Saturday, March 23, 2013

Let’s Get This Right – @ the chalk face

Let’s Get This Right – @ the chalk face:

Let’s Get This Right

Pat Buoncristiani has a remarkable bi-cultural background. For instance, she has been the principal of a school in Victoria, Australia and in Virginia, USA. for several years each. She says “ Perhaps it is only when you look at an environment from the outside that you see it for what it really is. It was only when I went to the USA that I appreciated what we had in Victoria. The sad thing is that over the past few years I have watched the Australian education gradually but inexorably come to more closely resemble the flawed USA system. And this is happening just as the USA begins to wake up…”
She speaks of having no power as a US principal, controlled, as Australian principals are, with ‘laser like precision’ because nothing mattered but state tests.
The school days were extended for failing children; term breaks disappeared for failing children; and they were allowed only 15 minutes of free play during an entire school day. “When I demanded that a 30 minute rest period be scheduled for my 4 and 5 years olds – I was told that they come to school to learn, not to rest……time was devoted to the raising of scores, not the education of children.”
Now, that’s robust control!
Pat Buoncristiani, a former teacher educator, has had consultancy stints in a number of Australian states and is an accredited Habits of Mind trainer. She co-authored “Developing Mindful Students, Skilful Thinkers, Thoughtful Schools.” with her husband in 2012. She’s really immersed in matters that help children to enjoy learning and to reach for their ultimate.See:
Pat’s article needs to be read by every parent of every school child in Australia and by every teacher who has anything to do with NAPLAN. It should be made compulsory reading for all political candidates, who don’t understand what is going on in schools. It tells it as it is.
Phil Cullen

Let’s Get This Right

Patricia Buoncristiani
Pasi Sahlberg has called it GERM – the Global Education Reform Movement. It’s an apt acronym because it is infectious and it is doing us no good at all. In fact it is doing what all infections do – weakening us and making us vulnerable to all sorts of other opportunistic infections.
A GERM infection happens when policy makers see that something is wrong with education and instead of