Use of Teach First (NZ) illegal

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, December 7th, 2015 - 113 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, jobs, Kelvin Davis, labour, privatisation, Privatisation, uncategorized, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

National Ltd™s privatisation of public education hit a snag last week after some excellent work from the Post Primary Teachers Association. It took a case to the Employment Relations Authority which has now determined that the employment of Teach First (NZ)’s largely untrained “teachers” has been illegal all along. 

teach first

As background for those who have not been paying attention, the privatisation of New Zealand’s education system has been quietly going on for several years now. Neoliberal legislation put up by the ACT Party is in place, dodgy-as educational achievements have been established, teachers and the profession put through the John Key Dirty Politics Machine, the Education Ministry reduced to an obsequious and craven retinue, the massive transfer of public funds to for-profit charter schools well underway, the recalcitrant Teachers Council replaced, and the primary legislation now in the process of reducing education itself from the status of a protected and cherished human right down to that of a commodity. All set for full-steam ahead. Seeking to stimulate “competition” in the education “market”, National Ltd™ has been using Teach First (NZ) to recruit these so-called “teachers”, particularly for charter schools,  since at least 2010. To date, Teach First (NZ) has received millions of public education dollars which have been spent infesting at least 18 schools with around 50 of its unwitting clockwork neoliberal droogs. 

Now, thankfully, up pops the brave PPTA and ERA ruling. The timing of the determination is a bit cute, but at least there’s a chance now for the privatisation agenda to be made abundantly apparent to anyone who might care.

Teach First (NZ) is the local branch of international neoliberal front group Teach For All which presents to the world as a “leadership” and “educational” initiative. Its marketing is all very touchy-feely and about working towards making the world a better place by putting bright, carefully-selected future leaders in front of impoverished classrooms, yadda yadda yadda. Yet, the US branch, Teach For America, has become a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars a year political juggernaut for privatisation. Teach For All is the ideological mothership for dozens of such privatisation operations going on internationally. It receives considerable funding from a variety of corporations, and investment banks who are telling their clients to get in while they can. One of its largest funders is the New York based Robertson Foundation. Headed up by Cardinal of the Cult of Neoliberal Economics, New Zealander John Hood, the Robertson Foundation has among its “visions” the reform of public education. In this area, it adopts a two pronged approach:

  • “Reform from Within” – supporting activities that enhance existing system policies and practices, drive more effective use of resources, and conduct demonstration projects which can be adopted throughout public systems.
  • Drive Change by Generating External Pressure – encouraging competition by supporting the development of charter schools, voucher programs, and resources that enable informed parent choice.

Don’t you love how, when it comes to privatisation, its always about “choice”?

The Teach For All’s global conference was held in New Zealand in October. John Hood was idolised wherever he went, attended to dutifully by Teach For All’s CEO, the conflicted Wendy Kopp. Dozens of converts to the Teach For All philosophy flew in from around the world to share their visions, spread the word, celebrate their individual wonderfulness, and relish the New Zealand experience. Sadly, among the scheduled featured speakers at the conference was charter-school supporter and Labour MP Kelvin Davis.

kelvin davis speaker at teach for all conference

Not a good look.

After his bollocking earlier this year for helping raise money for a charter school, it does seem unlikely that Davis would actually have shown up.  Still, it might be time to re-explain to him, using small words spoken slowly, that the privatisation of public education does not fit into any decent values system, and even being seen to support such a notion is not a good look. Labour might also take the time to have a word with its Mangere MP Su’a William Sio about his LEC’s connection to the Rise Up Trust’s charter school. Its tenuous but ripe for a John Key Dirty Politics Machine spin cycle.

Where to now for National Ltd™? You gotta give a wry chuckle: of all the things it got wrong it was to check to see if what it was doing was actually legal. You expect that in a money-trading boiler room but not in a government and the obvious conclusion is that National Ltd™ doesn’t know the difference. But, alas, the illegality is just a hiccup.

Already, its besties in the MSM have started spinning the Employment Relations Authority’s finding quoting howls of angst from various neoliberal cultists scattered through the education system. The MSM has already been seeded with recent stories about how hard it is to find good teachers and to staff rural schools. Scant mention is made of the way the teaching profession has been treated and the utter contempt National Ltd™ has always shown for it. The John Key Dirty Politics Machine operative, David Farrar, is spining that the real issue us that Teach First (NZ) recruits are non-union members. Farrar, the MSM, and National Ltd™ avoid pointing out the ferocious anti-union ideology of Teach First (NZ)’s  over-arching body and the fact that Teach First (NZ) recruits are all carefully selected for ideological purity and/or youthful naivety. All this spin is helping set up a TINA excuse for National Ltd™. Currently,  the Ministry of Education is saying “the door is always open” and pretending it wants the PPTA to engage quickly to resolve the situation. Its a set up. The PPTA can’t make this go away because the current situation is in breach of law; it flaunts the secondary school collective agreement and the State Sector Act.

While the PPTA is being lined up for blame, Hekia Parata will, again, blame her officials and give them a jolly good thrashing before demanding they waste yet more education money filing appeals left right and centre. If that doesn’t work, we will see another jack-booting of democracy as a legislative fix is stomped through the debating chamber or the Governor-General is told to tweak some regulation somewhere. Because, well, shucks, everyone was acting in good faith and, at the end of the day, this is going to hurt the children and, you know, National Ltd™ is all about helping the children, especially Maori children, right?

 John Key and aroha ireland

 

113 comments on “Use of Teach First (NZ) illegal”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    The obvious solution is to de-fund the legal system.

    • NZJester 1.1

      No he will just find a reason to give some Judges an early retirement. New National Stooges Judges will then simply replace them.

  2. mpledger 2

    TFA in America is being rocked by scandal and failure but they seem to have enough money to keep going through the motions. Unfortunately the “leaders” seem to be able to “fail-up” – screw up what they are doing but get promoted higher up the chain.

    The whole thing is funded by billionaires doing “charity” and buying off politicians through political donations.

  3. tinfoilhat 3

    “To date, Teach First (NZ) has received millions of public education dollars which have been spent infesting at least 18 schools with around 50 of its unwitting clockwork neoliberal droogs. ”

    Well for another point of view, I’ve relieved at two schools in the past year where I’ve come into contact with two graduate teachers who had been through the teach NZ pathway post gaining their degrees in science and mathematics at NZ universities. Both were outstanding motivated new teachers who were committed to teaching.

    Having a look at the board and people involved in the NZ setup I can’t really see what your issue is ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      committed to teaching

      Their personal qualities notwithstanding, their presence is a symptom of National Party education “policy” – twisted by dogma, maliciously aimed at the heart of free universal education.

      • tinfoilhat 3.1.1

        How ? I think you’ve been blinded by too much ideology and hatred of the Nats, I really don’t think this is about the national or any/other political party.

        The two teachers I can into contact with are teaching at public schools as from my understanding are most if not all of the others coming out of this stream. I think your analysis is batshit crazy as would most of my teaching colleagues.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1

          How?

          Read the OP, then consider that they are being presented as the answer to a problem that is 100% the consequence of current economic policy, while educators are being harassed and vilified by the Ministry, and proven policy failures are being promoted as sound pedagogy.

          It isn’t hatred, it’s disgust.

          • tinfoilhat 3.1.1.1.1

            I have read the opinion piece it’s contains few good points enmeshed in a load of cant and character assasination which completely devalues its salient points.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1.1

              So are you still confused as to the “how”?

              • tinfoilhat

                No i’m not confused at all.

                I suggest you reread my initial comment in defence of the uncalled for and egregious attack on the teachers in question, most if not all of whom are union members of the PPTA.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Which already I addressed.

                  whatever their personal qualities…they are being presented as the answer to a problem that is 100% the consequence of current economic policy, while educators are being harassed and vilified by the Ministry, and proven policy failures are being promoted as sound pedagogy.

                  This government can’t even make legal education policy; your faith in them is touching, to say the least.

                  • tinfoilhat

                    Let me make it clear, I do not have faith in the government, I do not support the government.

                    I do support these teachers and the schools that they were to be teaching at, I also support the PPTA who are looking to work with the ministry to come up with a solution so that the teachers, schools and the training institution can all contribute to the education sector.

                    What I don’t support is the article written by BLIP that is openly disparaging of the teachers coming out of this institution or the unfounded attack on Teach first NZ.

                    Now feel free to return to your mindless diatribes and spouting of ideology.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So you don’t understand how the introduction of private charity into state schools undermines free universal education, then.

                      Or the various ways in which the National Party has created the problems it presents its policies as the answer to?

                      That’s all just a mindless diatribe of spouted ideology.

                      Speaking of ideology, I note that BLiP’s remarks about the origins of the program in the neo-liberal shit-hole end of the global education market seem to stack up. Another US/UK import imposed upon a system that was outperforming both of them not that long ago.

                      Cap in hand to the vandals, then.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      @OAB Can’t be bothered engaging with you anymore, your approach to discussions on this blog appears to be outright bullying of anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Bullying? Oh right, so describing me as “mindless” makes your comments pure as the driven snow does it? What hypocrisy.

                      The fact is you can’t rebut the argument – you haven’t even tried.

        • In Vino 3.1.1.2

          I would be more convinced if you could report that these two teachers were PPTA members, and opposed to further weakening of our egalitarian state system, despite what it has already been reduced to.

        • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.3

          You err in supposing it is possible to hate the Gnats too much; we need to drain the cesspits where Gnats reproduce asexually by budding (being too repulsive to actually touch).

        • Sanctuary 3.1.1.4

          I am sure they are wonderful individuals. But in Africa they have a saying – when elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.

  4. NZJester 4

    Bipartisan groups like the Wolf-Pack and others are forming in the US trying to get some ground there to change US rules about cash for access. We need similar pressure groups here to stop our slide into the same mess the groups are trying to stop in the US.
    We also need to get the money out of politics that give certain people access to our politicians for cash. With its cabinet clubs the National party have found a big loophole to hide under the ruse of anonymous donations who is getting a lot of that access.
    National gets a extremely large number of anonymous donations compared to every other part in this country. The rules on anonymous donations as they are right now are a joke.
    Due to the loopholes a group like Teach First (NZ) could be secretly paying for access to our politicians and no paper trail to link them.

  5. savenz 5

    Natz behaviour to destroy our education system is not only disgusting but also illegal it seems.

    • NZJester 5.1

      Don’t worry they will simply put through a law under urgency to make it retroactively legal.
      That is what they tend to do to fix legal problems like this.
      Look how many legal blunders they have changed the law on after an event instead of before it to make them legal.
      They just love to abuse the Under Urgency passing of laws.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    So why don’t our dear MSM mention all of the above – particularly the bit about the teachers coming from a private provider.
    Reading their articles it sounded something like the old teachers training colleges division “U” that used to do a short course for teachers with a degree back when.

  7. Paul Campbell 7

    I have a number of teacher friends, they find that teaching jobs are hard to find and hard to hold on to (National keep closing and rearranging schools out from under people) – new teachers are always forced to relocate to get that first position.

    Certainly there doesn’t seem to be a teacher shortage, more a shortage of secure teaching jobs.

    What there may be is a shortage of people willing to live in high cost cities like Auckland, National might be better off doing something about grounding the Auckland housing market so that mere mortals, and teachers, can afford to live there.

    • Lara 7.1

      Exactly.

      I’m an ex science high school teacher. No work for me where I’m living. I’m not moving to Auckland.

      I’ll never teach again now, my practicing certificate is too old, I’d have to retrain.

      Teaching is very stressful. Dealing with bad behaviour of kids in classrooms who have little to no respect for teachers makes getting any learning happening rather difficult. Their parents have no respect for teachers and schools, they teach that disrespect to their kids and then send them into classrooms to disrupt the learning of everyone. Focussing heavily on behaviour management every day is exhausting and stressful. And very frustrating.

      So I could have moved to stay in the profession. But I choose not to. I do receive Ed Gazette notification when science positions are vacant, and they aren’t exactly numerous.

      The lack of respect for the profession country wide is a really big problem. That and the shitty pay.

  8. Dazzer 8

    All I see from what Blip has written is a celebration of the union defending its members.

    No mention of the strong support from principals – the Stuff article mentions 20 principals which given the small number of trainee teachers involved suggests the schools value the programme.

    However, clearly what is best for the students and schools is secondary to the needs of the union.

    As for secure teaching jobs, this has been a feature of teaching since day dot primary due to the fact that a permanent job is largely that. Young teachers have always had to move around to get openings.

    My cynicism of the PPTA comes from being a past member. Teachers may value independent thinking and teach the need to encompass diversity. Those lofty ideals fly out the window when it comes to PPTA matters.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Twenty out of thousands isn’t “strong” support, although it’s a better percentage than ACT polling.

      When you say National Party dogma is “best for schools”, are you telling lies out of stupidity or malice? Hating unions makes it look like malice to me.

      What other human rights do you hate?

      • Dazzer 8.1.1

        Pleased to see that you are able to undermine your own comments by failure to process the information.

        Correct me if I am wrong on the facts as quoted in the Stuff article linked above:
        – 50 or so teachers have been trained under this programme
        – 20 schools support the programme through affidavits

        I would describe that as strong.

        I didn’t say it was National’s dogma I was supporting. It was clearly the view of 20 schools that the programme was in the best interests of their students.

        If you are going to resort to personal abuse (have you read the About section? ;)) then at least get your stats right.

        [lprent: What site are you on? Not this one. The relevant bit is in policy (not the about), has nothing about personal abuse (not that disagreeing with you constitutes that), and reads
        “What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”.

        OAB criticized your statements giving you his opinion of them. It was quite pointed. If you can’t take that mild criticism, then I’d suggest you get off the site. This is a site for robust debate, not for fragile fools with a thin skin and a allergy to having their views criticized.

        But I suspect that you are one of the bloody silly dickheads who try to make your own rules or to reinterpret the sites rules to whatever you want them to be. I suggest you don’t or I will kick your arse off the site in accordance with the self martyrdom notes.

        “Similarly, people should read the site policy before commenting on or even worse demanding that our policies should change. We might tolerate someone doing it once, but people asking about topics that are in this page are liable to get long educational bans because it is clear that they need time to read them closely.”

        This is your only warning. ]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          Oh dear, you’ve managed to confuse assessment of your behaviour with a personal attack. However, since your remarks personally attack union members, who cares what you’re confused about: that’s the thing with hypocrites: they don’t know when they’re lying.

          Now that was a personal attack.

          Can you see the difference?

          [lprent: And it was still a pointed attack, so moderators will ignore it between commenters. However it would be inadvisable to direct that at the post author, a moderator could easily decide it wasn’t attacking what they wrote, but attacking the author as a diversion from the post == long ban. ]

          • Dazzer 8.1.1.1.1

            This is funny. You seem to have missed the discussion about the stats which is the factual element. Good idea from your point of view I suppose.

            I’ve never used the word hatred but I did use the word cynicism. I am after all an ex member of the PPTA so I feel qualified to have an opinion. Are you?

            As I pointed out, I fully accept that there is a legal issue which unfortunately highlights the madness. The head post simply presents this from the unions point of view – no attempt to highlight the views of those who have employed the teachers or to look at the big picture. That’s where the dogma lies.

            Care to debate the issues?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1.1.1

              The National Party found twenty principals for endorsements and gave them extra resources. Forgive me for being able to see a few more ways to interpret that information than you.

              I agree that vilifying teachers and neglecting personal responsibility for economic factors, and then pretending to be pro-education is akin to madness, and like I said, it looks a lot like malice too.

            • In Vino 8.1.1.1.1.2

              I became a member of the PPTA in 1970, and still belong. I wonder why so many teachers (about 80% of both ‘good’ and ‘unsuited’ in my experience) support the union, and so few agree with you. Maybe the fault lies in you. If what you say about the union were true, most teachers would dump it like a hot potato. The majority of teachers do not put their own interests above those of the students, and I wonder if you have political motives for making up such rubbish, or whether you have a bee in your bonnet about some petty argument you once had.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I think right wingers resent teachers because teachers are some of the first people to draw attention to what dim bulbs they are. Their hatred of anything academic tells a similar story.

                • In Vino

                  Thanks OAB.
                  Dazzer’s dim bulb appears to have moved on new areas of dark science rather than illuminating for all of us the broad uplands.
                  (Sorry, Churchill.)

    • lprent 8.2

      All I see from what Blip has written is a celebration of the union defending its members.

      Which really just shows your inability to think. You do realize that the post is about a decision of the Employment Relations Authority right? This is the child of a long line of statutory bodies that was set up long ago to deal employment disputes. In this case they were looking at the legislative requirement that the state has in making state sector positions available via gazette. That requirement was specifically put in place to prevent cronyism inside the state sector.

      BLip’s post doesn’t read like a union view. It reads like an analysis of a neo-liberal movement in education and his assessment of the way that this government is likely to try to bypass due process

      You appear to have not bothered to read the post or even any the summary of the decision.

      Are you really that much of an unthinking idiot? Or are you just a stupid bigot who sees everything through a lens of your anti-union hates?

  9. Can’t think why the clamour isn’t for these most capable people to be teaching in the big time private schools and state schools in affluent areas.

    How come Farrar and his mates aren’t picking them up, why are they wasted on the low socio-economic areas?

    Oh I see, those fancy schools already have all the best results because the very best qualified teachers are actually all working in those schools.

    But isn’t this just another lovely chance for Farrar and co. to show their deep and concern about the about the unfortunate poor and the underachievers.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      They’re only required to work in the low-decile schools for 2 years, I believe.

      That might be partly because the ivy-league schools don’t want brand-new trainees who have no teaching experience at them, no matter how smart they might me. But this way you can test them out on the dumb-dumbs, and if they prove they can hack it, you can poach them once they’ve got the experience under their belt.

      • peterlepaysan 9.1.1

        What crap. Low decile has nothing to do with “dumb dumb”.

        It has everything to with socio/demographics.

        You sound like billionaire upper class fuckwit from London.

        Go home to belgrade square or whatevair.

        • Tracey 9.1.1.1

          I suspect Lanth had tongue in cheek, and was suggesting the teachers are only bound for 2 years into low decile, they cut their teeth and move on to higher paid cushier positions in, probably, private schools. Lanth?

          • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1.1

            Yes.

            I was writing from the perspective of the Ivy-league elite who would consider low-decile schools to be dumb-dumbs.

            I have a particular writing style that occasionally gets me in trouble with newbies who aren’t familiar with it (one memorable case had them accusing me of clearly being a National party supporter). The regulars get it, though.

    • Lara 9.2

      If you think the “very best” teachers are the ones in the private and high decile schools then you would be entirely wrong.

      I’ve taught in schools from decile 2 to 10. The best most enthusiastic and creative teaching I saw was in a school I was proud to teach in South Auckland. It was tough, and that’s why teachers there are onto it. They have to be.

      The laziest dumbest teaching I saw was in a private girls school in central Auckland. The girls are so well behaved work could be set for them to do while the teacher did… something else. And that’s exactly what happened.

      So from my experience it’s actually the other way around.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Don’t you love how, when it comes to privatisation, its always about “choice”?

    Well, if they said what it was really about (making it more expensive and increasing profits for the few) nobody would accept it. Just like, John Banks, no one would vote for John Banks if he told anyone his actual policies.

  11. Coffee Connoisseur 11

    I’d be more concerned if I believed in what we taught in public schools helping to build a better future here in New Zealand.
    Get rid of the whole teaching kids what to think and teach them how to think.
    Every now and again I toy with the idea of setting up a charter school to do just that.

    I would love to have been a teacher but it just wasn’t worth the risk.
    The fear of being wrongly accused of something has I am sure stopped many males going into teaching.

    overhaul and improve to a significant degree what is being taught in the public education system and no one will bother setting up charter schools that aren’t necessary.

    I can see charter schools being useful for groups that fall outside the norm too that public schools perhaps aren’t the best resourced to deal with such as special needs and or kids at the other end of the spectrum – gifted kids.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      overhaul and improve to a significant degree what is being taught in the public education system and no one will bother setting up charter schools that aren’t necessary.

      Rubbish. The National Party invented a crisis in education then pretended their privatisation agenda was ACT policy. Meanwhile they do nothing to address the economic factors that are the number one driver of education outcomes.

      Their whole policy is based on lies and motivated by greed.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 11.1.1

        Aint no rubbish about it. I went through the school system and came out a critical thinker inspite of the school system not because of it.
        Beyond social skills are you seriously sitting there trying to tell me that our public education system teaches kids what they need to know and how to think in a way that prepares them for the real world?
        I seriously hope not.

        I agree the whole policy is motivated by lies and greed but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it and put together something positive out of it.
        Personally I’d take the money set up a school and use any additional funds on environmental programmes that could involve the kids such as reforestation as part of their education in looking after natural resources.

        As for the poverty problem. Educate kids on the right things and generationally poverty will be eliminated over time. The alternative is to continue churning out idiots (ok a little harsh) and poverty will not only continue, it will get worse as people don’t know what changes need to be made to the system in order to fix it.
        I hate to say this but anyone who thinks that the solution to poverty is more wealth redistribution then take your pick of that person simply being part of the problem or that they are a stellar example of what our school system produces these days.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1

          So, your evidence that schools are crap is your own capacity for critical thinking?

          M’kay.

          • Coffee Connoisseur 11.1.1.1.1

            Its more the fact that over the years none of what I was taught in school has been useful (excluding social skills and english)
            I pull apart and fix systems for a living and having done it for 20 odd years I can see a substandard system. But then let me guess you’re a teacher.
            If so are you still telling kids that life is about getting an education, getting a job, getting married, having kids of their own… The question is really do you educate or indoctrinate and like it or not while we continue to do the latter then our education system will continue to be a waste of a kids childhood.
            So you think our curriculum sets people up to do well in society?
            Here’s your chance to explain how.
            I’ll give you English
            As for the rest tell me how that helps the majority of school leavers in the world they are now entering.
            Tell me how many of them have been taught critical thinking. Thats how to think, not what to think.
            Tell me how many could design a system and how many would know what to look for in a broken system?
            Tell me how many are taught history so that they are able to learn from societies past mistakes and know how to avoid repeating them.
            How many learn from the greatest thinkers of our time through the study of philosophy.
            I could go on but as I eluded to earlier, if you think our curriculum is good then you are part of the problem and probably the reason there is a case for charter schools and home schooling.
            based on this conversation I’d be surprised if you even understand that people have different ways of learning, something not well catered for in a curriculum where one size fits all.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Too funny. Right wing parrot trots out tired old lines from right wing book of faith about education, including the pathetic dribble that because I disagree I must be a teacher.

              Your projection of me is as shite as your capacity for constructing an argument. Meanwhile, the trend in PISA scores reveals the truth: that you have zero knowledge of recent history, let alone any original thoughts on the matter.

              “One size fits all” – this from an apologist for notional standards. That’s the problem with hypocrites – they don’t know when they’re lying.

              PS: I note that this particular hypocrite’s “information” is based on twenty year old bitterness pretending to be expertise. What an egg.

              • Coffee Connoisseur

                and yet given the opportunity to show how the current system sets kids up to go out into the real world you fail to do so.

                PISA scores seriously. I’m saying your teaching the wrong things to our kids and you roll out something that says we are doing well in what we are teaching them. how do Pisa scores help if you are teaching the wrong things in the first place.
                A: you’re illustrating y point by your own inability to defend our education curriculum with exactly how it does help them. Instead you pretty much resort to ad hominem instead.
                feel free to have another go at defending it by the way. Examples of how these subjects do set them up would be great.

                B: since when does criticising our education system make one a right wing parrot. All this illustrates is your inability to defend the current curriculum in any meaningful way.

                As for you being a teacher… yes that was a stretch. You spend way too much time on the Standard for that to be the case.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You aren’t criticising it: criticism involves paying attention to reality, not simply trotting out long-dead zombie arguments. Hence the reference to parrots.

                  I’m perfectly capable of discussing the curriculum, it’s just that you don’t seem to know anything about it. For example, do you have the faintest inkling of the contents of the curriculum that National sabotaged when they took office?

                  Of course you don’t. You’re too immersed in bitter recollections of your own school days.

                  • Coffee Connoisseur

                    All of that aside, at the end of the day it strikes me that this isn’t even about the curriculum (yes it was my fault for introducing it).
                    It is about jobs. And that is an issue, especially with 45% of roles disappearing over the next 10 years.

                    I can see that Nationals goal is to undermine the public education system through this. That I do disagree with. I do think there is an argument for the likes of special needs and gifted kids but again that could only be determined once we know the outcomes we are aiming for. What sort of people do we want to produce so that society can be vastly improved rather than continue to decline as we are seeing now.

                    At the end of the day education should be free and should be a basic human right for everyone.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Agree 100% with that.

                      Since the rot set in thirty-one years ago, and outcomes were much better before then, I think the obvious thing to do is to utterly destroy all aspects of the 1980s market vandalism across all sectors.

                      Do it in such a way that no matter how much the National Party takes in bribes, the certainty of total losses will deter any future vandalism. A sort of “get tough” policy.

                      Or we could keep on pretending they’re all very nice people.

                • I’m saying your teaching the wrong things to our kids and you roll out something that says we are doing well in what we are teaching them.

                  You’re entitled to your opinion. Now, all you have to do is persuade either the pedagogy experts at the Ministry, or large numbers of people willing to support political intervention, that your opinion is correct. Any thoughts on the actual post?

            • repateet 11.1.1.1.1.2

              An aside first: “..over the years none of what I was taught in school has been useful…” is a notion which fits in with the rest of your thinking. Everything is about what is taught. The most important thing of course is what is learned.

              Your first port of call is be rid of the programming of kids in schools so they learn the real stuff, the important stuff and the solution is to set up a charter school?

              All of of your gripes? Get in touch with the Minister of Education who is on a most fierce campaign to limit learning in schools. Don’t blame ‘state schools’ that schooling is about producing charts and boxes to be ticked, not about kids’ learning.

              The paradox of having someone so mindless in charge of the shaping of minds.

            • In Vino 11.1.1.1.1.3

              Well, Coffee Connoisseur (apt name?) I started teaching in 1970. You think you are a critical thinker? I agree with much of what you say, but dislike your arrogance. And that pathetic ‘one size fits all’ cliché. No teacher believes that.

              History is well taught to those who want to learn, but as Hegel said, “We learn from history that no one learns from history.”
              And you would know how to do better?

              If you actually had had the courage to go teaching, you would now know the answers to all your rather antipathetic questions.

              • Coffee Connoisseur

                Actually not going teaching is one of my biggest regrets. But then had I done so I might not be making these points now as I wouldn’t have taken the career path that I did which has all been about fixing broken systems.
                My arrogance you refer to is merely the offering of my opinion backed by 20 years of understanding and fixing broken systems. If to you thats arrogance then we differ on the meaning of the word arrogance. At what point does offering an opinion based on observation and experience that provides examples shift from arrogance to constructive criticism?
                But then thats the thing isn’t it constructive criticism will often be perceived as arrogance by those not wanting to hear the message on offer.

                As for doing better teaching systems theory would be a great start in helping them understand the world around them.
                Philosophy would help them learn to think for themselves.
                As would history shouldn’t be consigned to being an optional course. It is harder to learn from history if we don’t bother to teach it to everyone in the first place.
                I’d also look at the Area School model and compare that to the standard primary, intermediate and secondary school model. I’d look at the type of people produced through each. Not limited to academic test scores but on the type of person it produces for our society.
                Like any system it comes down to what you want that system to achieve in the first place. Then and only then can you begin to determine if we are teaching our kids the right things.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  What pedagogy would you employ to achieve these goals?

                • In Vino

                  Putting it in simple terms, whatever you did for the state system would have been undermined by under-resourcing. And if you chose to use privatised alternatives, I and most other teachers who believe in a fair system for all would fight against you.

                  I think that teachers learn a big lesson that not enough other people learn. Most people (sad to say) tend to care hugely for their own children, then expect other parents to do the same for theirs. (Clearly a lost cause, but they persist in believing it.)

                  Teachers quickly learn that all people’s children are important. They get to know them and care about them. This makes them tend towards socialism.

                  It is such an irony that right-wing rednecks accuse teacher unions of self-interest. What they cannot tolerate is any criticism of their own self-interest-based creed of greed.

                  I admire the great things you want taught in schools, but I would warn you that various factors prevent large numbers of students from even attaining a moderate level of abstract thought. You are off in fantasyland – a wishlist of an outsider who imagines he has easy fixes.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 11.1.1.1.1.4

              “Tell me how many of them have been taught critical thinking. Thats how to think, not what to think.”

              Well I hope you’re for closing down every single religious school then that teaches stuff that certainly isn’t true or useful.

              You want to go down the critical thinking route – first job get rid of faith based indoctrination.

              Then of course a fair chunk of the charter schools are religious aren’t they.
              Don’t get how you can promote critical thinking and charter schools in that context.

              BTW critical spelling would be useful as well. I mean “thats”, “eluded” …

    • Lara 11.2

      The curriculum and teaching practice have changed enormously from the time you and I went to school.

      Thinking skills are now, and have been for some time, a core part of the curriculum.

      It may not be done so well by older teachers who learned under the old curriculum, but the new teachers coming into the profession for the past 15 or so years know it.

      And try to do it every day in the classroom.

      I find it intensely frustrating that so many Kiwis assume that schools are the same today as they were when they went to them.

      If you have this gripe, that you think schools are teaching a bunch of stuff that’s not useful and aren’t teaching kids how to think, you’re passing this attitude onto your kids and sending them into the classroom with that idea.

      And you’re wrong.

      And you’re adding to the general disrespect of teachers and teaching.

      Teaching kids how to think was the best part of teaching for me. Dealing with the disrespect from their parents was the worst.

      I actually had a parent smirk and smugly tell me “you don’t teach anything useful anyway” during a meeting about the disrespectful behaviour of his 16 year old son. I looked out my classroom window at the cows (this was the edge of South Auckland) and remembered a week of teaching the science of dairy farming. But that mans attitude was so entrenched there was nothing I could say to change it. The disrespect oozed from him. He was sure he knew all about teaching better than me.

    • red-blooded 11.3

      OK, so you aren’t a teacher, presumably have been out of the schooling system for a while… Yet you still regard yourself as an expert in the NZ curriculum (which is very much based around independent thinking and learning skills) and somehow believe that you have the expertise to (possibly) set up and run a charter school?

      The core skills that apply to all learning areas related to broad skills-sets like enquiry skills, independence and self-management. Subjects are also defined by the skills they help to develop. The days of “teaching what to think” are well and truly over.

      This, in a nutshell, is one of the big problems with charter schools; people with no expertise or knowledge of modern teaching and learning stepping in, putting out their hands for money from the state, and then mucking in (and mucking up).

      Modern schools do a hell of a lot to support kids with special needs and to extend gifted kids (and, by the way, it’s perfectly possible to have the same kid fall into both categories). I suspect your view of teaching and learning is based on your memories from some time ago. In fact, looking at the comments that you’ve trotted out after this one, I know you’re at least 20 years out of date. If I hadn’t used a computer for 20 years, would that qualify me to harangue people about how to improve computing systems? Get some expertise and real-life experience.

      If you would really “love to be a teacher”, do the training, learn to look past your assumptions, and get on with it. And, by the way, that’s partly what this post was about. The “Teach NZ” programme is designed to bypass training (which focuses on things like learning theory, professional issues and ethics, as well as more practical, subject-based material, and just plonk untrained people into a classroom, using more experienced teachers as mentors. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, how would you like one of your kids to be in the first 9or second, or third) class of this person who’s learning on the job? Teacher trainees already spend a considerable amount of time spent in the classroom, but they’re given significant training first, they’re monitored and mentored one-to-one by an experienced teacher all of the time (not just once in a while) and they get to walk away from their learning experience at the end of each practicum (school time). This lets them learn and improve without being dogged by early mistakes all year, and it also lets the kids go back to their experienced teacher, so that no student has an unqualified person in front of them for anything like a full year (unless they’re unfortunate enough to attend a charter school, and then – who knows?).

  12. acrophobic 12

    Moving past the partisan rhetoric (on both sides), surely our concern should be whether educational initiatives work, not whether they suit our ideological position.

    The article cited in the post includes this:

    “Northland College principal Jim Luders, one of 20 school heads to file affidavits in support of the trainee teachers, said he was “deeply disappointed” in the PPTA for taking the action. “Every single Teach First candidate we’ve had has just been outstanding, they are so thorough, so hard-working and so resilient, it’s unbelievable. Our kids get major benefit from them. “I put my kids first, and for my kids, these guys [Teach First trainees] are outstanding. This is the best thing for kids in low decile kids and this system works.””

    The ‘illegality’ is an employment law issue that I am sure will soon be resolved. If the initiative is putting better teachers in front of kids, surely we should all applaud that.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Or perhaps, surely we ought to be able to notice that the National Party vilifies teachers then presents policy cooked up by Republicans, and wonder why so many uncritical thinkers behave like nodding dogs.

      Of course putting educators in front of children is a good idea. Which is why the National Party always ignores and insults educators.

      How bent do you have to be to pretend not to notice that?

      • acrophobic 12.1.1

        That’s just more of the same ideological claptrap. There is no evidence that this Government or any other ‘vilifies teachers’, and I’ve been working alongside the profession for almost 20 years. Let’s move beyond the hysteria and look for evidence based decision making.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1

          In that case the most influential factor in education outcomes is household income. Charter schools and notional standards – the evidence is in – they harm education, but not as much as National Party “economics”.

          No evidence of vilification here, no sirree.

          Would you like me to rub your face in more evidence or will you stop bullshitting now?

          • acrophobic 12.1.1.1.1

            There is no evidence that Charter Schools ‘harm’ education. In fact there is plenty of evidence they are successful, more successful than public schools for some students. I would suggest it may be your face being rubbed in the evidence.

            And please don’t cite teacher union opinion pieces to support your irrational ramblings. Come up with evidence based material or keep your ideological dribble to yourself.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1.1.1

              The evidence is very very simple: none of the countries that use a charter school system rank in the top echelons of global educational achievement.

              None of them even rank close to where NZ used to be.

        • Tracey 12.1.1.2

          Can you link me to the government’s long term plan to roll out this method of tarining people to become teachers into all our schools? It would be good to know the time-line for when ALL our children can get the best there is in teaching.

          • acrophobic 12.1.1.2.1

            No! And that’s interesting, because I’m not aware of any such plan, which rather kills the notion of privatisation by stealth, eh.

    • BLiP 12.2

      Moving past the partisan rhetoric (on both sides), surely our concern should be whether educational initiatives work, not whether they suit our ideological position.

      The evidence shows that charter schools, NCEA-type measurements, and outfits like Teach First (NZ) do not improve educational outcomes. Anecdotes from Jim Luder et al do not qualify as evidence of any sort.

      • acrophobic 12.2.1

        I disagree, particularly with respect to Charter Schools. But you’re welcome to retain your ideologically blinkered view and not send your children to Charter Schools, schools that use NCEA assessment, or employ teachers trained by Teach NZ. That, after all, is your choice.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2.1.1

          Of course you disagree – your book of dogma says so. The evidence, not so much.

          Let’s go much much further than protecting our children from these low types – let’s protect everyone’s children by closing all the National Party’s little Madrassa in such a way as to expose their owners to maximum financial damage.

        • BLiP 12.2.1.2

          Heh! It is the ideological blindness of National Ltd™ and its fellow travellers which is responsible for its blinkered approach to public education. Take, for example, the evidence which shows charter schools do not result in improved outcomes . . . the evidence presented to National Ltd™. It was dismissed, along with endless reams of other evidence.

        • Tracey 12.2.1.3

          Is it our choice? Are there enough Charter Schools and Teach NZ teachers to ensure that eevry child gets access to this should their parents choose?

      • NZJester 12.2.2

        Labour started to put in a system in place that involved teachers and academics giving their input to help figure out where the New Zealand school system could be improved. When National got in it decided teachers and academics know nothing about education so they scrapped that idea. Instead National looked over seas for systems designed by people outside the teaching profession to use in New Zealand schools and then seamed to pick the ones that where failing those over seas students badly as the ideas they would try here.

        Who would you trust to tell you what is wrong with your car, a car mechanic or an investment banker who once briefly looked at a car manual and has a theory about how to fix that clunking noise?

    • Tracey 12.3

      I Have no idea the wrongs or rights of this. However my understanding is that following an earlier subject-type- qualification, these new teachers have a 6 week course on “teaching”?

      I am surprised that is sufficient time to understand and come to grips with all the different ways to “teach” and also to come to grips with NS and its requirements etc.

      Not saying it isn’t possible, but as someone who has been on a very steep learning curve in this respect at a Tertiary this year, I am surprised it can be achieved in 6 weeks. As an aside a Tertiary where “learning” is entirely focused now on a “job” at the other end.

  13. Smilin 13

    Same ol same old problem that began back in 50/60S USA that gave rise to the rejection of corporate training of the masses and its still the battle.

    GROOMING, TRAINING WITH A BLINDFOLD TO FIT THE CORPORATE MOLD
    HORSES WITH BLINKERS TO DRIVEN BY DRINKERS OF THE RIGHT WING CORPORATE TROUGH
    ITS NOT YOUR DEGREE THAT MATTERS JUST THE DEGREE THAT MAKES THE CORPORATIONS CLATTER
    TO THE SOUND OF MONEY ON THEIR POWER PLATTER
    DESTROY THE LEFT AND DEMOCRATIC THOUGHT
    BY THE SOULS THAT THE RIGHTWING HAS BOUGHT
    AND THREATEN YOU WITH, IT ALL TO BE TAKEN AWAY, IF YOU DONT COMPLY OR U TRY TO HAVE YOUR SAY
    FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE THE CORPORATIONS WILL HAVE THEIR WAY
    AND THEIR WILL BE NO NEED TO LISTEN TO LEFTIST POLITICS
    THE CORPORATION STOLE MJS’ ES CRADLE TO THE GRAVE

    [lprent: Shout elsewhere. I have reduced the volume. ]

  14. greywarshark 14

    In a book about South West China which looks at historic events – this quote from the Zunyi Resolution which started Mao as Communist leader. ‘It was a 14-point document crticiising past errors and advocating fundamental tactical changes.’

    …It must be realised that the civil war in China (substitute your area of concern) is not a short, but a long, protracted war.

    The Party has bravely exposed its own mistakes. It has educated itself through them and learnt how to lead the revolutionary war more efficiently towards victory. After the exposure of mistakes, the Party, instead of being weakened, actually becomes stronger.

    National has invaded our public domain and is filching our public property under our noses, with the help of right-wing Labour politicians and fellow-travellers. We have to defend ourselves against this theft. It is war which needs determined defence and strategy to achieve benefit for we who care.

  15. Anon 15

    So.. Where to start. I am in the program. Whilst I do not pursue my own political agenda in the classroom, it is as far from neoliberalism as you can get. I have worked voluntarily for the most effective union in the country. None of us were placed in Charter schools. Many of us joined the Union. We were encouraged to by our organisation, who actually invited Angela Roberts to speak with us, an invitation she took up. The organisation refused to allow the politics between it and the PPTA get in the way. There’s three points you have written that are quite simply out and out lies, and as such I cannot take anything you write seriously, and I wholeheartedly discourage anyone else from doing so.

    • In Vino 15.1

      If you want a response, please point out and destroy those three lies. I am not trying to be antagonistic – I have met a young teacher from the scheme whom I admired. It will be an irony if the good teachers that the Govt. bring into the system end up opposing Govt policy overall! We need good people in teaching.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      1. Do you understand how allowing private charities into public schools fits into a right wing privatisation agenda?

      2. Do you understand how the Teach First policy plays into the right wing education narrative – that some kids fail at school because unions?

      3. If you understand these things, perhaps you can imagine how your appointment might be regarded as an entirely negative development, whatever your personal qualities.

      What are the “politics” you mention? The PPTA is concerned with protecting children from right wing education vandalism. What’s TF’s agenda?

    • Tracey 15.3

      Can you give more detail on the 6 week training programme? I am interested because it seems tome a big achievement indeed to go cold into teaching and after only 6 weeks training be equipped with teaching skills (as opposed to knowledge). NOT saying you are not so equipped, would love to see the curriculum for the 6 weeks?

      • BLiP 15.3.1

        The PPTA has done some research into the fast-track training of teachers used by outfits like Teach First NZ. At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest that it is effective in achieving higher education outcomes. Basically, National Ltd™ and Teach First NZ are experimenting on school children in order to justify the privatisation of public education. Its highly disappointing to see Auckland University involved in this but – hey – after John Hood did his dirty work there, its not really that surprising.

        • tinfoilhat 15.3.1.1

          I’ve just popped into the standard again to see what was going on in this thread.

          BLiP would you like to explain what it is exactly you have against John Hood that you feel the need to continually smear him ? I’ve met him once many years ago at Auckland University and noted that he was an intelligent well spoken fellow.

          You also seem to be rabidly against Teach NZ’s programme and their personnel which i find once again odd having had a look at who is involved in their setup in NZ and the fact that Auckland university has chosen to work with them.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 15.3.1.1.1

            Gosh, you mean they aren’t staffed by Mr. Burns caricature types?

            How does that affect the fact that allowing private charity into public schools is a retrograde step, borrowed from low-quality US/UK right wing education policy?

            Nice people, sure. Let them experiment on children for money? Not so much.

          • BLiP 15.3.1.1.2

            I have nothing personally against Hood and accept that socially he probably does come across as intelligent and well spoken. What I object to his is years and years of duplicitous working towards the privatisation of public education in New Zealand. He is a part of the neoliberal philanthrocapitalist movement which exploits human emotion (won’t someone please think of the children) in order to increase corporate profiteering by setting up front groups, like Teach First (NZ) , to raid the public purse. I also object to several other of his activities including, specifically, his favouring of corporate executives over shareholders.

            You over egg your plaintive whine by suggesting my opposition to Teach First NZ (Teach NZ is the Ministry of Education’s attempted law-dodge caper) is “rabid”. Perhaps my pointing out its inherent duplicity – in that it promotes itself as being all about “leadership” and “education” but, really, its all about facilitating privatisation – has rattled your cognitive dissonance? As it happens, I would be far more comfortable if Teach First (NZ) were to just be honest about what its up to. But, of course, it can’t because if the New Zealand public and its recruits were to see Teach First NZ for what it is, it would have a far more difficult time slithering into the education system. I haven’t mentioned any of Teach First (NZ)’s personnel. I’m sure most – but not all – of them do genuinely believe in their heart of hearts they are doing New Zealand a service by introducing market mechanisms into public education. They just need a little more education about who is driving their work, who is going to profit from it, and the likely future consequences.

            • tinfoilhat 15.3.1.1.2.1

              “What I object to is his years and years of duplicitous working towards the privatisation of public education in New Zealand.”

              Errr what ? Are you sure you’ve got the right person ?

              I think you’ve jumped the shark suggesting this is all a dark plot.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Why does it have to be a “dark” plot when it could just as easily be a well-meaning wingnut clusterfuck?

                Borrowing ideas from US/UK substandards and ignoring international best practice is all just an honest mistake, eh?

              • BLiP

                Ummm . . . you did read the report about Mike Feinberg coming to New Zealand to promote charter schools back in 2012, right? And you do realise that his trip to New Zealand was paid for by the Aotearoa Foundation which is the local front group for the Robertson Foundation? And you did read the post which highlights a primary aim of the Robertson Foundation is to encourage “. . . competition [in the education market] by supporting the development of charter schools, voucher programs, and resources that enable informed parent choice . . . “? And you do realise that John Hood is current CEO of the Robertson Foundation?

                If the use of corporate front groups like Teach First (NZ) to exploit emotions in order to vector in the privatisation of public education does not worry you, just say that, and bring evidence to support your position. Making a fool of yourself by picking around the edges of the OP and having a go at me personally rather than confronting the primary message is amusing to watch, but hardly constructive debate. Please try harder.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Who is Mike Feinburg to John Hood? The link between the two is unclear, other than the latter’s (perhaps well-intentioned) involvement in enabling the degradation of NZ public education.

                  • BLiP

                    Mike Feinberg is the neoliberal behind the ‘Knowledge is Power Programme’ (KIPP) which runs charter schools in the US. Hood paid for his trip here to help out National Ltd™. If you recall, National Ltd™ was at that time losing the argument because bundles and bundles of evidence – you know, real evidence as opposed to anecdotes – showed that charter schools do not a improve education outcomes, especially when using untrained and unregistered teachers.

                • tinfoilhat

                  Ummm . . . I did read the link.

                  Especially this bit

                  The visit is being supported by the Aotearoa Foundation in an effort to share learnings from overseas, as New Zealand develops its own Partnership Schools model. Neither KIPP, nor the Aotearoa Foundation, has any plans to establish a network of Partnership Schools in New Zealand.

                  “As a relatively late adopter of charter schools as an option within the education system, New Zealand has the advantage of being able to learn from successes and failures of the model in other parts of the world to create something that works in the New Zealand context. In that spirit, we are pleased to support Mike Feinberg’s visit,” said Julian Robertson, Founder, Aotearoa Foundation.

                  The fact that Hood is involved with the Robertson Foundation does not in anyway support or suggest that he is working to increase private education in NZ.

                  While I’m against charter schools in NZ, the US system is vastly different to ours and I can’t comment on the utility of otherwise of charter schools in the USA. Once again I would ask what you have to show that Hood has for ” years and years of duplicitous working towards the privatisation of public education in New Zealand.”

                  While looking at The Robertson Foundation website I’d also commend them for their efforts in climate change and other research in NZ. In terms of teach first NZ I still can’t see how you view them as a trojan horse for privatisation of the NZ education system when their one stated objective is to put graduate teachers into lower decile public schools.

                  I’m willing to change my opinion if you provide some evidence to the contrary.

                  • BLiP

                    . . . I still can’t see how you view them [Teach First NZ and the Robertson Foundation] as a trojan horse for privatisation of the NZ education system when their one stated objective is to put graduate teachers into lower decile public schools . . .

                    I’m not sure if your refusal to comprehend the material which has already been presented here is deliberate or because you are just thick. I never suggested the Aotearoa Foundation or KIPP were themselves planning on establishing charter schools in New Zealand. Their role is to lobby on behalf of their coroporate funders. Its early days in New Zealnd for this but, already, Hood and his cronies have had significant success, despite the empirical evidence and wishes of most New Zealanders.

                    Now, once again, and for the last time, you did read the bit about where the Robertson Foundation’s object was to reform public education by, inter alia

                    . . . encouraging competition by supporting the development of charter schools, voucher programs, and resources that enable informed parent choice . . .

                    . . . go that? Further, Hood, in his role as CEO for the Robertson Foundation, paid for KIPP’s co-founder Feinberg to come to New Zealand to help National Ltd™ sell the charter school concept back in 2012. The Aotearoa Foundation, the local front group for the Robertson Foundation, was the original Teach First (NZ) founding supporter. Hood was a star attendee at the Teach For All global conference in New Zealand, hosted by Teach First (NZ).

                    What Teach First (NZ) is rolling out here is the exact same programme of privatisation which has been going on in the UK for years.

                    I am not the only one pointing this out. And you’re not the only one seeking to deny reality.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      “Their role is to lobby on behalf of their coroporate funders. Its early days in New Zealnd for this but, already, Hood and his cronies have had significant success, despite the empirical evidence and wishes of most New Zealanders.”

                      ..and yet again I ask you to provide one piece of evidence to suggest that there has been any lobbying or support of any charter schools in NZ by John Hood or Teach first NZ.

    • BLiP 15.4

      Its early days for Teach First (NZ), it has no choice but to adopt a neutral stance on the union otherwise its business model would be even more difficult to integrate into the public education system. That doesn’t detract from the fact that its overarching body, Teach For All, is rabidly anti-union and is becoming increasingly detached from reality. Have you seen any videos of its big meetings? They resemble a Scientology rah-rah event . . .

  16. The Fairy Godmother 16

    I haven’t got details of the six week programme but we have teach first in our school. The trainee teachers only have a sixty percent workload. They have ongoing training throughout the two years. The whole thing functions a bit like an extended practicum. I think the whole scheme has some unfortunate implications in terms of respect and value of teachers and furthering the germ. However it has worked well for our school as the trainees are an extra resource. This is why people only focused on their school will like it.

    • Tracey 16.1

      I wondered if that might be the caseTFG. I couldn’t see how anyone, let alone 50 people could learn in 6 weeks enough about how to teach to be able to hit the ground running.

      As long as they remain an extra resource, I can see the benefit. BUT if they are taking time from thos eon staff who need to further upskill them, then it needs to be monitored, as to how much resource is being used to allow them to achieve. i.e. extra workload for colleagues

      • Lara 16.1.1

        Fair enough, I do agree.

        But there’s an assumption here. That the one year post graduate (this is for secondary teachers, not primary) course is actually useful and teaches teachers how to teach.

        Which was absolutely NOT my experience.

        The three different placements were great, that gave valuable learning for me.

        We were taught the curriculum as I remember, and had some tips from experienced teachers in our subject fields, but it was inadequate, barely scratching the surface.

        I remember much of my one year teacher training being bored out of my mind, wondering why they were rattling on about such bullshit, and hanging out to leave.

        It was my first teaching position, a baptism of fire in a rural decile 2 school, where I learned how to do it. And I learned fast.

        Teacher training school? Mostly useless. Condensed to six weeks? Probably a good idea. Depends on what crap is cut.

        • Tracey 16.1.1.1

          Maybe but my experience of being thrown into a job at the deep end was I learned fast two ways.

          1. By working far more hours than I was paid for to try and minimise my ,mistakes (cos I was not mentored or supervised); and

          2. By my mistakes

          The second is NOT a great way for my clients to have had me learn, and the first way sucked for me in an attempt to not make clients pay for my learning.

          At least in teaching, the teachers at your firsts chool have some experience of how to teach, including new teachers. Other professions lack that very skill in their employers.

          As long as the teachers in our schools being allocated the newbies get adequate compensation and reduced class and paperwork time to be teachers of the new teachers, but I suspect that does not happen. At least according to those I know who teach. Schools are replacing experienced teachers with newbies, partly cos they are cheaper, and then add to an experienced teacjer’s existing workload to train the newie.

          I don’t know what the answer is, but learning in front of our kids is not always good for the kids, and putting experienced teachers under more stress can’t be good either.

          • Lara 16.1.1.1.1

            And to make it worse they tend to chuck newbies in front of the toughest classes.

            I was fine with the teaching aspect. How to prepare an exiting lesson plan, how to create material, how to come up with ideas for different kinds of learners.

            But the hardest part, and the part it took 6 months to get through my head, was behaviour management.

            Until you have the whole class behaving properly (listening when you speak, following instructions) you can’t get to the exciting learning bits. You can’t put them on a pathway to learning how to think until they can participate in the start of the lesson.

            And to be honest, the only way to REALLY figure out how to do that is by experience.

            But I do wish they’d focussed more on behaviour management techniques in my post grad course.

            I don’t see why it can’t be done in a six week course. But they’d have to cut all the crap that’s actually of no use.

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