experience and qualifications including in the area of Maori education.
"The Education Review Office (ERO) plays a valuable role as an agency for change in the education system. ERO has a quite specific legislative role – to review and report on the performance of schools and early childhood services. Increasingly, however, ERO regards its institutional reviews and national evaluation reports as levers for system change. ERO’s findings are used by services, schools, the Ministry of Education, and other policy agencies."