Friday, June 15, 2018

Gifted students / N Z Educational Reform / Life after National Standards / Counsellors in primary schools / planning the school day...

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

Every week Bruce Hammonds and I collect articles to share with teachers to encourage a creative approach to teaching and learning. I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

“Differentness twice over” – what do we know about multi-exceptional learners in our schools?
Multi-exceptional learners are the students in our schools and centres who are both highly able in a particular area or areas but may still have learning, behavioural or physical difficulties or impairments. So, for example, a young person who is extremely intelligent academically may yet have a specific learning disability (SLD) such as dyslexia, or a student may be exceptionally able in the performing or visual arts but have a sensory processing disorder or be diagnosed with ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).’

Reform & New Zealand Education: Why we need to look in our own back garden…..
‘So what values would reflect New Zealand if policy were formed around what Kiwis hold near and dear to their hearts?  What does it mean to grow up in New Zealand and participate in an education system that reflects the most important values of all Kiwis?’

The Marshmallow Test And The Crisis In Social Policy
One of the milder (though misguided) consequences of this was in education. Educationalists - some of them excited by the marshmallow test - thought that they could help tackle poverty and inequality of opportunity by teaching "character,” even as neo-liberal economic reforms were tearing apart the communities they taught in.’

Here’s Why Kids Fall Behind In Science
‘Efforts that increase schoolchildren’s science achievement – particularly those from diverse, traditionally marginalized populations – could help provide children with greater future employment opportunities while ensuring that the U.S. remains economically competitive. The question is, when should these efforts begin? That is, how early do leaks in the STEM pipeline begin to occur?’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Assessment in the early years.... now National Standards have gone!
If you are reading this blog post, I am absolutely that like me, you did a little dance and leap for joy when the demise of National Standards was announced. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will be well aware of my views on assessment or to be more specific 'testing'.  I talk about this a bit in my latest book as well. In my opinion assessment has taken over many schools, it has made the teachers role one of box ticking and created stress for children and adults alike.  It has taken a way a lot of the freedom and innovation and led us to believe that there is no other way.’
Technology and the death of civilisation
‘Late last year this photograph of children looking at their smartphones by Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’ in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam started doing the rounds on the web. It quickly became viral. It was often accompanied by outraged, dispirited comments such as “a perfect metaphor for our age”, “the end of civilisation” or “a sad picture of our society”.’

“If we wait until high school, it’s too late” – the urgent need for counsellors in our primary and intermediate schools
But with a “crisis of anxiety” in our schools, including a shocking increase in suicide rates among 12 to 24 year olds and a spike in children with mental health issues generally, educators say there is a desperate need for counsellors at all pre-secondary schools.’

One student’s open letter to educators: please prepare us better for the real world
There is plenty of rhetoric that the education system needs fixing as it doesn’t prepare students for the real world. But the extent of this tragedy isn’t fully apparent until you understand how students are letting a world of opportunity slip by, as they leave high school completely unaware of how our world is rapidly changing.

School Has a Content Problem.
But try as we might to think of reading or mathing as a skill, we cannot divorce any of it from
specific content in the classroom. These aren’t Subjects that can be studied or mastered in any manner divorced from content, which is infinite in possibility and purpose and audience.Content’ and ‘Skill’ are not equal partners, because skill is universal while content is specific. You cannot learn a skill without the content, but the content requires the skill no matter what it is.’

What Doesn’t Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon
‘To help us analyze and maximize use of instructional time, here are five common literacy practices in U.S. schools that research suggests are not optimal use of instructional time.

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Pavlov's Dogs - an untold story (getting rid of National Standards mentality)
“t will require a real sense of urgency to shock schools to change, and for the wider community to appreciate that schools, in their present shape, are the real problem and that new thinking is required. Courage and leadership will be required to help shape a new vision of an education system suitable for the 21stC. As one writer said, ‘Our schools are OK if it were 1965’.”

Organising the school day for 21st Century Teaching - the Craft of Teaching
Personalising learning
How to organise the school day for personalised learning.There are a lot of exciting ideas about teaching these days but one thing that gets little mention is how the day is organised to make best use of them.’

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