Posts Tagged ‘Articles’

Who Steals From Disabled Kids?

November 29, 2010

I was very saddened to read about the animals stolen from the Echuca Specialist School’s premises. The theft has almost certainly forced the school to scrap a program involving animals.

Eight chickens and two ducks were stolen from the Echuca Specialist School’s kitchen garden in two separate incidents.

Three of the chickens have been recovered, but one was found dead.

Principal Christine Wakefield says the school can no longer keep animals on site.

“[It’s] very disappointing because it’s good for the kids’ learning to have these experiences with animals,” she said.

“If we can’t keep animals on the grounds without them getting injured or stolen, we’ve really got to change our programs, unfortunately.”

Ms Wakefield talked of the effect these callous robberies were having on her students:

“One of our girls in particular just loves them and she knew exactly which ones were missing and I think they’ve named some of them as well.”

How much of a lowlife do you have to be, to repeatedly deprive disabled students from enjoying the experience of having animals at school?  What satisfaction could one ever take in doing such a heinous crime?

I hope the school set up hidden surveillance and catches the scumbags.

Are We Failing Our Boys?

October 28, 2010

I read an interesting article about boys struggling at school.   This quote caught my eye:

Danbury deputy superintendent William Glass believes the issue is much bigger than boys’ literacy skills.

“He blamed the accountability movement. Math and reading tests that determine school performance were brought into the lower grade levels and to perform well, schools reduced other subjects and that’s played havoc with child development.”

I often get told by female teachers that there are not nearly enough male teachers in the system, and that the boys really need male teachers.  I’m not sure they need male teachers, I think they just need good ones.  This article provides some possible reasons for the disparity between girls and boys academically.

The Inconvenient Truth About the National Curriculum

October 27, 2010

So the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority reportedly has said An Inconvenient Truth has a place in modern history studies and English.

In my opinion the new Australian Curriculum is a very flawed document and needs to be fixed from its current draft state.  My biggest problem with it is that it doesn’t just tell us what topics to cover, but also what angle to use.

An example of this is climate change.  The word ‘consensus’ which has been bandied around lately does not belong in the classroom.  The classroom is best served by looking at all sides of an issue and letting the students come to their own conclusions.  Instead, the National Curriculum wants teachers to teach climate science with a clear and unambiguous position.

In a recent unit on Weather, I played an excerpt of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.  I think it’s an interesting movie and has a place in the classroom. However, the curriculum should encourage teachers to present opposing views.

Perhaps the film could be shown together with the recent documentary Cool It to present both sides of the argument.

Provide the tools, and let the kids decide.

It’s About Spending Wisely

October 26, 2010

The Chief Executive of VECCI Wayne Kayler-Thomson, calls for “strategic investment in education and skills …  from primary school onwards.”

His other recommendation include:

  • Meeting the target of 90 per cent of students attaining year 12 or an equivalent;
  • Schools that achieve NAPLAN results routinely below the state average need initiatives to close the gap, such as hiring specialist teachers, retraining existing teachers or exploring alternative methods of teaching numeracy and literacy;
  • Linking teachers’ pay to student performance and rewarding outstanding teachers will help drive improvements in the classroom; and
  • Getting teachers from varied backgrounds into the classroom through a scholarship program could help address the shortage of teachers in key skill areas, as well as broadening the types of teachers that students interact with.

Nothing new here, but still food for thought.  I find the term “strategic investment” quite amusing.  It seems to infer that the money beings spent on Education is largely going to waste or at least not spent wisely.  I couldn’t agree more.

%d bloggers like this: