Posts by Emma Neale

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    Returning to the head of your article, Russell, many local/NZ poets have written about climate change in various ways already… Brian Turner in particular springs to mind; or Richard Reeve; so too do several poets of the younger VUP stable, who fuse science and poetry; or see “Heatwave” here in Meniscus – we’re all guilty of letting short term pleasure erase anxieties about the future … May I post here a plug for Wise Response, a group submitting a petition to parliament tomorrow? There are over 1000 signatories asking for a non-partisan assessment of the risks NZ faces due to climate change and issues like fossil fuel dependency. Wise Response, along with groups like Generation Zero, are trying to insist on rational assessment and the will to change.

    Dunedin • Since Mar 2014 • 3 posts Report

  • Hard News: Jim looks back at the big…,

    Intelligent, humorous and obviously deeply felt responses - this young man conveys his commitment to the art form with such exuberance!

    Dunedin • Since Mar 2014 • 3 posts Report

  • Busytown: School bully,

    Apologies if this has already appeared - I thought I'd posted but can't find it now... Thanks to Jolisa and Russell for the links to the overseas examples. This is sobering reading. I'd already thought of intermediate school here as a kind of golden idyll before the tougher assessment of high school; it's downright appalling to think of constant testing from kindergarten up, as in the US. Kids need the chance to try a hundred different activities, to discover their passions, to daydream and so develop creativity and problem-solving: not to be tested and re-tested on a narrow range of facts. They don't develop in a rocket trajectory; they have stasis periods, as they process all the socialisation they're going through at school; as their bodies alter; as they go through personal crises, changes. And then they have peaks: sudden bursts of confidence, sudden imaginative leaps. A recipe of relentless assessment seems like one for bored, agitated, disruptive, or stressed children. (Or all four.) The example of high school teaching to the test as given in one of Russell's links is just so dispiriting: a teacher told not to get the students to read the full novel of Mice and Men, just the passages that would be can imagine parallels in the other disciplines. Don't teach about how the heart and lungs work together, just teach the lungs - the other information isn't in the test. Don't let the kids out to run off steam and develop fitness - they have to re-sit yesterday's test. Don't fund the low decile school; they haven't done so well without laptops and text books and class trips this year, maybe they'll improve if they all have to stay shut inside the classroom doing mind numbing low-grade clerical work all day. A fragmented, decontextualised, irresponsible form of education; a way of widening the gap between the rich and the poor - so we all fall into the abyss of social disenfranchisement, resentment, and amorality. More from you Jolisa, more!

    Dunedin • Since Mar 2014 • 3 posts Report