Saturday, January 26, 2013

Educational Readings -Marion Brady, Elwyn Richardson

By Allan Alach

As the start of the New Zealand school year approaches, its timely to restart these weekly reading lists. Bruce Hammonds ( tells me that the last 2012 edition was well received, so that’s encouraging. I hope that this and future editions also meet with readers’ approval. Feedback is always welcomed.

This may be a new year but as the articles below show, nothing much has changed. GERMs are still infecting education systems around the world and the need for the disinfection to be an international cooperation is crucial.

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

This week’s homework!

West vs Asia education rankings are misleading

‘Western schoolchildren are routinely outperformed by their Asian peers, but worrying about it is pointless.’

So much for the fear mongering then.

Deeper Learning: Highlighting Student Work

The difference is that these students' teachers have helped them develop the skills and mindsets necessary to produce work of exceptional quality, and have built classroom and school cultures in which exceptional work is the norm.’

Guess that these teachers aren’t infected by GERMs, then?

Exclusive: Revealed - Tory plan for firms to run schools for profit

This is out in the open in England. We can be sure that the same strings are being pulled in New Zealand.

Our obsession with ‘natural’ talent is harming students

‘Results released from a major Victorian study on student learning show high achieving children’s performance in tests is “flat-lining”.’

Gosh, really? Who would have predicted this?

Academies report disguises the damage they are doing to British schools

Yawn. What’s new? The same will apply in New Zealand.

The Global Search for Education: What Will Finland Do Next?

Let me guess….. I know….. they will bring in national testing so they can do better in international tests of dubious relevance…….    ;)

15 Reasons Why Daydreamers are Better Learners

‘Recent research in both psychology and neuroscience clearly shows that daydreaming is an essential part of mental processing, reasoning and, yes, even learning.’

Another conflict with the educational rubbish espoused by the economists behind GERM. So much for measuring inputs and outputs then. On the other hand, one reason for Google’s success is their provision to allow employees time to dream and innovate.

Competition and Choice Fail to Produce Better Student Results

More research that debunks the neoliberal myths.

‘Another new study has refuted the case that more competition and choice between schools leads to higher student results. The paper reviewed research evidence in several countries and concluded that it is “mixed and modest”. It also found that choice and competition leads to greater social stratification between schools.’

Why schools used to be better

Another gem from Marion Brady - nothing more needs to be added.

Elwyn S Richardson 1925 -2012 Creative teacher.

For those who missed this over the break - here is Bruce Hammonds obituary for Elwyn Richardson. All holistically minded teachers, world wide, should read this.

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