I have been thinking a bit over the last couple of days…. time out of the classroom tends to allow the mind to wander onto other things – like your home-life, for example. Although having said that, home-life is not what I was thinking about.
There are two major planks of educatory thinking here in New Zealand at the moment. National Standards and charter schools – both of which, for a large number of reasons, have been unanimously rejected by the professional teaching fraternity. Unfortunately the current regime have decided (thanks to the lame, but long-standing use of the ‘focus group’) that they will actually gain votes out of tampering with the education system in this way. Since we are only about halfway through our 9 year election cycle, it is likely the National-led government will continue in some way until 2017. So that got me thinking…. how could we use these two contentious policies against our hellish overlords?
Firstly, when the next round of National Standards data comes out, compare it to the recently published first set of data. If results go down we can argue the government is not targeting their spending correctly (too much money on restructuring?). It is THEIR fault things are failing. They brought in the standards saying they would use them to lift performance by targeting spending to the right areas. Therefore, their performance can be measured by their own standards.
Secondly, all the principals, team leaders, and classroom teachers in New Zealand can resign and apply to set up their own charter schools. Then we will have the freedom away from the National Standards to teach Kiwi kids the way they should be taught – through relevant 21st century learning experiences that relate to their lives and set them up for work in a world that is totally different from the one that was around, ‘back when I were at school’ (which seems to be where Western education policy is coming from these days).
I hope that helps everyone. Please join me in my quest to take over running of the education system.
Since we’re coming to the middle of the holidays, I’m going to put up a list of resources up next time. Until then, here’s a link to a Sir Ken Robinson talk challenging us change everything – rather than ‘trying to reform’ education we should reinvent it. He’s an inspirational genius (well, for me anyway).