Friday, September 21, 2018

The importance of curiosity / the need for play / Marae style teaching / the New Zealand Curriculum

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

The Importance of Curiosity and Challenge in Education
‘Whether “school” is the direct reason why kids lose curiosity over time shouldn’t matter. What should matter is that school should become a place where curiosity is developed in individuals no matter what factors have led to its decline.’

Why are Americans so bad at math?
This is very relevant all over and not just restricted to the USA
‘Research shows that the way math is taught in schools and how its conceptualized as a subject is severely impairing American student's ability to learn and understand the material.’

The Global Search For Education: The Need to Play
“Giving children meaningful, quality, free play opportunities in this period of exponential brain growth is the best, most cost-effective way to prepare them with the skills required to live in our modern society.” — Marcus Veerman 

What if a bird went to flying school?
‘We all know how birds learn to fly.  The mother and daddy bird
feed and care for their young until they are developed enough to push them out of the nest.  Birds fly by nature and discover their wings in the space between the nest and the ground.  But what if we ignored the nature of birds and flight?  What if a bird went to flying school?'

Marae style teaching spaces – a good fit for tamariki
Newton Primary School is seeing fast progress in te reo Māori learning by its bilingual and full immersion students. The school has a new teaching block with flexible spaces for the students, and the school is taking the opportunity to explore what it means to have a Māori learning environment.’

The art of unlearning
‘We often talk about our learning, but how often do we give thought to how much we need to unlearn. As Russell Ackoff says, “the only thing that’s harder than starting something new, is stopping something old.”’

What makes a good school culture?
Most principals have an instinctive awareness that organizational culture is a key element of school success. But like many organizational leaders, principals may get stymied when they actually try to describe the elements that create a positive culture.’

Why this time is different – the big picture of educational change
‘It’s a question that we’ve all struggled with from time to time, however, I do think the answer becomes a lot clearer if we step back and look at the bigger picture, which tells the story of school reform over the past hundred years and highlights why this time is different. Most importantly, it also gives meaning to the work of those who have gone before.’

How curious are you?
‘I’m curious about curiosity. It’s not something we have talked enough about in the past, but in a
society that celebrates creativity and innovative thinking, I feel it will be a lot more prominent in the future. So when I hear someone say that it’s a pity their kids aren’t more curious. Surely you must learn to be curious because you need to be curious to learn. So what’s going on?'

Should we review the New Zealand Curriculum?
The Minister has invited us to have our say on Education as many aspects are up for review. Should the New Zealand Curriculum be one of them?There is ongoing debate about whether our curriculum really meets the aspirations of our tamariki to be active citizens now and in their future so that they are well prepared for the task of making this world the best they possibly can for all people.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Savants: beautiful minds
Savants are very special individuals that have one amazing passion. Possibly the most well known savant was featured in the film ‘Rain man’ portrayed by Dustin Hoffman. The programme made viewers wonder about the amazing potential that lies within us all.’

Natural born learners.
‘I had written, a while ago, that children, given the right conditions, had the attributes of young scientists. A comment, from the Netherlands, suggested I ought to read the book The 'Scientist in the Crib' because it provided up to date research about how children learn to back up what I had written.’
Great advice.

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