Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Weekend Reading from Allan

Weekend Readings

By Allan Alach

Another week, nothing much has changed. The attack on kids continues unabated. As I read somewhere, ‘Why do adults hate kids?’

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

This week’s homework!

Common Sense Vs. Common Core: How to Minimize the Damages of the Common Core
Here is another article by Yong Zhao. While this is written about the common core standards in USA, spot the similarities with national standards in New Zealand. Will a similar beast appear in Australia at some stage?

Are Compliant Teachers Exhibiting Stockholm Syndrome?
In the next article, Horace Mann suggests that both male and female teachers are subject to a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, eager to please their bosses and maintain personal safety.  Does he have a plausible argument? Or maybe they just ‘follow orders.’ Heard that before? Maybe the Milgram Experiment is the explanation?
What do you think?

The Technocratization of Public Education: Subverting educational practices
This reading follows up on the Bill & Melinda Gates idea of fitting children with “galvanic skin response bracelets”  by examining the development of public education in the USA (with obvious links to similar education programmes in other countries). Of particular interest, note this quote by Frederick Taylor Gates (no relation to Bill Gates):
“We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning, or men of science. The task we set before ourselves is very simple, as well as a very beautiful one, to train these people as we find them to a perfectly ideal life just where they are. So we will organize our children and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way, in the homes, in the shops and on the farm.”
One could suggest that nothing has changed nearly a century later.

Disaster Capitalism, K-12 Education, and Corporate Takeovers of Progressive Organizations
The USA is much further down the road to destroy public education for the sake of corporate profit, however our ‘leaders’ in Australia and New Zealand are hot on the trail. This article provides a review of the template that is being following - how many ‘coincidences’ can you find?

In 2002, Business Week Revealed Why Common Core Disdains Fiction
 We know that the Common Core Standards in the USA have a fair bit in common with New Zealand’s national standards. While NZ’s version of reading standards is not (yet) as restrictive as those in USA, we can’t take this for granted, nor can Australians relax thinking that this isn’t their problem. The USA reading standard is heavily slanted towards non-fiction, as ‘non-fiction is where students get information about the world and that’s why schools must stop teaching so much fiction.’ 
This article discusses the given rationale for this, which will not come as a surprise to you!

The best book on creativity 'In The Early World' by Elwyn Richardson (reprinted 2012 )
Feeling poisoned by the relentless attack on child centred education? Here’s an antidote for you - the reprint of a seminal book on a New Zealand school in the 1950s. This has been called the best book about education ever written, and in the light of my limited readings, I would have to agree. The book is available here:

Readers will have seen the posting that Bruce wrote about this book earlier this week. Kelvin Smythe has also written at length about Richardson, starting here:

To add to this, here’s a documentary that was made about Elwyn’s school, where you can see his work in action.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An excellent set of readings - lets hope some principals take the time to read them.