Friday, July 12, 2013

Holiday Educational Readings

By Allan Alach

On Wednesday Labour Party education spokesperson Chris Hipkins released a press statement about the very obvious intention to turn PaCT into a form of national testing.

Better late than never - I predicted this (as did Kelvin Smythe) when PaCT was first publicised in October 2011. I raised many issues about PaCT in this article Smoke and Mirrors that I wrote at the time - these are still very valid, even if the resulting fall out was rather unpleasant for me.

SInce then, Hekia has pulled back from making PaCT compulsory in 2015. Good news, but beware - this victory was much too easy to achieve.

Have a well deserved rest and recuperation over the next two weeks.

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!

A truly great question

US educator Jamie McKenzie is another valuable person to add to your reading list, and if you get a chance to attend one of his workshops, take it! In this article he explores the value of truly great questions in stimulating purposeful inquiry learning.

Lester Flockton:National Standards and PaCT – no way to solve the problem of student underachievement..

Bruce Hammonds posted this last week - hopefully you will have read it then. However, in case you missed it, this is a very valuable article.

My Message to the Badass Association of Teachers

Diane Ravitch, probably the leading voice in the USA anti-GERM battle, wrote the following message when asked to join the Badass Teachers  Association, formed to empower teachers’ voices. Her message is powerful indeed, for all teachers wherever they may be.

‘Teachers must resist, because you care about your students, and you care about your profession. You became a teacher to make a difference in the lives of children, not to take orders and obey the dictates of someone who doesn’t know your students.’

Bruce Hammonds has posted this article about Diane.

The Mother of all Curriculum Myths …(the RE-boot)

In-depth posting by Tony Gurr that examines the difference between GERM like imposed curricula and the real learning involved in genuinely holistic curricula. This is an excellent resource for anti-GERM debates.

Time to fight back!

Freedom from Wasted Training: The e-Learning Bill of Rights (via David Kinane)
One of my greatest frustrations in working in e-learning for so many years, is that as technologies come and go, the rights and values of the learner are repeatedly compromised in preference to arbitrary limitations set by software, management systems, unrealistic development environments, impossible performance expectations, etc.  In pursuing some particular development goal, the central importance of the learner experience is lost, or at least muddled.’


We’re Not in Kansas Anymore…

Interesting article about adapting Google’s 20% time to the classroom.

So much for the language police (via Bruce Hammonds)

Stephen Fry takes a firm stance on grammar. He doesn't go the way you'd think.

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