The state of Education: Pre-election.

A friend asked me for a teacher’s perspective on this article. I got into rant mode, but it’s bullet-pointed, easy-to-read rant mode, so I thought I’d share it here as well.

I’m interested in hearing (or rather, reading) your thoughts, both from New Zealanders, and comparisons to other countries. These are children we’re talking about. Education affects all of us.

The article:

Education: The battle for marks, minds and money

My response:

1. How do you judge a ‘good’ teacher? Frankly, 99% of teachers in New Zealand are fantastic.

2. Lower class sizes is a good, common-sense idea. Better for students and teachers, and creates more jobs.

3. NCEA is a good assessment system – but it is an ASSESSMENT system. Our school curriculum is separate to this (but linked).

4. Having national standards for core subjects is not a bad thing. It’s a straightforward tool for how well a student is doing. However, it does not (necessarily) show the progress a child has made. All it is doing at the moment is upping the anxiety level of learners who are underachieving.

5. The statement at the end sums it all up: “It’s not one-size-fits-all.

6. Mental health / self-esteem is a huge factor in all of this. Students who are underachieving do not think highly of themselves, and I can say with absolute confidence that this is one of the biggest factors in their achievement. One more thing PISA results (as referred to in the article) showed is that student anxiety has risen in the last 5 years.
If I could change one thing about the schooling system, it would be mental health facilities. Students need good counsellors, self-confidence, and self-esteem. They need to know they are capable of far more than they think they are.

4 thoughts on “The state of Education: Pre-election.

  1. I find this post of yours extremely interesting. We are having the very same issues and debates and struggles here in the US! But I totally agree with you, and I’m not a teacher. I am a mother, however, and though my son is only 4, people are already trying to fit him into boxes and compare him to the average. 😛 BAGGGH.


    1. Thanks for your comment, Jennifer (and all your ‘likes’!)

      It’s interesting to see the same debates in another country, though I suppose they’re both based on a Western, academic-focused system of education and so it makes sense that they have similar issues.

      There are definitely uses to comparing to the average, but seriously, at FOUR does it really matter? I mean, unless they’re drastically ahead / behind in something, then it’s nothing to be concerned about. It’d be like if we said, “Oh, your baby didn’t start crawling at 9 months, so she is well behind the national average.”


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well you are very welcome! I LOVE your blog! I just keep reading and reading all your posts and nodding my head sagely murmuring “Mmmmhmmm mmmhmmmm” and then every now and then going, “Yes! Right! Exactly! Me too!” 😉 Lol.

        Agreed on the education front. There are some benefits to knowing averages, but yes. They shouldn’t cause anxiety. And I keep getting pressured to put him in preschool, but he sees and plays with other kids periodically already (with wonderful social skills) and has been doing pre-K and K level workbook type stuff since he was 3! Aggravating.

        Although, this may sound terrible, it kind of makes me feel better knowing other countries are having the same issues. 😛 At least we’re in it together!


        1. Sounds like you know what you’re doing, so I wouldn’t worry! The point of preschool is to socialise and to learn through play, so if he’s doing that already, you’re all good 🙂

          Yay! I will have to take some time to really explore your site, cause it sounds like we’re on the same page with a lot of stuff!

          Liked by 1 person

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