Archive for the ‘Educational Programs’ Category

Can we Please Leave Transgender Awareness Lessons to Parents

February 7, 2016



If there was a transgender student in your class, you would certainly focus on transgender awareness in the classroom. But aside from this scenario, it is important that these types of conversations should be left to the parents. Teachers are inundated as it is and we need as much time as possible to cover the curriculum.

Sure the outcry of transgender awareness lessons will usually come from religious groups, but spare a thought for stressed out teachers with a very overblown curriculum to cover as it is:


A MOTHER has withdrawn her children from Frankston High School after the introduction of a new program to promote transgender awareness.

Cella White says her 14-year-old son was told he could wear a dress to school and that male-born students who identified as female could use the girls’ change rooms and toilets.

The government-funded program by the Safe Schools Coalition is designed to promote inclusiveness for ‘same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse’ students, but critics say it is indoctrinating children in sexual identity politics under the pretence of a bulling program.

“It was announced in science class that boys could wear school dresses next year,” Ms White said.

“They’re telling my children to call transgender children by their requested pronoun.

“What is the benefit to my son? He’s got a learning disability, he’s struggling with his times tables, he doesn’t need to deal with this.”





CPR: school success stories

March 27, 2015

Photo from  The Courier Post Online Photo from The Courier Post Online

Bethany Simpson, a heroic ten-year-old, has been in the news recently for saving her stepdad’s life by giving him cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) just weeks after learning it at school.

Bethany’s mum called 999 when she found that Robert’s breathing became shallow, erratic and laboured. However, when Robert stopped breathing completely, Bethany’s mum did not know what to do. Bethany quickly took charge and saved Robert’s life. Bethany learnt the skills from the St John Ambulance trainers who visited her school in late February.

English schools have no obligation to teach first aid. This begs the question: why is first aid not a mandatory skill on the school curriculum?

This news story outlines just how important it is for people, whatever age, to know CPR and first aid. It didn’t matter that Bethany’s family was around; no one else knew what to do, or reacted…

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Forget About Maths and English, Let’s Take a Field Trip to the Pub Instead!

August 25, 2014


Learning about responsible drinking at a pub is like learning about responsible gambling at a casino. To conjure up such a ridiculous idea is  bad enough, to get the green light on it is nothing short of crazy.

And what about the novel idea of leaving parenting to parents and concentrating on um … the curriculum?


It’s not likely the pub is on the excursion list for most schools students but for those at Sydney’s Engadine high, their local tavern was! 

Getting them out of the classroom – students got to learn some valuable life lessons on what they can and can’t do when at their local watering hole, when the beer and wine starts flowing. 

Three schools from the Sutherland shire have so far taken part in the pilot scheme of the education program. It was estalished after police found that schoolyard arguments and blow-ups were being moved elsewhere, and that was to the pub, erupting into alcohol fuelled violence. 

At the Engadine tavern this week, Superintendent Julian Griffiths, from the Sutherland local area command told the Daily Telegraph, ‘we are finding young adults between 18 and 21 are sometimes not following the rules in our local licensed establishments.’ 

Click on the link to read Redefining Gifted and Talented

Redefining Gifted and Talented

December 28, 2012


If a school’s gifted and talented program goes no further than those who are gifted at calculations and essay writing they are limiting their scope dramatically. Creativity and the wonderfully imaginative and artistic ways children express themselves warrants some attention when it comes to devising gifted and talented groupings.

The child below may not be a writer or a human calculator but I defy you to argue that he isn’t gifted or talented:


Click on the link to read School Calls Police to Stop A-Grade Student From Studying

Click on the link to read Schools are Failing Gifted Students

Click on the link to read Skills Your Child Should Know but Isn’t Taught at School

Skills Your Child Should Know but Isn’t Taught at School

June 5, 2012

I am not a fan of specialised programs as they tend to clog the school day and leave too few hours for covering the curriculum. Programs such as “Stranger Danger” have been shown in studies to be ineffective and a cause of paranoia and anxiety among students rather than a useful resource for their protection.

An exception to this rule is training children to be safe around pets. As a father of a young girl who is absolutely petrified of dogs of all shapes and sizes, I am concerned that this fear will prevent her from enjoying animals. I am also aware that dog attacks happen on an all too regular basis, with many of these incidents involving children and proving deadly.

Adults may know that running away from an angry or vicious dog is a recipe for disaster, but do children know that? And if they do, do they have the tools to manage such a situation?

The answer to that question is invariably – no!

That’s why I am grateful to prominent veterinarian, author and blogger, Dr. Vadim Chelom, whose passio for this issue prompted him to release a program for teachers to integrate into their literacy/social studies curriculum free of charge. On his blog is a comprehensive lesson by lesson program which will enable teachers to educate their students about how to stay safe around pets.

I have no doubt that this program has the potential to save lives. I certainly encourage parents to share the information with their children and for teachers to find time in a crowded curriculum to at least dedicating a lesson to this very important issue.

What to do When Threatened by an Angry Dog according to Dr. Chelom:

  • Lie down face on the ground.
  • Pull your legs up to your stomach.
  • Bring your hands close to the body to cover your face with your arms and your chest with your elbows.
  • Don’t move and don’t shout.
  • Lie still until the dog is gone.

Proof That Educational Programs Are Ineffective

April 11, 2012

At first glance, who would you think would be the least likely group to be calling for education against improper gambling?

CLUBS Australia is calling for responsible gambling education to be part of the national school curriculum.

The registered clubs movement, in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into problem gambling, is keen to see gambling education and awareness programs integrated into personal health and financial literacy lessons.

“Youth are at increased risk of developing a gambling problem,” Clubs Australia said.

“Research has found that education programs can be an effective tool in preventing the development of problematic gambling behaviours.”

Clubs Australia said the program should dispel common myths about gambling and educate people about how to gamble safely.

It would also highlight consequences of problem gambling and promote avenues of help and ways to intervene, it said.

But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Clubs Australia achieve two important objectives by supporting gambling education.

1. They can boast about how they are all about social gambling and very much opposed to problem gambling. This is potentially a great PR coup for them; and

2. It’s not as if they will lose anything out of it. Since when does a three lesson program on gambling behaviour have any effect in later life?

They have argued that such programs have proven effective. I dispute that claim. I don’t think they really believe it makes much of a difference either.

The bigger question is how many “good cause” programs are we going to have to put up with in the new National Curriculum? It’s all well and good to adopt educational programs, but a teacher cannot afford to spend too much time on them. Not only are they dubious in their long-term effectiveness, but they can potentially hijack the curriculum.

I personally am sick of the abundance of such programs. It takes so much teaching time away from maths, science, reading, writing and history, that it ultimately, for all its good intentions, puts teachers under greater pressure to cover important skills in a reduced amount of time.

Clubs Australia will get a lot of good press out of this story. Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be more problem gamblers as a result of the positive spin of this story that there will be responsible gamblers as a result of educational programs.

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