Power and the Passion

Here is what learnin’ looks like to Julia Gillard’s voters

Here’s what it looks like to my kids

If you have not noticed, the curriculum focuses on the 3Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic. The crowd went wild when Julia Gillard said “That’s how children were learnt to read“, and gave us a demonstration of how teachers operate by spelling the word CAT Keh Ah Teh – and talked about grammar, grammar, grammar [today’s on-line-message]

They fail to recognise that Linguistically language is far different from this ‘Peter and Jane’ nonsense. Public schools already have highly effective and developed literacy, numeracy and retention plans in operation – and kids are spending more and more time in situated online learning. Grammar counts for nothing if you are about to be pwnd in a massive multiplayer or need the right syntax to make that bit of code run.

There is nothing in the plan about digital citizenship – no ISTE like NETs for students or teachers … more blah blah ICT blah.

Do Nan and Pop know that only 30% of students who actually get their HSC – go to University, or that many Universities have a higher cohort of overseas students that they do HSC leavers. If 70% of students are not going to Uni – why is 90% of the effort and high stakes focus on the HSC and skills that lead up the garden path to academic excellence.

The good news is that this back to basics means that the yeah buts can continue to edumacate from text books and give tests for another decade – yey for findaword.

You’d think public education in Australia is broken. It is not – nor is Rudd saving anything, let alone improving outcomes. It’s easy to spend tax-payer money on buildings; much harder to transform cultures.

Last year it was all Netbook this and Broadband that. This year it’s back to basics and the 3Rs, spanking teachers and a level of right wing conservatism that seems determined to ‘make’ teachers do whatever they are told – regardless of their professionalism, intelligence, pay or conditions. And this from Labour, not some other right wing loonies.

Let’s hope the associations that actually represent teachers get a say in this matter, and that teachers JOIN associations and not just ignore what is happening to them.

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2 thoughts on “Power and the Passion

  1. How can they be so far off the mark!!
    Education today should not go back to “filing the pail”
    Your type of learning demonstrates that “lighting the spark” is far more challenging and engaging-resulting in students that will be ready to meet and solve complex problems in an ever changing world.
    We have our chance with community consultation so I hope teachers really take the time to consider and share what they know works best for students.

    • I hope so, but I suspect that if learning, means not watching the Biggest Loser – it will be slow progress. If anything, this latest departure from eRuddtopia gives laggards even more reason to continue with current practice. Grammar is not in the hands of academics – it is in the minds of programmers and software developers – who are embedding new literacy in our lives. The other observation we have to remember is that those who remember learning grammar at school are the baby-boomers, who are all set to retire – anyone under 40 will have no prior-experience of what to do. It’s not like they teach it at University.

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