Posts Tagged ‘Frank Furedi’

Teachers Trained Very Well to Teach Very Poorly

July 8, 2012

I was stunned how poorly I was trained at University. I completed a Bachelor of Teaching at a major Melbourne university, but experience has shown that my degree was not worth more than a roll of toilet paper.

My training did not prepare me for how to teach and what to do in certain highly pressurised situations. This is because my course was high on theory and propaganda and low on practical teaching opportunities. It was those fleeting teaching round experiences at other schools that I was able to observe other teachers and begin to form my own teaching style.

In a recent article, Christopher Bantick blames poor training on our teacher’s lack of subject knowledge:

For a generation there has been a significant decline in scholarship in the nation’s classrooms. Education degrees do not prepare undergraduates adequately in subject knowledge. The result is that many teachers entering Australian classrooms clutching their bachelor of education scrolls simply do not have enough academic depth to teach with any scholastic authority.

I personally felt like I was drowning in “academic depth”. I wanted more practical experience … far more!


Protecting Kids From Living Freely

October 10, 2011

I am an over-protective father and proud of it.  I am hesitant when my daughter takes any risks and hate to see her in discomfort.  Yet, at the same time, I realise that cuts and grazes are part of life and growing up.  You can’t shadow your child in the playground to prevent them from tripping and you can’t ban them from low-risk activities on the off-chance that something might occur.

That is why I am so opposed to the persistent interference by Governments and local councils in banning everyday activities.  It is not their place to decide what toy my child should play with.  They may choose to advise me about the risks and encourage me to supervise my child with graet care, but the constant banning is taking things too far.

It is such a shame that we live in an age where children are being banned from blowing balloons and playing with whistles:

The EU toy safety directive, agreed and implemented by Government, states that balloons must not be blown up by unsupervised children under the age of eight, in case they accidentally swallow them and choke.

Despite having been popular favourites for generations of children, party games including whistles and magnetic fishing games are to be banned because their small parts or chemicals used in making them are decreed to be too risky.

Apparently harmless toys that children have enjoyed for decades are now regarded by EU regulators as posing an unacceptable safety risk.

Whistle blowers, that scroll out into a long coloured paper tongue when sounded – a party favourite at family Christmas meals – are now classed as unsafe for all children under 14.

As well as new rules for balloons and party whistles, the EU legislation will impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to be.

All teddy bears meant for children under the age of three will now have to be fully washable because EU regulators are concerned that dirty cuddly toys could spread disease and infection.

The EU and other Government bodies will continue to come up with irrational and overbearing legislation, but no matter how hard they try they will never be my child’s parent.


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