Friday, April 12, 2013

Educational Readings - Bill Gates, Michael Gove and passion based learning


By Allan Alach

If you think things are bad in your own locale, read the article about Ohio - suggest you aren’t holding a hot drink at the time.  Looking further, the issue of ‘big data’ is raising concern, not just limited to education. Big brother is getting closer every year.

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

This week’s homework!

Accountability for Mr. Gates: The Billionaire Philanthropist Evaluation
So what with all the testing!

Following on from last week’s readings, here’s Anthony Cody’s evaluation of Bill Gates. Do you think he will earn performance pay?

Wrecking physical ed: Ohio’s P.E. assessment for kids

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any madder, here’s the physical education assessment tool that Ohio physical education teachers must use to evaluate their students. Warning - reading this may be injurious to your health.

In Michael Gove's world who needs teachers?

‘The education secretary's obsession with 'spellings, facts and rules' ignores the professional consensus on child development.’

As bad as things look in Australia and New Zealand, we can be thankful that we don’t have  ministers of education like Michael Gove in the UK. Mind you things may change in Australia later this year, and I wouldn’t rule out a Hekia brain storm in New Zealand...

National Standards and Neanderthals – “They will know what is required …” – Part I

This is a long article. However don’t let that stop you from reading it. This is one of the best overviews of education in general and the destructive nature of national standards that you will find anywhere.

Why we should never return to the three Rs

‘Ongoing calls for a rejection of “intellectual fads” and a return to “more traditional teaching methods” seem to be ramping up in the education debate.

But if these advocates were talking about rejecting advances over the past sixty years in medicine, no one would take them seriously. So why then is it acceptable to champion simplistic and archaic methods when it comes to education?’

The Importance of Failing Well

      ‘A study of intellectually gifted students at a New Zealand high school has revealed one significant factor that distinguishes the highest achievers from the lowest achievers.

      This factor was 100% significant – present in all the highest achievers and absent in all the lowest achievers.

      This factor was their ability to fail well.’

Passion-Based Learning (via Bruce Hammonds)

We need to bring passion back into learning, in teaching and all around. Passion motivates. It makes a way out of no way. It allows students to overcome hardships to achieve a goal that is meaningful to them.’

Those, like Bill Gates, who promote a future of online instruction, are totally ignorant of the human factor, instead seeing children as machines to be programmed.

More U.S. Children Being Diagnosed With Youthful Tendency Disorder

Now for something even more completely different.

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