Showing posts from June, 2018

The Scarecrows of Education

Earlier this month I blogged in response to the keynote of Katherine Birbalsingh made while at the recent ResearchEd conference in Auckland challenging her claim that the only effective way to teach is through employing a primarily teacher-led approach to learning. I received the following response from Ms Birbalsingh. I reflected on the response, as a good Jed'aii must and despite not actually addressing my argument that skills and content need to work in concert, I do concede that in saying in my original post that Ms Birbalsingh advocates for content over skills, I was incorrect as we both agree that both are required as I suggested, although we disagree on the timing on when to teach them. This was further reinforced by my reading of her book the Battlehymn for the Tiger Teacher  which in many parts actually illustrative of what a majority of teachers in New Zealand would actually see as good practice including the teaching of skills explicitly, exactly what I was adv

Are we on the edge of a cliff?

Last weekend educators gathered at Auckland Grammar's Centennial theatre  for ResearchED "a fantastic day featuring some of New Zealand’s most interesting and important voices in education, with guests from abroad. ResearchED days are committed to burying edu-myths, raising evidence literacy in the teaching profession and beyond, and creating powerful conversations between anyone affected by the evidence eco-system"   according to their website . The keynote speaker was Katherine Moana Birbalsingh . Ms Birbalsingh  talked about how her educational philosophies are changing the lives of the students currently attending Michaela Community School, a charter school she founded in a poor neighbourhood in inner-city London four years ago. According to Birbalsingh, knowledge in the form of content is important and skills are not and if New Zealand continues on the path of inquiry and discovery learning we will  fall off the edge of a cliff . She is disparaging of