Thursday, 14 December 2017

Voices Calling Us Out of the Wilderness

On Point

For years the mantra, "NZ has the world's best education" has been chanted by incompetent "educrats", bureaucrats and short-sighted teacher unions.  The truth, of course, is very different. 

Another recently released report, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study confirms the sorry state of NZ education.

Among all the rhetoric and blameshifting is one of the real culprits--the 2007 NZ National Curriculum.  It is a document that continues to sell children and teachers short.  Sparse on actual content it makes "experience" central to teaching and learning rather than knowledge and skills.  We are in desperate need of well-trained, highly qualified, intelligent teachers who teach a content-rich curriculum where knowledge and skills are paramount.  We do not need "facilitators" who masquerade as teachers and elevate "child's experience" to the supposed cornerstone of all learning.

It will take leadership of conviction and purpose to make inroads into a system that needs a complete makeover.  Unless this happens we will be destined to revisit another round of hand-wringing accompanies by a plethora of reasons and excuses for further failures, delivered by "the experts" several years from now. 

Shane Kennedy
Principal, Manukau Christian School

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