OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Re: Education

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  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I have no idea what national standards would have told us as parents that we weren’t already told.

    how little Jemima compares with Sally, Rangi or Usuf

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Keith I think you are being generous in suggesting "Advancing Mathematics and Statistics". There needs to be an "Introduction to Counting" first surely!

    If we take out the special schools, that goes down to 0.0738. This is what we would call a "poor" fit.

    "Poor fit". L O bloody L....Bonk.

    I think....WB.

    Sigh...what with the carrots 'n walnut 'n all from the Herald as well. They NEED a science (and now a math?) page.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    how little Jemima compares with Sally, Rangi or Usuf

    I guess so. It goes from "How is my child doing?" to "Is my primary-school-age child beating other kids?"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    The Herald could usefully consider this well-known graph. (Except I’d rather they didn’t, because I can already imagine the headline.)

    Lucy: what's the Arrrrr! value for that scatter plot?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I have no idea what national standards would have told us as parents that we weren’t already told.

    I guess they're for those people who don't pay any attention whatsoever to their kids, but want them measured carefully and presented as KPI statistics. Workaholic upper management dads, maybe?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Here's another stark statement, this time from decile 10 Murray's Bay Intermediate principal Colin Dale:

    ''Children don't learn at the same rate, they don't walk at the same rate, they certainly don't speak at the same rate, so why would we have National Standards where if a child doesn't meet, at a certain stage of their schooling, a particular random recommendation they're failing?

    ''And of course they're not failing - Winston Churchill never met them (the standards) and Einstein couldn't read or write until he was 10.''

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Che Tibby,

    i think i remember that another significant factor is if the dad reads to the child.

    reasons: dad is around
    dad can read
    dad gives enough of a fck to read to child
    child is emotionally attached, secure etc.

    Report

    My father died when I was 11. My youngest sibling was a baby.
    My father didnt read to us -but we are all deeeep readers, and understand language very well.
    We knew how to read before we went to school.
    Reason? My parents read books, mentioned books they enjoyed, had books all round the home. As did my grandparents (my father’s parents died before I was really aware of them so we are talking maternal line here.)And my mother read to us all while we were babies and small kids, her finger trailing under the lines she read.

    In very busy days, she made time for that, for each one of us. Her reward?
    We were hooked on reading very early, even the one who didnt talk until 5…

    If either parent takes that time (it was about 5 minutes per kid), the child will be literate. If it is reinforced all round the whanau, the adult will have solace/information/great pleasure for all their life…if they dont, with luck the kid gets Reading Recovery – or even Adult Ed. classes – but these are not ANZ-wide…

    O, by the way, my mother's mother was educated until she was 12 and then was
    a family- farm labourer. My mother's father was educated at a Maori school which, at that time, only offered education until students were 12- my mother left high school as soon as she could, as did my father. There was no history of tertiary education in the family until my siblings & self did stuff (and the younger generations now are into it - but not into breeding!)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That is exactly what it's about. It's just middle class neuroses gone mad, as far as I can tell.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    That graph makes more sense if you look at it as a cross between an ink blot test and a QR code.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Einstein couldn’t read or write until he was 10.

    That's not true. Not even remotely.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    My parents read books, mentioned books they enjoyed, had books all round the home. As did my grandparents

    Ae, same for me, and I'm doing my best to recreate that for my wee one, I read to her at least one book in English each day and make sure my wife reads to her as much as possible in Chinese. Result: the wee one loves books. And I've seen, read, and heard plenty to confirm that getting them hooked on books goes a long way towards getting them hooked on learning. Now, if we could persuade this government to drop their nonsensical half-baked excuses for policies and put all that money into getting parents reading to their kids...

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Etheridge, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Just don't suggest doing this by cutting their benefits

    Pohangina • Since Sep 2012 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Mike Etheridge,

    If I had a suggestion re benefits, it would be the opposite of cutting. No point asking people to do stuff they can't afford.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Mike Etheridge,

    If I had a suggestion re benefits, it would be the opposite of cutting. No point asking people to do stuff they can't afford.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Islander,

    We knew how to read before we went to school.
    Reason? My parents read books, mentioned books they enjoyed, had books all round the home.

    This is far from being a sufficient factor for love of reading as a hobby (as opposed to simple literacy), though. I can think offhand of several people I know who didn't learn to read until school or who have never become great readers despite being surrounded by book-loving parents and siblings. Some had reading disorders, some preferred other forms of media, some just weren't interested in reading for pleasure.

    The Internet, by its nature, tends to attract those who really like reading, who like words, who like the complexities and intricacies of written language (well, most of the Internet - I guess you could confine yourself to YouTube.) I'd bet basically everyone who posts here is that sort of person. But it's not a universal, even given an environment conducive to developing that sort of love for reading. I remember my parents going half-crazy trying to turn my brother into an avid reader, or just a reader, and it never worked. He's smart and perfectly literate, but he prefers visual media - graphic novels are fine, actual novels not so interesting.

    Obviously the greater concern is literacy, and I understand there's plenty of evidence that getting kids to *want* to read improves their basic literacy. But I think for some people you can't guarantee a lot beyond that, even absent learning difficulties/disorders - written communication is never going to be their preferred way of learning.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Ae, same for me, and I’m doing my best to recreate that for my wee one, I read to her at least one book in English each day and make sure my wife reads to her as much as possible in Chinese. Result: the wee one loves books

    Dear Chris & Wife & wee girl- kia ora koutou! He mihi aroha ki a koutou!
    Yes, it works. It's how our species - I suspect - have always learnt - both the good and the bad. Your parents/primary caregivers love & esteem it? Want to share it with you? You learn v. quickly, hungrily, naturally...aue! same with hatreds...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    So which MP is going to be dumb enough to try and get away with using this 'research' to make a point...

    even more interesting if they do will the Herald report how dumb they were...

    I think they have the kind of gall to do just that

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    – written communication is never going to be their preferred way of learning.

    Totally agree – but, ahem, graphic novels?
    And, um, not everybody likes sports (I sure as shit dont, having never watched a full game in my life.) Or fishing – y’know there are several kids in the 2 generations
    on from me & my sibs who – despite best doctrination from parents & self – just dont get the point of fishing…
    ah, so what the point of your post?

    "written communication is never etc."

    Yup. We all know that. I used to know a person whose preferred communication was dance - nothing wrong with brain - just that kind of movement best conveyed deepest emotions (that one didnt have many emotions aside from deep...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Sorry if I came across as overly pro-books. Within my own whanau there are all kinds of people with all kinds of strengths. Myself and my siblings were always read to and always encouraged to develop our particular strengths, whether those strengths lay in books or outside. I guess the key is in parental engagement, and reading to kids would seem to be a pretty good measure of that at least in the first few years.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    Thanks Islander. I'm trying to avoid the hatreds and teach my wee one the loves. Life seems to go better for all of us that way.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I’m trying to avoid the hatreds and teach my wee one the loves. Life seems to go better for all of us that way.

    Indeedy.

    Check out Pan paniscus as opposed to Pan troglydtes- one has the capacity to learn in new environments new things (provided they’re brought up by at least one bonobo parent) while Pan trog is really good at imitating whatever is around…

    isnt it a bit sad that our genome indicates we are closer to the chimpanzee rather than the bonobo?
    Luck of the evolutionary draw – but having met both cuzzies. I know which I’d prefer…mind you, bonobos(who live in a matriarchical society) arnt kind to stroppy young males – I am soooo sad about that! 8>)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A rather odd editorial in the Herald this morning:

    A vocal lobby argues none of this information should be made available by the state. It is too early in the life of national standards, results are inconsistently judged at a school level, insufficiently moderated at a national level and devoid of numerous explanations for the higher or lower performances of schools.

    Further, schools should not have to explain all these deficiencies to their parent bodies once their interest is pricked by news reports.

    The criticisms of inconsistent judgment and moderation are valid. The Government met a parent demand for yardsticks to measure children’s learning but then failed to ensure schools applied those yardsticks the same way and with equal rigour. National standards are highly politicised; those who opposed their introduction oppose their school-by-school publication.

    There is much intolerance of any use of this “ropey” information. A high priesthood of data analysis bemoans news media interest, however hedged with caveats, as betraying the apple in favour of the orange. Yet the combined “wisdom of the crowd” of thousands of schools and teachers, warts and all, does suggest, for example, fewer children meet standards in writing nationally than reading or mathematics.

    Or maybe it suggests something else altogether. But don’t let that worry you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Islander,

    Totally agree – but, ahem, graphic novels?

    It's a qualitatively different way of storytelling than, er, "regular" novels; much or most of the information conveyed is through pictures, not words.

    ah, so what the point of your post?

    I guess the discussion about literacy and reading to kids and engaging them in books just reminded me strongly of how much grief my parents went through trying to engage my brother in reading "proper" books, and it never taking. My own primary learning style is through written text, I'll go out of my way to avoid visual/audio media if text is available, but that isn't true for other people - and it's important to remember that it's not a failure if your kid still prefers non-written (or primarily non-written, if you like) forms of entertainment. Or, on the flip side, if a child (or adult) doesn't read for pleasure or only/mostly reads required texts, that may not be because they weren't read to or offered the opportunity. They might just not find reading an engaging thing to do.

    I guess the key is in parental engagement, and reading to kids would seem to be a pretty good measure of that at least in the first few years.

    Oh, I entirely agree - it is a sign of parental engagement and a very important thing to do. I wasn't responding to any over-zealousness on your part.

    But the discussion of why "kids these days don't read" happens often, and I realised I'd never seen any acknowledgement of the fact that the statistic "x proportion of x population doesn't read for fun/go into bookshops/etc!" might be down to personal preference as well as the vagaries of education. The attitude is usually that if only everyone read to their kids/schools were better/classes were smaller/reading was cool then all or most adults would be not just literate in the ways necessary to participate in modern society, but engage in literacy *for fun*. And I don't think that would be true - which was, for me, a new thought. Not an original one, I'm sure.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yet the combined “wisdom of the crowd” of thousands of schools and teachers, warts and all, does suggest, for example, fewer children meet standards in writing nationally than reading or mathematics.

    Or, more succinctly: LALALALALALA-NOT-LISTENING-LALALA

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

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