Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Now win the argument

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  • Deborah,

    it does need to explain how it will increase the performance of teachers, as well as the number of them.

    From the fact sheet that comes with the education policy:

    Labour will:...
    - raise the standard of entry into the teaching profession by pre-screening entry into all initial teacher education programmes.
    - establish a comprehensive school advisory service to share best practice and act as mentors and advisors to teachers throughout New Zealand.

    The policy announcement is here: Backing quality education. You can find a link to the fact sheet on that page. Or just click here: Backing quality teaching fact sheet - pdf.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    Few thoughts: My sister and I were discussing Cunliffe's choice of words last night. I said I was pleased he'd said something but when she said she would have preferred he had used the word 'embarrassed' rather than 'sorry', I thought, YES! I also agreed with Marama Davidson's tweet about hat all the other great stuff at the forum that got passed over for Cunliffe's words. However the cynic in me did think that were it not for the attention paid to Cunliffe there would have been little mention of the forum in the MSM :(. As you say Russell, the responses have been somewhat telling. I made reference to it on FB - ALL commenters were male, roughly half in half for/ vociferously against what Cunliffe said. Lots of 'but,but I'm not like that myself'. Women 'liked' my statement and subsequent comments, but the 'debate' was had by men. :(

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Hmm. While I oppose charter schools outright and don't have much time for the Nats executive teacher proposals, I have to wonder about ranking the Key administration's policy wankery. What about the Health Benefits Limited blue elephant, the Christchurch rebuild bungle, the housing policy nightmare? It seems almost like asking which circle of Dante's Inferno is most convivial.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    Associate Professor John O'Neill, of Massey University's Institute of Education, said the Labour Party's proposal to cut school class sizes if elected in September would not achieve much without changes to teaching itself.

    So true. This does not mean that smaller classes are not important. It means that a smaller number allows better targeted learning to take place and for the isolated underachievers lost in a big class can get better support from peer tutoring and better feedback from teachers.
    Note that Private Schools with 18 per class and Charter Schools with the same, do so with clear evidence on their side.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Felix_felix,

    "It does bear noting that National has finally managed a policy proposal there that post-primary teachers, at least, support."
    Well anecdotally; primary teachers aren't liking it a whole lot; Lets be cut out of the roles and get told what to do by some "expert" who has no knowledge of how primary education works...awesome. However, I've not seen anything to suggest it's a win with secondary teachers? Guess I'll have to have a look. Cheers

    Welly • Since Nov 2012 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ianmac,

    Note that Private Schools with 18 per class and Charter Schools with the same, do so with clear evidence on their side.

    … and with a shitload more funding than most state schools.
    So we need to see realistic budgeting to achieve this target.

    … Actually, haven’t we discussed the evidence for class size effects here before? I seem to recall there was a problem in that some of the “smaller” classes being used for comparison were remedial or special needs classes, and so the overall effect of reducing class size was systematically underestimated.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Post primary like the Nats policy in large part because it offers chances for career development for dedicated & talented senior teachers with expertise in specific areas, a group well represented in the upper echelons of the PPTA, for obvious reasons. That career development has been missing from the profession forever, and is an ongoing sore point for the post-primary sector. It's a clever wedge between the post-primary and primary sectors, but I don't think it's that convincing to teachers in the context of entire education policies.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    There are 100 special ed teachers among those 2000 new teachers according to Chris Hipkins who is the apparent architect of the education policy. Not sure what that actually means in practice but it might mean more RTLBs and that will mean more children and their classroom teachers can get expert help. RTLBs are teachers who work in regional clusters not in specific schools with the non ORS funded kids who have extra learning and behaviour needs (kids on the autism spectrum dominate I hear). They have some really good specialist post graduate training these days too, including autism-specific courses taught by Jill Bevan Brown.

    Chris Hipkins has learnt a lot about special education as an electorate MP in an area with a high proportion of students with special educational needs and many schools struggling with inclusion.

    What I really care about is getting the best and most inclusive education in your local community school, whatever your learning needs or background. So any policies that work towards that goal are worthy. School donation and lap top initiatives for lower decile schools and more teachers all fit that goal.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    For those who want to see a real low decile NZ school and the importance of the technology here is a great little video from a Porirua school.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn, in reply to linger,

    John O’Neill who is widely cited in the Stuff article made a similar point to one which has been raised here: There is a difference between evidence based policy and policy supported by evidence (policy in search of evidence). Both Labour and Nats have fallen into the latter trap, it may also be that NZ is in danger of losing the ability to implement the former process.

    Small classes will work if they are supported by a reduction in regulatory and compliance overheads (read testing and national standards) and if teachers are allowed to exploit pedagogies that make best use of the extra available time (not teach to the test).

    O’Neill also states the obvious in that if you want to tie in the tail (underachievers) then target your resources at the tail.

    I would echo Hattie’s point about the best effects – giving teachers a day a week in which to learn, mark work properly and give proper feedback may be of more benefit.

    learning how to give good feedback is not as easy as it seems......

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    students with special educational needs

    or 'disabled students'

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    giving teachers a day a week in which to learn, mark work properly and give proper feedback may be of more benefit.

    Something more teacher numbers might also work towards?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to ,

    More disabled teachers generally would be a good idea. I know a teacher who became a paraplegic after a rugby accident but couldn’t get a teaching job .

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Mellopuffy,

    Women 'liked' my statement and subsequent comments, but the 'debate' was had by men. :(

    Yes, the MRAs are out in force, standing up for the rights of men in much the same way that the police are all over standing up for the cop caught on video repeatedly punching a black woman in the head while she lies on the ground. It's all about what level of provocation and threat she must have offered.

    Is it even worth participating in these discussions? There's a level of people just not getting it that's so profound it makes it seem pointless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to ,

    What discussion? And do you get it?

    I mean debate around whether Cunliffe made some kind of gaffe in amidst a whole lot of other useful messages. I don't want to have that in a room entirely empty of any women.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Meh. Maybe there was a nice sentiment and context attached to Cunliffe's statement, but it felt a bit tone-deaf to me. There are so many better ways to express that concept of collective responsibility, and it's kind of in the job description of a political leader to find the best way to express something when they're writing a speech. I'm not interested in anyone donning a hairshirt or claiming a level of personal responsibility they don't have. It feels like an appeal to feminists of forty years ago rather than those of today, despite the context around it being modern.

    Meanwhile I think Key's been very lucky that nobody has asked how he personally thinks abusive men should be held to account, and whether that includes appearing on their radio shows. It's nice that the Nats seem to have given up openly fretting about the sisterhood, though. The Overton Window's moved.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to ,

    I believe Ben was talking about the discussion in other forums than this one. More heat than light.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to ,

    I just don’t go there. I find clearing house research PDFs more soothing:)

    I made the mistake Saturday on the TV3 site. That's one experience that reminded me why I don't get involved anywhere else than here. Some odd balls there. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    I believe Ben was talking about the discussion in other forums than this one. More heat than light.

    Yes, and apologies to Stephen and anyone else for not making that clear. I'm entirely referring to other forums, and not in any way suggesting it should not happen here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Yes, the MRAs are out in force, standing up for the rights of men in much the same way that the police are all over standing up for the cop caught on video repeatedly punching a black woman in the head while she lies on the ground. It's all about what level of provocation and threat she must have offered.

    Is it even worth participating in these discussions? There's a level of people just not getting it that's so profound it makes it seem pointless.

    I am with you here Ben. It seems there is a gulf between those men that unequivocally call themselves Feminists, a stance that just seems wrong to me, men are just not female in my book and men that actually respect women and the differences and similarities in our nature. We are, I'd like to think, all human , at least on Public address and as such can accept our differences and celebrate them.
    There was no need for Cunliffe to be "Embarrassed" to be a man. That is just ridiculous. To stand for your gender and apologise for the miscreants amongst you is what a modern inclusive society is about, surely?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    There was no need for Cunliffe to be “Embarrassed” to be a man

    That wasn't really what I was saying. I don't think I'm helping here. Might just drop it, this thread's meant to mostly be about education.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The frustrating thing about Cunliffe's education announcement was that it ignored the central problem.
    Almost everyone believes education is worth improving.
    Almost everyone agrees that reducing class sizes AND improving teacher quality are BOTH worthwhile.

    Nobody is willing to say we need more money to do those things. More money for education comes from one of two places, first slice the taxation pie differently. You could raise the superannuation age to 70, that would have a huge impact but no politician is willing to do that and sadly we continue to vote into power politicians instead of leaders.

    And of course the second option, the one followed by all those countries in Europe we are so fond of benchmarking ourselves against and aspiring towards, raise taxes. Simply put we, the public of New Zealand, and especially we the wealthier public, need to pay more into the pool of money that we want to be spent on education. But again no politician will suggest that because sadly we continue to vote into power politicians instead of leaders.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    It seems there is a gulf between those men that unequivocally call themselves Feminists, a stance that just seems wrong to me, men are just not female in my book and men that actually respect women and the differences and similarities in our nature.

    I'd love to see a deeper explanation of that. Specifically the ways you think men who call themselves feminists don't respect women. The notion that only "females" can be feminist is an interesting one in a whole range of ways, starting with the gender essentialism and probably going out past separatist feminism and into some of the more twisty fringes. But mostly, how are male feminists disrespecting women?

    I think being embarassed to stand in front of a forum called to deal with some of the consequences of male violence is entirely appropriate. I expect he'd feel the same way if he had to speak at a comission into political corruption. IMO the trick is to move past questions of how he feels and focus on what he's going to do about it. But I'm a very concrete sort of person and I don't have a lot of patience with waffle. Or with the bought meda's determination to drive public discourse down to the level of grunting at each other.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    "raise the standard of entry into the teaching profession by requiring the Teachers Council to establish and maintain a vigorous process for pre-screening entry into all initial teacher education programmes. "

    I did wonder if somone was going to pick up on this.

    To what “standards” does this statement refer?

    This at best seems miscommunicated. AFAIK universities, not the Teachers Council have the final say over who gets on to courses. I'm pretty sure applicants are police checked and reasonably sure that references are requested. Most institutions undertake personal interviews as part of the admissions process. I'm not sure what latitude the Teachers Council has in this matter. Raising standards may also refer to the way in which teachers are trained or the capabilities/motives of those applying. I would of course be delighted to see teaching become more attractive and rewarding than it is at the moment, which might help a great deal with the quality of those applying. I would also like to see the qualification extended over two years. But I’m not sure this is a problem for the Teachers Council to solve. Indeed on the basis the above statement it is unclear what the problem is. I do know this. Becoming a better teacher, like any other form of learning requires time and support, neither of which is self-evident in the current set of proposals.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Moz,

    and men that actually JUST respect women and the differences and similarities in our nature......

    Fixed, still not well written but ... my bad..

    But I’m a very concrete sort of person

    No point in telling you to harden up then I guess.
    /coat.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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