Posts by Paul Wernham

  • Legal Beagle: MMP or not MMP,

    Probably zero, but moving from Sainte-Laguë to modified Sainte-Laguë.

    so help me with this! ... (the implication is)
    1) proportionality would not applied to the electorate seats and
    2) a lower threshold ...2.5% or 3% ... to the Party vote
    within 120 seat parliament ...ish ... given that this discussion (overall) seems to be saying MMP is preferable to the other options on offer?
    So not so much a change to the formula by the way it is applied? .. or is that something else!

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: MMP or not MMP,

    If tinkering with MMP were an option. The part I would like to change would be the way the electorate vote is managed. Essentially this is an FPP system and therefore those rules would be applied.

    So if you win an electorate seat on the night and your Party is below the threshold, then that’s all you get. If that Party’s vote goes above the threshold then proportionality would be applied. Thoughts?

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Demon E-Word,

    Is it the role of school education to give mastery? Seems unrealistic to me. Students will find what they want to be a master of, and a good school will let them, give them resources to, guidance from people who may have followed a similar path. If they don't know what they want to master, then being a generalist of a lot of stuff is sensible, just to find that thing which they are really good at.

    It's a very hard job to decide how to educate people. In itself it is a skill that requires mastery. And I think that is usually not entirely transferable, it's limited to educating people within the teacher's own subject of mastery. There are no general life teachers. Just people who claim to be, who will appeal to some and not others.

    As a group of Technology teachers reviewing the “draft” curriculum document we only looked at the delivery of the Technology section. I think “Silo(ing)” describes this methodology of education. “Essential Learning skills” which generally worked on transference of skills, but to work across Learning Areas is extremely difficult. In the area of Technology (the subject not a bunch of computers) our school tried regularly to break down those edges. Hard media made packaging for the chocolates made in the Foods room kind of stuff.

    I don't think the curriculum does necessarily exclude non-profit initiatives like those listed in Minto's statement -- indeed, I think skills in operating such initiatives are not mutually exclusive to a sense of enterprise.

    But to take on an entrepreneurial approach that might not frighten John the exercise is much bigger as it is not easily implemented. Say the running of the school canteen as a business. Design of menus, preparation of the food, running the canteen, doing the accounts, maintaining food hygiene standards, eating the profits … and all. The first (practical) problem is timetabling … enabling the group of students to actually do each of these jobs at the appropriate times, ie make the “green salads” before lunch time! … every day …
    It’s not the curriculum document (even a word like “entrepreneurial”) so much as the delivery of such a document.

    I want to take a sledge hammer to the running of schools, less bell ringing, crack open the “silos”, involve the community more … We don’t need general life teachers (scary) but a closer model of general life in school, one based on the place our kids inhabit. When was the last time you had a bell ring to tell you where to go!

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Real Media,

    Yet none of them were teaching what ought to be a core skill in handling video these days: the optimum way of encoding clips to play on YouTube and similar services. In many cases that's because YouTube is dangerous ground for schools. Some of them just filter it at the gate.

    I have just resigned from teaching … couldn’t take it anymore! … as a secondary teacher I taught Graphics and Technology. These subjects are severely challenged, although the room to manouever in Technology has great potential … one day. Graphics on the other hand was born out of technical drawing, and is severely limited by that past. I and many others tried to use computers, (and I am 54 … does that make me old?) but the discrepancies with external examiners was disturbing. My students faced erratic results from fail to excellent in apparent random array. At junior levels we were using a wide range of digital media (not video though!): PhotoShop, FreeHand, Scanners, digital photography, AutoCAD, and 3D modeling were integrated into class work. But when it came to higher levels the use of such technologies was dependant on the year level examiner, some of whom actively resisted the use of CAD let alone other media. The subject as I have pointed out though wasn’t up to it.
    Anyway accessing the internet is so heavily controlled the suggestions re your opening comments would not be possible! Not sure if I could get “Public Address” at school, “One Good Move” was off, if that’s anything to go by!
    Many students, working independently, were often way ahead of me and school re the use of digital media, and the kind of stuff they were doing was impressive from web design to short films for the “48 hour Film competition”. It’s a wake up call for schools really

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply