Friday, June 06, 2014

Educational Readings - Pat Newman (NZ), Jerome Bruner, John Abbot, Lester Thurow et all

By Bruce Hammonds

Allan Alach, the regular compiler of Educational Readings, is away holidaying in the UK and Europe for a few weeks so I have put together this weeks reading. Alan does a great job searching out readings either supporting a progressive point of view or critiquing the current neo-liberal ideology that has infected Western Education.

I wish Allan a great holiday but thankfully when he gets sorted he will continue his contributions.

The next few months in New Zealand will be very important with the election looming. If the current government is returned then the neo-liberal agenda will be fully implemented leading New Zealand further down the path to privatization.

Alan welcomes suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to him at

This weeks homework!

Dont be fooled by proposed 'Super' Principals scheme says Pat Newman
An advocate for creative teaching
Before leaving Allan send me the link below to Pat Newman ( President of the Tai Tokerou Principals) opinion piece in the latest Education Review. 

Pat writes  about the negative scenario that will result if Nationals latest populist panacea of providing considerable money to appoint 'super' principals and 'super' teachers to ensure schools comply to government National Standards  is put in place

 Read what Pat has to say (he is one principal who is not afraid to confront the government neo-liberal policies).

Then read the following comment by Tom Parsons (Secondary Principals Association president)
Parsons writes that Pat is scaremongering and that we should see the positive in the 'super' principal /teacher idea. He sees the idea as the best thing since the 1877 Education Act!  He must be joking?
I am with Pat!

And read Kelvin Smythe's response to the PPTA sell-out.

We need to re-Imagine what kind of society we want.
John Abbot

To implement real educational reform we need to figure out what sort of world we want, writes John Abbot the director of the 21st Century Learning Imitative. Do we want citizens who thrive on interdependence and community or a world run by self-centered individuals? Read and find out.

Learning Deeply students learn by making stuff.

Schools involved in 21st learning make use of project based learning and modern information technology. The link below leads to a short article that will resonate with creative New Zealand teachers.

Moving beyond testing.

As schools are becoming test focused it is enlightening to read of schools that are
Moving away from testing
gaining student success without recourse to  standardized testing by moving towards performance based assessment
. Take a look at the short videos embedded in the article. Once again creative New Zealand teachers will feel in good company.

Whats behind the surprise of creativity- Jerome Bruner?

Jerome Bruner is a favourite educator of mine. He wisely has written that students
Jerome Bruner
get better at what they get good at' 
and teaching is the canny art of intellectual temptation. In this piece he talks about the hard work behind creative insight. This link takes to a great Edu- blog.

The spiral curriculum doesn’t always go up!!
There are those who think learning is a simple linear staircase process (and thus able to be determined by adults) but this article explains that education is more a process of moving backwards and forwards like overlapping waves. Slipping back

is a normal part of learning writes Robert Siegler Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.

Do we need to do new things in a new way writes blogger Bill Ferriter? 
 Another great blog site.

It’s is not just new technology that counts it is the pedagogy behind their use. New digital tools used wisely do develop more efficient and effective learners. In my experience the technology available in many classes (at great expense) is poorly used.

What keeps kids motivated to learn.

Humans are born with an innate default need to learn so with this in mind it is ironic that schools have problem motivating their ‘natural born learners. This link provides teachers with some practical answers – and also, ironically, answers that once were the grist for creative teaches and are now risk of being lost with the government
An integrated environmental project
standardized teaching agenda. Creative teachers will recognise such ideas as: integrated projects, interest based learning, hands on learning, learning from failure, performance based assessment and caring teachers.

Do teachers talk too much? And what to do about it.

A short perceptive and practical read.

From Bruce Hammonds Oldies but Goodies

One of my oldies but goodies - there are well over a thousand postings on my blog and the blog data show which ones are being read each hour, day, week, month , year and all time. It is ones that turn up that I have all but forgotten these that I send to Allan to add to the readings.

Time for a national conversation about education?

This blog written in 2005, with the election looming seems as relevant as ever.

 As does this blog based on a book by Lester Thurow about the world at a 'turning point'.

There are a lot of inter-related forces  that are leading to a major turning point in human civilisation that will create change whether we like it or not. Unfortunately politicians, with the exception of those who understand the need for sustainability, with their short term election focus fail to see, or choose to ignore. Lester Thurow writes, we need a new game, new rules and new strategies. We are still awaiting the turning point be wrote of in his book but change is inevitable whether we like it or not.

 Creative or compliant teachers.The challenge for teachers and school with the election looming. 
A recent blog but worth a re-read?

With the election drawing near the choices are sharpening – or ought to be. Creative education will depend on who is the government post-election

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