Friday, May 10, 2013

Educational Readings - narrowing the curriculum

By Allan Alach
One of today’s items discusses the myth of lagging US schools, and, as I noted in my introduction, this equally applies to schooling in other countries. This is no coincidence, and is consistent with the practice of disaster capitalism (Naomi Klein). This either takes advantage of various disasters in order to impose neo-liberal policies (blanket introduction of charter schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is an example of this) or, if no disaster happens to conveniently arrive (Christchurch earthquake) the neo-liberals create their own ‘disaster’ through manipulation of the media. Claiming that schools are failing, in order to justify ‘reform’ is an example of this. I’m sure you can think of many other examples.

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

This week’s homework!

More Evidence that Test-Based Accountability Narrows the Curriculum

Time to say ‘We told you so?”

A new academic study has found that test-based accountability measures in the United States have narrowed the curriculum in schools. A statistical analysis published in the latest issue of Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis concludes that there is strong evidence that class time devoted to mathematics and English has increased while the share going to science and social studies has decreased in response to school accountability measures.’

Finland: The Lighthouse of Progressive Education and Divergent Learning

Yet another US educator sees the light. The problem is that is our politicians, wherever, who are blind. Ah well, we can all work hard for a cure.

“If John Dewey was alive today, he would see his words on child-centered and problem-based learning put into practice in Finland.”

“We’re Number Umpteenth!”: The myth of lagging U.S. schools

The myth of lagging New Zealand/Australia/Canadian/…. schools as well, seeing as this the prime justification used by GERMers to bring in school ‘deform.’ Alfie Kohn dismantles this myth from the USA perspective; however his arguments are equally valid all over.

The Industrial Classroom

‘In resisting standardized testing, today’s teachers are part of a rich tradition of struggle against dehumanization in the workplace.

There’s nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes.  Nothing new in this article either; however its a good overview of the antecedents to the present educational nonsense.

Why I’m anti-rubric (via Michael Fawcett)

A basic overview of the problems with rubrics, which should encourage everyone to investigate further!

Leading the way in education - instead of following the failing neo liberal agenda

Bruce Hammonds’ interpretation of Yong Zhao’s book “Catching Up By Leading

Yong Zhao
‘Why right wing politicians in New Zealand would want to follow the failing neo-liberal agenda of the USA is more to do with politics than education.’


"School Time" in New Zealand (via Bruce Hammonds)

What can be learned from New Zealand's school schedule?
Educator and blogger Adam Provost in this post writes about a recent trip to New Zealand, in which he examined the country's school model. Provost includes a detailed account of the school day, which includes daily "teatime" to relax and collaborate and 10 hours of professional development over a six-day period, which is built into the schedule’.

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