Showing posts from October, 2020

How do we measure educational success?

I have been in recent discussions with the NZ Initiative, a think tank that endorses the more neoliberal objectives of the  Global  Education  Reform Movement which advocate for c ompetition, choice, prescribed curricula, standardized testing, and privatization  to reform the New Zealand education system and improve what they see as falling student outcomes. This got me thinking about how to  construct a framework of education that could herald quality education systems universally. So, what is quality education, how will you know when you see it? What is educationally desirable? Quality education is not just about preparing our learners to be part of an economy, so quality education does not necessarily mean high achievement in standardized assessments. According to Biesta (2009) quality education has 3 equally important qualities.  1) Qualification - the teaching of knowledge, skills, and values that are domain-specific. 2) Socialisation - the teaching of students to become part of a

An Apple for the Teacher

According to t he NZ Initiative report,   New Zealand's Education Delusion , a  "deluded" child-led approach to teaching is to blame for New Zealand's declining educational performance. The report  says NZ educators are deluded in thinking teachers should let children direct what they want to learn about. It calls for a much more detailed curriculum specifying what children should learn at each level, and standardized national assessments to ensure they learn those things. The report relies on a mostly non-existent binary of knowledge vs skills. Very few educators in New Zealand are advocating for a pure competency or skills-based curriculum in a vacuum of knowledge. NZ teachers and the New Zealand Curriculum understand this and allow for the complexity and nuance of building knowledge and developing competencies concurrently.  The report also challenges the perceived groupthink and echo chambers that exist in New Zealand education around student-centered learning. Ho