Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Message to Labour spokesperson on education Mr. Chris Hipkins

 Originally posted as a blog in 2014 but still relevant 2018......things are now happening

A creative education is the key for a positive future for all

Dear Mr Hipkins....

A few thoughts to consider if we are to develop a 21st Education System

 If Labour is to put the welfare of people ahead of economics (the current privatization winner/loser scenario of the National Party) then the creativity of all citizens must be the number one challenge if NZ is to develop  an inclusive and productive society.

Dr Beeby
Labour  needs to revisit Peter Fraser/Dr Beeby’s vision of providing all students with an‘education of the kind they are best fitted and to the fullest extent of theirpowers  This vision has never been fully realized. To become a truly creative country we need to premise our education system on  the challenge of developing the gifts and talents of all students.

Such a vision requires a move away from current standardisation, particularly the conformity of National Standards, towards the challenge of personalisation of learning

Place the  currently sidelined 2007 New Zealand Curriculum centre stage – appreciating that its full implementation requires more than current tinkering if all students are to succeed and be able to ‘seek, use and create their own knowledge’. ( NZC)

Reinterpret the so called ‘achievement gap’ as an 'opportunity gap’ – ensure these students gain experiences required to develop positive learning identities

While valuing literacy and numeracy are vitally important foundational skills they need to be ‘reframed’ to allow students to
New thinking needed
‘seek, use and create their own knowledge’ (NZC)

Question the destructive consequences of ability grouping, streaming and setting (struggling students need to be seen as lacking opportunities not intellect).

 Encourage schools to do fewer things well so as  to develop deep understanding and dispositions to learn.

Encourage innovative learning  integrated/collaborative organisations to engage students at the years 7-10 ages where student disengagement kicks in providing an environment for a

range of student talents and abilities to be developed.

Value the creativity of individual class teachers and explore ways to share their expertise to break down isolation that many teachers feel. Provide opportunities for schools/teachers to collaborate to share ideas.

Encourage all schools to develop innovative programmes to suit the needs of their communities (as suggested in the NZC).

Consider setting up an educational conference/ series of
conversations similar to the 1936 New Education Conference that contributed ideas to the Fraser /Beeby vision.  As in 1936 invite a range of innovative thinkers to contribute to such conversations. Make use of modern technology to share ideas.

See education as a process that begins before birth and continues throughout life    - at the very least track students to their first jobs/tertiary training.

Background reading - wrong directions and new opportunities
'In The Early World' by Elwyn Richardson recently reprinted by the NZCER -possibly the best book about the work of a creative teacher. The future lies with identifying and sharing the ideas of creative classroom teachers,

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