This from Derek Wenmoth who is in the UK at the moment:

The Guardian ran a story claiming primary school strategies were a waste of money citing a report from the Policy Exchange thinktank that claims in fact, standards rose faster before the government introduced its national strategies for numeracy and literacy. According to that report in the five years before the national standards were introduced, literacy standards rose by 22% and numeracy by 27%, which slowed to 10% and 6% respectively in the eight years after the strategies came into effect.

Some useful stuff here for my colleagues back in NZ to consider as we look at introducing national standards in an attempt to address the issue of stagnancy in the development of literacy. In responding to questions about the National government’s plan to introduce national standards legislation in parliament Minister of Education Anne Tolley referred to the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study survey which found that the average reading literacy score for New Zealand, in statistical terms, did not change from 2001-05. Quite a different situation from the UK it seems.

Why, with such wonderful things happening in our system overall do we run to catch up with where other countries were?

If this was a childs PE assessment we would say there was very poor Game Sense. We would tell then go to where the ball will be, not follow the game around
because:
* It tires everyone out unnecessarily
* requires a lot more work and leaves you vulnerable to sudden changes in circumstances
* you will NEVER catch up anyway unless someone drops the ball
* smart players will always outperform you (run rings around you)
* average players can do better than you because your focus is not on the future and what could be. NOT just on what has already gone wrong.

I could wax lyrical with lots of other analogies I’m sure ….

Lets take the ball and run with it to where we know play should and could be. If the powers that be get in the way FEND!!!

One Response to “run to where the ball will be!”
  1. […] And as a teacher who sees the benefit of covering SACSA outcomes in “flexible” time in the guise of Inquiry Learning, I wonder why we’d even want to strive for the OECD average of 4 %. This perception that we don’t spend enough time on the “basics” is very interesting. I have heard that this call is usually because the government (or in this case, the parents’ representative body) don’t really have a clear vision of the future, so grasping for the past is the usual response. Just for the record, I have no problem with the State Government’s call for minimum times for English, Mathematics and Science. My own timetable for my class matches those requirements pretty well -- but I sense that “flexible” equals “undesirable” in this new initiative. Improving our own education system needs to focus on what is relevant for our students, not as Greg Carroll puts it so eloquently, following the ball around. […]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>