Friday, May 24, 2013

Educational Readings -' shonky' standards data

By Allan Alach

The big issue in New Zealand before the end of May will be the government’s release of  data that will supposedly show children’s achievement against the set national standards in the 2012 school year. For many reasons this is a very dubious exercise of minimal value. One of these reasons is the lack of validity of the national standards process, which has been examined by Waikato University Professor of Education Martin Thrupp. I’ve written an appraisal of a newspaper article about Martin’s findings, and intend to follow up with a review of his full report.

My initial analysis:

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

This week’s homework!

Skills Versus Content in the Early Grades (via Bruce)

‘For decades, U.S. schools have been engaged in a failed experiment that attempts to cram more content into a typical teaching day than is humanly possible. Schools ask children to learn overwhelming content at younger and younger ages without taking the time to build the foundational skills needed for learning or behavioral success.’

Dystopia: A Possible Future of Teacher Evaluation

Warning: do not read while holding a hot coffee or tea. May be hazardous to mental health. Antony Cody outlines a nightmare scenario for 2018.

To encourage creativity, Mr Gove, you must first understand what it is

Sir Ken Robinson, commenting on UK Education Secretary Michael Gove’s view of fostering creativity in education. Gove is a true technocrat and so Sir Ken is able to shoot big holes in his ‘paint by numbers’ nonsense.

School leadership and the new cult of personality: some thoughts on extravagance in Academyland (via Joce Jesson)

Observations from UK about the pitfalls of Academy (a.k.a. charter) schools:

‘..the new corporatisation of schools, with high salaries, bonuses and performance-related pay for a few are a threat to these public service values. Intentionally.  They are meant to create divisions – between school leaders and teachers, and between teachers and teachers.’

Sussex academy pays £1 heritage.00,000 to use 'patented' US school curriculum (via Joce Jesson)

As the proposed model for charter schools on New Zealand allows for free choice of curriculum, the door is open to whatever the proprietors deem to be suitable. The teaching of creationism, in religious themed schools is one example. However there is another probability, the purchasing of complete curricula from overseas, and thus depriving the children of their heritage.  I wonder how parents would feel if they were aware of this? Here’s an example from the UK.

The Ultimate Education Reform: Messy Learning & Problem Solving (via Bruce).

Canadian educator Ian Jukes is a must see, if he’s in your locality. He has a farsighted vision of where education should be headed, and his presentations are stimulating and entertaining. Here he introduces an article by Tim Holt.

Parents, Students, Teachers…Meet Pearson Publishing

Following the theme, often expressed, that we need to look overseas to see what is coming our way, this article about Pearson Publishing (including Adobe, Scott Foresman, Penguin, Longman, Wharton, Harcourt, Puffin, Prentice Hall, Allyn & Bacon) is very revealing.

Government to introduce charter hospitals

‘The National Government has today announced plans to introduce a number of charter hospitals, similar to their charter school counterparts, in major population centres around the country. The hospitals, which would be owned, operated or sponsored by private enterprises, would dissociate themselves from the current public health system and not be required to follow the regulations that most health institutes are beholden to.’

31 Signs You’ve Been A Teacher Too Long

C’mon, ‘fess up - how many of these ring true?

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