Saturday, February 24, 2024

Alwyn Poole: “Education in New Zealand – Aspiration needs to come from the top”

That is the headline i wholeheartedly believe in a piece I had published on ZB+ yesterday. While it is behind their subscriber service I can be brief here:

Given Erica Stanford's performance in opposition as spokesperson for Education was stunned and dismayed by this answer she gave recently in the house to former minister Jan Tinetti.

“As schools start back for 2024, there will be a relentless focus on lifting student achievement. This Government's ambitious target of getting 80 per cent of our tamariki to curriculum by the time they finish intermediate by 2030 is our North Star.”

What the minister has clearly stated is that she and the new National government only believe they are capable of improving education in New Zealand over six years to still have one in five Year 8 students failing at basic literacy and numeracy. That is despite each New Zealand child receiving 9600 hours of funded education in eight years of schooling. Her answer is dripping with pessimism and lack of ambition.

If we are truly aiming at a “world class” teaching profession and education system, why do we have a self-imposed limit that we can only get 80 per cent of students even to a moderate level of ability and achievement?

The Minister likes to use the term “Science of Learning”. From her answer in the House she has a lot more to do to understand the true implications of the potential of every human from this field of work. Through looking at the work of people like Carol Dweck, David Eagleman and many more. The following statement should be the government's “North Star”.

It is not only possible to lift every child – it is imperative. I have seen it done with the right provision.

If the Minister is not highly ambitious – it will be very hard for the sector to be – let alone the students and families.

Alwyn Poole, a well-known figure in the New Zealand education system, he founded and was the head of Mt Hobson Middle School in Auckland for 18 years. This article was published HERE


Anonymous said...

I have never understood how politicians can take critical portfolios without being very experienced - even iconic - leaders in their fields. What credibility can they have with ( qualified) Ministry staff?

Finance, justice, education...... just common sense. To say " I am passionate about domain xxxx" will be woefully inadequate.

An Ed. minister whose first priority is to get kids off their I-phones is deeply concerning. This is the sort of side issue which school principals must achieve it by Term 2.

robert Arthur said...

Clearly the Minister has a realistic grasp of the stifling influence of the unions and of the Teaching Council and of maori input. And of the limiting effect of hours and hours devoted to te reo and other maori waddle. And of parents steeped in imagining decolonisation and hence opposed to the curious colonist custom of schooling.

DeeM said...

Maybe she's under-promising but going to over-deliver. Jeez, I hope so
Or in politician speak, covering her arse.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn’t she speak straight forward English?

Refer Bob Jones’ item also today.

EP said...

We do have to be fair to the new Minister. She appears to be an intelligent woman, (stands out like a beacon in the company of the previous minister and the superfluity of woke idiots in the Ministry of Ed.) You keep doing your thing by all means - my word the country needs you -but let's be supportive because she has a huge opposition to address.

Gaynor said...

The whole education shebang is thoroughly marinated in ideology which desires above all to use schools as a vehicle for social engineering into socialism.This ideology Progressive Education has a genius for finding the counter-intuitive, likely -to -fail approach in teaching any subject. Almost everything is backwards to actually achieving real academic learning . But since intellectual achievement was never their aim they could probably be shocked and annoyed if that occurred. They will waffle on about equity not being considered.

And after all, aren't ignorant and dependent products full of self-esteem from schools more easily manipulated in socialism ? They are certainly much more dependent on the state.

Dream on if you you really think dear Erica can overcome all this insanity.

Hazel Modisett said...

The only aversion I have to privatising all govt depts is that Wellington would then be filled with unemployable ex pencil pushers that have never had a real job in their lives...