April 20, 2014

Help teachers to teach / help parents educate

This is a very interesting news article for home educators. “On average 80 per cent of what students learn in a class is not what the teacher intended to teach.”

What are the biggest issues facing the education sector? A huge question to pose. If we turn it around and ask “What skills do we need to teach our students in order for them to become and remain effective in a society in which change is a constant?” then we can work towards clarity.

Unbelievably, classroom research suggests that on average 80 per cent of what students learn in a class is not what the teacher intended to teach….

Our aim when home educating our children is to be training them to be independant learners.

It is interesting to note that “teacher training” rates low on the scale. Teaching is very much a hands on profession in which the teacher becomes more skilled and competent over time spent teaching in the classroom.

The training that occurs before the classroom does help to a limited extent and provides a guide, but it differs wildly from the actual experience. On the other hand, “on the job” mentoring in which active feedback is given to teachers by experienced senior teachers, does wonders to improving outcomes in the classroom because the suggested changes can be immediately implemented and the effects seen…

For home educators the training that occurs before we begin home educating our children is very limited, mainly it is our own school experience, and it differs wildly from the actual experience. On the other hand, “on the job”  we learn by being involed with our children. We soon learn what our “teaching” style is and how our child  learns best. For a very few number of children it can resemble school and for others they learn best being totally self directed. Most children (and a lot of parents comfort zone) fall in between these two.  And in a very limited way mentoring in where active feedback is given to mothers/and fathers by experienced home educators, does wonders to improving outcomes at home because the suggested changes can be immediately implemented and the effects seen.

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

 

One teacher’s view of education in New Zealand

Schools put our kids in ‘boxes’

SARAH AIONO

Last updated 05:00 20/03/2014

What are your views on education in New Zealand? As the election season gets underway, we asked our readers to share their stories.

People who work in education move in similar circles. The police and nurses are no different. It’s like meeting someone at a party and finding out they’re a kindred spirit – they walk your walk.

In my case, I can identify most with people who have been teachers. If not teachers, education advisers, or psychologists. We automatically connect, as if we are a family of sorts.

Most recently, these connections have highlighted for me several common themes through our conversations.

Firstly, the conversations usually start with the heavy workload, the stress, the late nights and the feeling that no matter how much we do, it is never quite enough.

Then the conversation progresses to policy impositions and ultimately, national standards, and how it’s directly impacting on the ability to do the job we once were excited to do.

For those of us who are parents, there comes a third component to the discussion: given that my younger children are just starting out in the school system, the chat inevitably returns to how I view school for my own offspring.

This is where I have made some startling observations.

My teacher friends are worried. They are genuinely concerned for the well-being of their own children within the education system.

They work hard to try to select the most appropriate school for their child to attend, often having to drive past several other schools to ensure this happens.

They liaise closely with the school staff in order to ensure the impact of policies such as national standards, larger class sizes, clear reporting, etc, doesn’t filter down to mean their child has a negative experience of school.

More recently, the teacher/parents I have spoken to have all categorically stated that if they could they would choose to home-school their child. That they felt their child’s emotional and mental well-being was at-risk in some schools because of the pressure schools are now under to conform to the government’s policies.

You know it must be bad if teachers, given half the chance, would choose to home-school their own kids.

Read more here on why they say this “For teacher/parents who have children who find school somewhat challenging, be it socially, emotionally or academically, the current policy direction will require the school to label them and make them fit in a box.” : http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/nz-election-school-of-politics/9845052/Schools-put-our-kids-in-boxes

Or this “So as a teacher/parent, I would raise my hand to have my children out of this system. And it would seem, so would many others I speak with. They see learning as experiencing, making meaning, doing and exploring – not always having to meet a benchmark to prove one’s ability to learn.

Learning should be happening consistently in the life of a child, making meaning from experience. As such, children don’t need to be boxed in and limited to a range of criteria determined by someone that will not walk their path in life.

The knowledge they seek will be relevant to their life experiences and as such cannot be measured. So, as a teacher/parent, I feel it is that bad.

I do not want my children categorised and ranked, given a number or a grade. I want them having experiences, making connections and engaging in motivating learning. http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/nz-election-school-of-politics/9845052/Schools-put-our-kids-in-boxes

Here are a couple of the comments:

Reading through these comments it becomes apparent that a lot of people have no understanding of what learning is or the testing thereof. If all of us stopped learning the day we left school I am pretty sure very few of us would have achieved anything. The fact is most of the useful things you learn in life you only learn once you have left school and as some people have intuited school has become a “box”, a place where for 13 years a form of “crowd control” is practiced and inquiring minds are frowned upon to some extent, rote and parroting of some other persons “learnings” is in no way or form education.

I totally agree. I only wish my parents knew what I now know and had the same values as me. Then I would have had a real education instead of going to school.

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Explicit sex class divides school

NZ Herald 28 February 2014

By Nicholas McBride of the Greymouth Star –

A school trustee has quit and a family withdrawn their child in protest at an explicit sexual education programme at a West Coast primary.

Blaketown School trustee Jo-Anne Sim resigned this month over the “unacceptable” and explicit class, delivered to Year 7 and 8 pupils in December.

Ms Sim said the children were told about oral and anal sex, flavoured condoms, and pleasure points – despite parents being told in writing beforehand that pupils would be taught only the basics.

“Eleven, 12 and 13-year-olds don’t need to know this stuff. That’s why we’re mad,” said mother-of-two Ms Sim.

Her daughter told her some children had their hands over their ears because they were uncomfortable with the lesson.

“They were too scared to say ‘we don’t want to hear this.”‘

Read more here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11211675

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11211675#sthash.ovVjcz9z.dpuf

Graphic sex education program for 5-year-olds shocks New Zealand parents

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/graphic-sex-education-program-for-5-year-olds-shocks-new-zealand-parents

by Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, December 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new graphic sex education program aimed at five-to-12 year-olds has been launched in New Zealand, drawing sharp criticism from parents who are shocked at the material covered.

The Every Body Education program provides both in-school and out-of-school programs for children aged between 5 and 12-years-old.

Kathryn Heape

Presented by Kathryn Heape, children are taught what she perceives to be age-appropriate information about sexuality, starting at the earliest age with the details of sex.

“We talk about how the baby grows in the uterus, [and] we talk about how the penis’s job is to deliver the sperm to the egg through the vagina. It’s all very matter of fact,” she recently told 3 News.

In addition to this “matter of fact” explanation of sexual intercourse, five and six-year-olds are taught the scientific terms for sexual and reproductive body parts.  Childbirth is described, and, under the guise of personal safety, condoms are shown with the instruction not to pick them up off the ground.

According to the Every Body Education literature, seven and eight-year-old children are given information about menstruation and nocturnal emissions (wet dreams).  They are also taught that “all families have different values and beliefs towards sexual activity”.

Nine and ten-year-olds are taught about the different ways conception can occur, how families are formed, and the “responsibilities that come with being in a romantic relationship.”

Sexual and reproductive health, STI’s and sexual responsibility are in the curriculum for eleven and twelve-year-olds.

So far five North Island primary schools have signed up for the program, according to 3News.

Heape believes “the earlier we start talking, the better.”

Read more here

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 30 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Drop in educational standards in NZ

For those who missed them here are two articles on the OECD report and the significant drop in the NZ educational achievement and concerns I have about the report.

Significant drops in NZ educational achievement – OECD report

It showed that New Zealand’s ranking had fallen from 7th to 18th in science, 12th to 23rd in maths, and 7th to 13th in reading.

and

Asia comes top in OECD education index

The concern with this report is this:

Across OECD countries, students from wealthier backgrounds are about a year ahead of their less-advantaged peers. Early starters also performed better, with students who attended pre-primary school at about a year ahead of those who did not.

The OECD recommended in particular that governments subsidize pre-primary education in poor areas.

This seems to be setting the scene for more control over pre school – earlier and earlier institutioning of our children.

This is something we need to be watching and acting upon.

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Please feel free to forward, email, share, etc – thankyou

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 30 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/