Saturday, September 27, 2014

Educational Readings -Sitting Bull/ creativity/ and 'Modern' Learning Environments?

By Allan Alach

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

This weeks homework!

William Mathis on "Economics, Education and Sitting Bull"
Facing the extinction of Sioux culture, Sitting Bull realized that their hope their only hope was in the life they made for their children. Confronted by this reality, he saw that education was
something far more than the narrow teaching of a set of test-based, academic skills. Education must impart the knowledge of the ways of the society, of fruitful interactions, of sustaining and nurturing cultural beliefs and rituals, of language and of the economic order, if you will, of a group of independent but related nomadic tribes. (And when the Anglo forces won, they established Indian schools to stamp out this culture).

Fostering Creativity In The Learning Process
As educators, when it comes to creativity in the classroom, there are 2 things we can do. We can take the path of least resistance and take creativity out of the learning process. Or we can create an environment that fosters creativity in learning and allow kids to explore their talents.

Franz Kafka and the Metamorphosis of Teacher Evaluations
One morning, when Mr. K woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his
classroom into a horrible insect. He lay on his segmented brown belly propped against his teachers desk. He had fallen asleep trying to grade English papers again. His armor-like back ached and wiry thin antennae kept bobbing into view like stray hairs. If he lifted his head a little, he could see his many tiny legs waving about helplessly each holding a pen or pencil.
 “Whats happened to me?he thought.

Engaging students in learning, not just schooling
In any given lesson or class, some students are engaged in their own learning process because they are inherently interested in the topic.  Other students may just be attending to get it over with. These are the students we are losing, because they are only engaging in their schooling, not in their personal learning. But, how to help these students to engage in their own learning?

By Jo Nocera
Imagining Successful Schools
The main thing that works is treating teaching as a profession, and teachers as professionals. That means that teachers are as well paid as other professionals, that they have a career ladder, that they go to elite schools where they learn their craft, and that they are among the top quartile of college graduates instead of the bottom quartile.

Do girls learn differently?
Neuroscientist Lise Eliot has argued persuasively that, while small inherent differences in aptitude between males and females do exist (even as infants, for example, boys seem to have an edge in spatial cognition), society takes these small differences and makes them much biggerby supporting boys in math and science, and by discouraging girls who study these subjects.

The wasteful fraud of sorting for youth meritocracy
What if we celebrated the students who regularly try the hardest, help each other the most and lead? What if we fast tracked those students, and made it clear to anyone else willing to adopt those attitudes that they could be celebrated too? What if you got cast, tracked or made the cut because you were resilient, hard working and willing to set yourself up for a cycle of continuous improvement? Isn't that more important than rewarding the kid who never passes but still scores a lot of goals?

Pseudoscience has nested in schools
When Nick Rose worked as a parapsychologist, his job was to investigate why people believed they had been haunted by ghosts or abducted by aliens. When he became a teacher, he expected that all this would be replaced by hard facts and a rigorous curriculum but teaching is rifewith myths and pseudoscience, he believes.
At a major conference on the use of research in education, Mr Rose said schools had very little immunity to nonsense and urged teachers to have the confidence to ask impertinent questions about approaches that had no scientific basis.

This weeks contributions from

How iPads, mobility and a pedagogical mind shift can transform learning.
Bruces comment: A creative NZ teacher shares ideas about using technology in her MLE classroom.

Heres a series of links about modern learning environments.

Bruces comment: Modern Learning Environments are the in thingbut most of the material seems to relate to architectural and resource features but the link below does provide how pedagogy and modern learning spaces interact. For those with very long memories such  ‘open plan modern learning environments were all the rage in the 70s in the UK, the US and New Zealand. Take a quick look at the link below but get down to the real school examples from Australia, the US and the UK at the end. The proof of course can only be judged by the quality of the students' in depth thinking across the Learning Areas to be successful they ought to reflect the things you would see  at Science, Technology and Maths  fairs or Creative Arts performances.

Linking Pedagogy and Space.

New Zealand examples are Pegasus Bay School

and Hobsonville primary and secondary schools.

Modern Learning Environments.
MLE 1968 !
Bruces comment:I find it hard to accept that the ideas expressed about Modern Learning Environmentsare modern or new but I like the questions on page 5 in the link below. Principals of such schools would be well advised to search out Living and Learning’  book published by the Ontario Department of Education 1968! This 220 page book covers school design and pedagogy to a greater detail than is currently available.

Why Classroom Wall Displays Matter
Bruces comment: Someone I totally agree with ! A MLE teacher in a Singapore School. MLEs should produce powerful displays of in depth learning.
In the 21st century we are all very focussed on utilising digital technologies with our students as a tool to support learning. Dont get me wrong, I am a huge advocate for technology in the classroom, and this article is not an anti-technology battle post. One of the thing that I have found recently when I have been in amazing digital schools is that often classroom wall displays are lacking, I found myself asking why .

Classroom Display Inspiration
Bruces comment about this Pinterest site: Maybe there are a few ideas below  to inspire displays of student thinking?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kowhais too good to miss! - a mini integrated unit

Artist : Graeme Hammonds Kumeu Auck

This is just a reminder for New Zealand teachers to ensure their students develop an awareness and understanding of the kowhai which is in full flower at present -although there seems a lots of individuality variety regarding flowering of kowhai.

Examine, count and name parts
What do students know about the kowhai? Are they able to identify a kowahi?

Visit a kowhai tree. While there students could record ideas to develop into a three line poem ( a simple version of a haiku). What are their thoughts about the flowers? the trunks and branches, and finally the petals lying on the ground.

If teachers pick a few flowers students, back in class, can be encouraged to complete observational drawings of a flower
. From this questions might emerge for students to research. Teach the 'secret' to drawing is to look carefully , then draw,and continue doping this until finished.
Measure growth of young pod

For science (and maths) carefully pull a flower apart to count how many petals their are. Help the students recognise the stamens ( the male part of the flower) and the stamen ( or female part -which grows into the pod). What are proper names for parts of a flower?

What is the scientific name for Kowhai? Why do plants have scientific names?
What other plants are in the same family ( think of plants with similar flowers which grow into pods)

Research Tuis
What native bird is often found in the kowahi? What are they doing?

Answers to their research, there drawings and diagrams of the flower, could be developed into a research chart or displayed as part of a wall display.

Pick a 100 pods. What the seed average?
For maths, other than recording the number of petals and stamens, tie a piece of wool to a flower that has shed all its petals and then record the growth of the pod. Students will be surprised at the speed of the growth of the pod.

If there are last season's pods to be gathered collect them and group then into tens and get group to count the number of seeds in pod ( percentages)

Soak plants in water and try to grow some seedling kowhais.

Whitebait Season in New Zealand - a great mini study!

A creative teacher should be aways on the alert for interesting things to introduce to his or her class. What do your students know about whitebait?

The whitebait season is with us once again.

I wonder how many children in your class have tasted whitebait fritters or better still been out catching them? Do they know anybody that catches whitebait?

What do your children know about whitebait?

Whitebait made front page news in our local paper last week! The article  stated that 'they are a small fish in trouble. But that is nothing new.Their gradual demise has been well documented since 1840 when shoals were as long as a rugby field were a common site. Back then whitebait were weighed in tons; the next century it could be measured in kerosene tins, then pounds and now, more than ever, in cups.'

It would be great if you could acquire a few whitebait to keep in the class aquarium to study.If not access pictures of whitebait from the Internet of from reference books and make use of for research.

Whitebait make an interesting 'mini study'. Such a study could be part of the literacy programme and an opportunity to introduce research reading and writing to the class. A small research booklet could result and include observational drawing and diagrams.

First ask your students what they know about whitebait ( their 'prior ideas') and from this what questions about whitebait they can think of to research. Teachers could interact with their students to add question children might not think of - or wait because as the study progresses ( and students read up on whitebait) further questions will emerge.

Some questions might be:

Why do they have seasons ( introducing the idea of sustainability)? The season , in most of New Zealand, runs from  August 15th to  November 30th.

What are whitebait? Children will discover there are several native species that collectively are called whitebait. There are five main species of whitebait. They are called kokopu  or inanga. The scientific name  for the species is Galaxidae named after the Milky Way because they are caught their eyes, with their translucent bodies, look like dazzling stars

What is the life cycle of whitebait? Whitebait travel up rivers in Spring, spend the summer up river growing to several centimeters long - called kokopu at this stage. Kokupu then travel downstream to lay their eggs in wetland near the sea.The eggs are washed out to sea - returning in the Spring as whitebait.

How do you catch them?
How do you cook them?

Some interesting maths could be developed around the cost of whitebait? How much do they cost each. Maybe the teacher could buy 200 grams so as to estimate how many in a kilogram!
The price this year is $140 a kilo. Some are being sold @ $35 for 250 grams!

Adult whitebait - inaunga
Whitebait bring up the issue of conservation. What might be done to protect whitebait species?

Art work @ 11c a whitebait!
Their answers to their questions could be drafted out and good copies placed in their study books or a small display could be mounted on the classroom wall.

In earlier days teachers would have called this a single animal study.There are possibly articles in school journals for students to refer to? Schools could contact the Conservation Department for information

Friday, September 19, 2014

Educational Readings - music/autism/ PE/Finland/ making and creating

By Allan Alach

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

This weeks homework!

Study: Music Education Could Help Close The Achievement Gap Between Poor And Affluent Students
Why does this only help poor students? I suggest that all children benefit from music education. The poverty problem needs be solved by reducing inequality. Anything else is a cop out.
These findings are a testament that its a mistake to think of music education as a quick fix, but that if its an ongoing part of childrens education, making music can have a profound and lifelong impact on listening and learning.

Look at Life Through Autistic Eyes
For their senior film at the Ringling College of Art and Design, Marisabel Fernandez and Alexander Bernard created an animated simulation of life through the eyes of a non-verbal child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and her constant struggle to cope with the world around her,as they write in their artist statement.
Link to video included in this article.

Ray Bradbury on How List-Making Can Boost Your Creativity
Heres something to incorporate into classroom written language.
How to feel your way toward something honest, hidden under the trapdoor on the top of your skull.

5 reasons why we need physical activity in schools
So, in closing, let's increase opportunities for our students when it comes to physical activity. When we add physical activity to our overall instructional programming rather than cutting it, we might just get the results we are looking for…”

The Myth of Monotasking
This is a timely counter to GERMers spin to justify standardisation.
“… I hope, helps lower anxiety about how well we are or are not doing against some mythical standard of sustained, focused attention.  Bottom line:  the mind wanders a lot because the mind's task is to wander.

Teacher: Finnish schools let down two-thirds of kids
Heres a provocative article!
A provocative new book by teacher Maarit Korhonen calls for urgent action in Finlands classrooms to stop children being marginalised by what she sees as outdated and uninspiring teaching. The outspoken Korhonen says Finlands high scores in the PISA international rankings have spread complacency among the educational establishment.

An End to the "Close Your Door and Do Your Own Thing" Era
More than ever before, we need to work together to better ourselves and our profession. In this age of high stakes testing, the need to prepare students to be college and career ready, and with a changing teacher evaluation system we need to support one another. Our success and our students achievement are directly tied to our commitment to learn from, with, and on behalf of one another.

This weeks contributions from

The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain
Bruces comment: This sounds mighty old fashioned in this era of digital communication but the act of penmanship has a positive effect on learning. Just as the act of conservational drawing has more positive learning effects than using a digital camera. Both give the brain the time to absorb
ideas, to consider alternatives, pose questions some of us older teachers ( retired) used to believe in the importance of slowing the pace - doing fewer things well to develop a more reflective mind-set ( and also allowing time for the teacher to come alongside the learner to assist and/or challenge). Students who rush to finish ( assisted by fast moving digital technology) miss out on thoughtful learning.
So in this age of technology, I'm suggesting that students take notes with paper and pen. It's a crazy idea, but hear me out.

How the Maker Movement Is Moving into Classrooms
The Maker movement is a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship. Certainly, learning by doing or "making" has been happening since our ancestors refined the wheel.

The Student Side of Making
What do a jacket, a set of paintings, a wood sculpture, and a series of photos have to do with a student's success in life? Maybe everything.That's because making these pieces requires skills for modern learners -- namely, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and persistence.

Mastering the Teaching Game
Bruces comment: These eight ideas by Carol Tomlinson  synthesize what four decades in classrooms have taught her are the most important principles for teachers to understand
There are several paraphrased points that I hope will resonate with other educators as affirmations, challenges, or both. These eight ideas synthesize what four decades in classrooms have taught me are the most important principles for teachers to understand.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Zealand Elections :More of the same - or a turning point to a fairer more sustainable world?

Some pre -election ramblings!

( Adding to my earlier blog on the elections)

Market Forces is a failed concept, the rich have got richer the poor poorer.

NZ at a crossroads.
 It's the voice of private enterprise ( in reality international corporations)  rather than the needs of people that are now listened to. A majority of people still cling to the belief that John Key's government will save then. It seems you can, contrary to the saying, 'fool most of the people all the time'!

We are like the story of the rabbits sailing out in the ocean in a boat made from a carrot selfishly busy eating their own boat without time to think of an alternative. Or, like  the Easter Islanders, so busy chopping down their trees to build their monuments  to notice their forest had gone.  Today some call this 'vulture capitalism' ;  capitalism based on growth to solve all problems without any real appreciation of the effect such growth has on the sustainability of the environment. The issue of climate change , in such an environment, is in the too hard basket. As one environmentalist has written 'we are eating our future!'

The phrase 'market forces' and a trickle down economy are no longer being mentioned by National Politicians except for their allies  the ACT party. The public  it seems just want to believe in the assurances of John Key -  personality politics.

Whale Oil
 In earlier times Margaret Thatcher used to say 'there is no alternative (TINA) but this is no longer the case. Between them the Labour and Green parties provide a real sustainable alternative but sadly they have not gained the imagination of the voters  - particularly Labour.

Opposition parties, with the exception of Internet/MANA,  have  chosen not to attack the failure of  the market forces ideology and  instead  have focused on providing positive  alternatives. In contrast the National Party have had no such qualms in attacking their opposition and have  unashamedly made use of right wing 'attack blogs' - the worst being Cameron Slater and his destructive Whale Oil blog. I am not not sure that this reluctance to attack the premise of market forces has been a good move.

This would've been a more honest hoarding!

Inequality, which ought to have been one of the most important issues, created by thirty years of market forces, has not been faced up to. National's answer is to rely on growth with no mention of the 'trickle down' metaphor!. The trouble is  we are not creating enough jobs; too many jobs are poorly paid ;many families have to survive by both parents working; and there is now a group of citizens now classified as the working poor. As well the majority of workers have not received a  recent pay rise while at the same time the wealthy were given tax cuts.. We have become a self interested me first society; greed above need.

Read what Nigel Latta and Max Rashbrooke have to say about inequality in New Zealand

The excluded are still waiting in NZ.

Right wing governments world- wide continue to follow a neo -liberal market forces ideology based on:  less government ( and as a result less protection for citizens); less  regulations ( particularly for the financial sector); and individual choice ( for those with the power to use it)   . The real winners of this ideology have the international corporations, the financial sector and  wealthy individuals  all who avoid  paying their  fair share of tax and make full use of tax havens.

Consider the implications of the TPP

The time has come for a new political ideology to replace the market forces.

Live like it's 1929!!
 Looking back over history it seems political movements have a viable life of three or four decades. If National return it will be putting off the inevitable need for change if we ever  are to face up to problems of inequality, sustainability of resources and the challenges of climate change.We now , in so many respects , are in a similar position to the world in 1929 which led to the great depression.. Following the  share market crash ( and later the destruction of World War 2) Western countries developed social welfare policies - the welfare sates of the UK and NZ and the 'New Deal' of President Roosevelt.Such programmes delivered great prosperity and equality in contrast to out current 'me first' dog eat dog society.

 We need such 'new deal' again - a 'green new deal'. 

Market Forces - ever see a dog share a bone!!

Market forces has run its course - re-electing National is only delaying the inevitable.

The world we live in.

It certainly didn't come about in the US.

 Sir Geoffrey Palmer , reflecting on the problems resulting from alcohol has written ,'the  companies that operate in this industry are big multinationals whose tentacles stretch into every country. There is absolutely no doubt at all to stand up to them requires some intestinal fortitude.'

Something National is not prepared to do!

Some people are easily fooled.

A design fault in current thinking!
Right wing governments decry the 'nanny state' believing private enterprise is preferable - which it is for the powerful. In its place they have introduced the surveillance culture of 'big brother knows best'.

Privatisation and financial deregulation has passed  the power over to multi-national corporations as we have seen in the reluctance of our government to challenge those who control alcohol - and this can only get worse. The so called 'hidden hand of the market'  , which has dominated for thirty years, has worked in favour of the rich and  the world wide corporations while deepening the  corrosive qualities of inequality and poverty worldwide. As a result of privatization public assets have been sold and many public services have been contracted out to private providers - even in such important fields as education and prisons - profit making trumps service.

Only a strong nation state can ensure corporation are kept in their place - and ensure democratic  rights of all citizens are protected.

The state, contrary to popular belief fed by right wing politicians, is a vital safeguard or the peoples interests and are crucial to stand up to corporation pressures. The belief that markets can work for the common good of all is simply not true. Successful  Nordic and  Asian countries ( including China) retain a strong role for the state. Only a strong  democratic state can ensure all its people are looked after. A strong state can introduce good regulations to protect its citizens and also ensure all its citizens, through education and training, can contribute to ensue the protection of common good for all.

Modern societies need to be inclusive , adaptable, inventive, well informed and creative.

The future requires the political will to realize such a society and to create an inspiring future vision that will capture the imagination of all people. After several decades of 'there is no alternative' we now have a chance to regain a sense of shared optimism that will create a better world than we currently have.

'Vulture capitalism's' gift!

Our generation needs to make such a transformation - to place the common good above self interest - to leave a world worth inheriting There is a better society to be won. A society based on the principles of decent work, an
environmentally sustainable environment, and an economy that places the needs of all people as central.

That many people in this election fail to see this opportunity, preferring growth as usual; placing self interest above common good; failing to see that the current market model is now the problem, is sad.

I guess we will have to wait and see what the voice of people say this Saturday.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Educational Readings - boys v girls/ slow educ / NZ elections.....

By Allan Alach

Staying in Croatia

New Zealand readers - Ive voted from Croatia. Whats your excuse for not voting in New Zealand?

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

This week’s homework!

STEM is incredibly valuable, but if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts

Education or testing?
A foundation in STEM education is exceptional at making us more efficient or increasing speed all within set processes, but its not so good at growing our curiosity or imagination. Its focus is poor at sparking our creativity. It doesnt teach us empathy or what it means to relate to others on a deep emotional level.

The Fatal Flaw Of Education Reform

Nevertheless, I believe that this movement (to whatever degree you can characterize it in those terms) may be doomed to stall out in the long run, not because their ideas are all bad, and certainly not because they lack the political skills and resources to get their policies enacted. Rather, they risk failure for a simple reason: They too often make promises that they cannot keep.

Boys Learn to Interrupt. Girls Learn to Shut Up.

He who speaks first slides first!
When boys and girls play together, boys interrupt more. A lot more.

The more boys there are in the group, the less often girls in the group interrupt.

When girls play together without boys, they interrupt more. A lot more.

Why replacing teachers with automated education lacks imagination

Early testing machine.
The corporates behind GERM have this fantasy of classroom where computers do the teaching with adults available purely as backup. All to make money, of course, and nothing to with actual education.

The belief that technology can automate education and replace teachers is pervasive. Framed in calls for greater efficiency, this belief is present in todays educational innovations, reform endeavours, and technology products. We can do better than adopting this insipid perspective and aspire instead for a better future where innovations imagine creative new ways to organise education.

Are You Ready to Join the Slow Education Movement?

Education must be personalized responsive to the real needs of each student. This could mean the abolition of grade levels based on age. When education is personalized, it emphasizes student interests, teaches skills using worthwhile content and most important shows kids how to tap into their own innate motivation to learn. It puts the onus of learning on those who have the most at stake in school: students.

Beyond Caricatures: On Dewey, Freire, And Direct Instruction (Again)

This weeks heavy dutyarticle but dont let that stop you from reading it! This is important.

The empowered student necessarily requires the classroom offered by the empowered teacher. Any who teaches must first work through the philosophical evolution that Dewey and Freire representas well as continuing beyond the possibilities offered by Deweys progressivism and Freires critical pedagogy.

Dispelling the Myth of Deferred Gratification:What waiting for a marshmallow doesn't prove

By Alfie Kohn:

Underlying self-discipline and grit is the idea of deferring gratificationfor example, by
putting off doing what you enjoy until you finish your "work." The appeal to many educators of transforming kids from lazy grasshoppers to hardworking ants explains the fresh wave of interest in a series of experiments conducted back in the 1960s known as the marshmallow studies.

Gifted primary school children need more than special classes

Many gifted boys and girls find the gifted label stigmatising, and go out of their way to dodge the dreaded nerd status. Would these children be better off in specialised school environment? The gifted education community is sharply divided about this issue with some educators perceiving that the specialised school environment is the ideal setting for gifted children, whereas others believe that they would be better off in the regular school milieu.

This weeks contributions

Common Core's Five Big Half-Truths

Bruces comment:The US has a Common Core Standards that are neither  common nor core (Sir Ken Robinson calls them a race to the bottom) New Zealand has National Standards that are neither national or standard. Both are political and populist. Both narrow the curriculum, encourage teaching the tests and side-lining of creativity and  the arts. Both are the equivalent to the McDonaldisation of education.

School is back in session, and debate over the Common Core is boiling in key states. As governors and legislators debate the fate of the Common Core, they hear Core advocates repeatedly stress five impressive claims: that their handiwork is "internationally benchmarked," "evidence-based," "college- and career-ready," and "rigorous," and that the nations that perform best on international tests all have national standards. In making these claims, advocates go on to dismiss skeptics as ignorant extremists who are happy to settle for mediocrity. The thing is, once examined, these claims are far less compelling than they appear at first glance.

4 Big Things Transformational Teachers Do

Bruces comment: Are you a transformational teacher read this then decide.

Transformational teachers don't react. They anticipate and prepare. Lee Shulman, as reported by Marge Scherer, suggests that expert teachers demonstrate the following, despite enormous challenges:

Planting the Seeds of Innovation in Education

Bruces comment: An innovative high school class/teacher.

Don Wettrick is on a mission: revolutionizing the world of education by training the next generation of innovators. A reformed teacher (he taught to middle and high school students for 17 years), Don started planting the seeds of innovation at the Franklin, IN High School 3-and-a-half years ago, having found inspiration in Daniel Pinks book Drive.

Leading the Shift to Digital: School, System & City

Were living through the most significant shift in how human beings learnits bigger deal than the printing press and happening a lot faster. Almost everyone has a stake in the quality and speed of transition from the old model organized around birthdays and books to personal digital learning. In the near future, in cities and across networks that lead the shift, we could see a significant improvement in career readiness and economic participation.

From Bruce’s oldies but goodies file…

The corporate takeover of society and education.

Since the early 90s society has been reshaped by a neo liberal corporate ideology. An emphasis on private enterprise and self-centred individualism has replaced an earlier concern for collective good of all members of society.   As a result of this ideological shift a wider gap has been created between the rich and poor causing a number of social concerns. Schools as part of this shift have been transformed from a community orientation to being part of a competitive cut throat ideology.

Creativity – its place in education

Wayne Morriss essay on education for creativity. Brilliant  - from one of Bruces closest associates.

Creative students lead richer lives and, in the longer term, make a valuable contribution to society. Surely those are reasons enough to bother. Creativity in the classroom what does it look like?

Howard Gardner on creativity – are schools encouraging creativity? The challenge of creativity.

By definition all life is creative and schools ought to be the best place to develop the creativity of all their students but this is currently not the case.

For New Zealand readers about to vote in the general election - heres some political postings from Bruce:

New Zealand Elections – are we missing the big picture?

That we had the lowest voter turnout last election indicates that many citizens no longer feel motivated to vote. Many seem to feel it makes little difference and, unfortunately, those with most to gain in change seems the most indifferent.

Max Rashbrooke:  NZ  A Paradise Lost –now a land only fit for the rich. Inequality in NZ

Gods own country –  once supposedly the best place to bring up kids in the world, seems no longer to be the case. A country originally founded to escape the worst of the class structure of England seems to have given up on the idea of giving a fair go to all citizens. The view of many well off people now is that the poor are the authors of their own misfortune and only need to set about and pull up their socks and all will be well; there seems little empathy for those in difficult situations.

Nigel Latta: The new ‘Haves and Have Nots’ – time for Moral Leadership in New Zealand

Hugh Fletcher
Hugh Fletcher (one of New Zealands richest men) states bluntly the trickle-down theory doesnt work.’ ‘All the fruits of the economy has gone to the top and the average income hasnt gone anywhere in the last 30 years. Fletcher is concerned about the inequality because of its effect on social cohesion; extreme poverty does not bring about cohesion.