As our curriculum narrows ever so slowly and as our children grind out their days spending much of their time in either a maths, reading or writing rotation, this popped up on Radio New Zealand this morning.
Technology teachers say children are arriving at secondary school with fewer practical skills than in the past. They blame the problem on primary schools focussing on reading, writing and maths and parents failing to pass skills on to their children.
I’ve talked about this many times in the past. Many other people have talked about it. That’s what we’ve got. National standards that force us as practitioners to read during reading time or teach multiplication strategies during maths time. As we drive to meet our targets (yes – there are children in my class named after a bullseye), the pressure is on us to focus on only those subjects that are “tested” by the standards.
Why not pick up a set square and teach measurement with a piece of wood while building a tree house?
I would have loved going to that school.
Never mind. Hekia and the National Party doesn’t think anything other than reading, writing and maths are important…
21st Century schools look very different from older schools. They have ‘flexible teaching spaces’ that can be expanded or shrunk depending on need. They have break-out rooms for small groups and they are wired up for the very latest technology.
Part of the current National Party Education Policy
Although that sounds pretty great, the rest of their policy is a nonsense. I don’t really have the heart to tell them that they above was already happening before they were in government. It’s nothing to do with them. Everything to do with current thinking.
Let them try and enthuse our kids with a school consisting of three subjects and try to move them forward into the 21st century.
Bring on the long division with a chalk and slate.
Tech teachers say children lack basic skills – Radio New Zealand, Aug 27, 2013.
21st Century Education – National Party Education Policy, Aug 2013.