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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Class size to increase under National

Yesterday it was the cost of prescriptions going up, today it's class sizes.
Brilliant, National.

 Inspirational.

 Aspirational.

So much damage over such a brief time span - National and John Key, you've served your ideology and your ilk well.
Little Billy English will be terribly excited to see his cherished Bulk Funding plans coming closer and closer to implementation. The business of schooling - at last!

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert just on a different subject Have you had much success in growing raspberries ?What varieties? And is it possible to get a few suckers or maybe you know someone who can grow good raspberries in southland Regards Adrian

robertguyton said...

Raspberries thrive in Southland, Adrian. In fact, they spread like a weed and have the bonus of no-grubs in the fruits, unlike places further north. There are a number of varieties, including those with white fruit and those with black. There are types that fruit once a season, and those that fruit twice. I recommend all of them. They are easy to get by division - ask around. There are often raspberries in old gardens.

bsprout said...

Class size is the obvious concern but have you noticed the new mantra "Learning is Earning". There are also plans afoot to force year eight children to shape their learning around a future career. Already university courses that don't have a direct economic purpose are being lost and I can see we are going to lose the holistic approach to learning that made our education system one of the most successful in the world. We are being governed by politicians who are driven by narrow economic goals where austerity, not creativity, drives their vision of success. What they will do to education using this approach doesn't bear thinking about...

Anonymous said...

So have you missed the point then? Class size reduced without an improvement in outcomes. Also 'class size' is the funding formula provided by the ministry to schools. Individual schools still set themselves up as the boatrd sees fit. Chasing the Red herrings again?

Paranormal

Suz said...

Oh FFS Paranormal...what would you prefer for your kids...a class of 20 vs 35? Funnily enough, the academic (whose name eludes me), who insisted it was all about teacher quality, not class size, was the same guy who is extremely anti National Standards...cherry-picking much?

robertguyton said...

Para - how clever you are. I wonder though, have you ever taught a class of young students?
If not, you might be interested to learn that I have taught scores of them (classes of young students that is). Want to know, from a professional, how numbers affect the teaching and learning that goes on in classes big and small? Do you? Want to know the reality? Or are you happy to run with your ideological approach?

Anonymous said...

Suz - I would rather my child was in a class of 30 with a good teacher, than a smaller class with a crap teacher. (BTW I don't believe that is what is proposed either). I know in your world RG all teachers are good, but that is just not the case.

As for my 'ideological approach' frankly I have the far more important job as my childrens parent. I am responsible for ensuring they get what they need from our broken system. I don't give a rats arse how many clases a teacher has taught - if you can't teach children the basics you're gone.

And that is exactly the choice I have had to make in the past where my bright daughter was slipping backwards due to one of your 'experienced professionals'.

To repeat what I have commented here before, the one size fits all approach to everything including education isn't working. Whilst I don't think National have all the answers, and I am not ideologically bound to them, I do see that National in some of the areas are trying to move in the right direction.

There is a problem people and it needs to be addressed. Your everything is rosy, full steam ahead and don't mind the icebergs outlook is the outdated one.

Paranormal

Anonymous said...

how interesting that your interested in reality on education but not much else, you are blinked just like some one who pays attention to the bad "market forces" you seem to think can be ignored at will.

Anonymous said...

"Oh FFS Paranormal...what would you prefer for your kids...a class of 20 vs 35?"

Is that what is proposed, Suz?

Really??

robertguyton said...

I'm blinkered because I'm interested in reality, Anonymous?
How daft.

robertguyton said...

"I know in your world RG all teachers are good, but that is just not the case." Don't be ridiculous, para. Your 'I know what you think' mad extrapolations are a blot on all of your arguments.
Methinks you do assume too much, every time.
As an experienced teacher of many years, I know how many good and bad teachers there are out there. Do you?

Shunda barunda said...

25% are really bad, 25% are just "ok", 25% are quite good, 25% are excellent.

That's my experience anyway.

Unfortunately my kids primary school has been much higher in the "really bad" stakes, and the local high school is currently "really awful" almost across the board, but I am assured the rest of the country is much better.

It is, isn't it?
Surely it is.

robertguyton said...

My experience is very different, Shunda, and I've been 'inside' for a long time...
If I were you, I'd re-jink my opinion, in line with the advice of experts :-)
Seriously though, your comments on education are very coloured by your personal experience and are, I believe, out of kilter with reality.
I interests me how 'rightwingers' seem to extrapolate their own experience out over an issue, to the detriment of rationality. It shows around criminal behaviour especially, where they cling to worst-case examples, even when they are second-hand (through the tabloid media)and ra ra for some flinty clown promising to 'be tough' on such threats to their safety. I'm betting the 'carpet man' has stirred up thousands of conservatives, and very few liberals, simply because of this tendency. Education suffers the same effects. Incompetent teachers! Get rid of them, all of them, there's thousands of them infecting the schooling system and they'll be standing in front of my children before you know it!!!

Towack said...

My mother and father were teachers, my sister also, my wife has a degree in education, I have worked full time for a private training college and served on the board for another, plus I serve on a Board of Trustees for our local college, oh, and I went through the NZ schooling system and survived. I would never call myself an expert, but I love education and want to be part of it. And RG, you know doubt would call me a right winger, I don't but thats another argument.

Bad teachers are nothing new, I had them teach me, I also had really good teachers who could engage me in learning for hours. The good ones however were few and far between. One thing I have picked up over time is that good principals, like good business managers can weed out the bad ones and keep the good ones. The real problem is how the unions have made is very difficult to manage the bad ones and this is why I like performance pay. Bad teacher, poor pay. Yes it will be interesting to see how one judges poor performance, but that is how the rest of the world works in emplyment, do well get rewarded, do poorly and either ship up, or get paid shite. Works for me

Suz said...

WADR Robert, of course Shunda's comments and opinions are coloured by his personal experience, and why shouldn't they be. From what I recall, his children's school was in dire shape, and it's a bloody awful feeling knowing your kids are being short-changed.

I don't concur with your percentages Shunda, (purely because of my personal experience :)), but the fact is if you're unlucky enough to get the 2 "not so good" teachers out of a fantastic 20, at Primary school, that's a third of your time.

If class size is so unimportant, I wonder why an important selling point for private schools is their guarantee to have 24 as a maximum?

Shunda barunda said...

Seriously though, your comments on education are very coloured by your personal experience

What else would they be coloured by!! is my testimony really invalid because it does not line up with yours?.

and are, I believe, out of kilter with reality.

Who's reality? the reality for me is my kids education has been hindered by shambolic management of the local primary school, one of the good teachers told me exactly the same thing and is trying to get my oldest boys education back on track. The local High school, after decades of mismanagement is now under control of a commissioner, don't you think I am "allowed" to have an opinion about that without being labelled a right wing bigot?
Some of the high school teachers were bloody terrible Robert, you may not like it, but it is the "reality".

I interests me how 'rightwingers' seem to extrapolate their own experience out over an issue, to the detriment of rationality

And some people listen to the experience of others and notice a distinct pattern emerging.

I am sure the type of "right winger" you describe does in fact exist, but in this instance I think you are drawing a pretty long bow to suggest all people that have issues with the education system are rabid "out of kilter" right wingers.

I think it is really illogical to suggest that all teachers are somehow inherently good at what they do, how can you seriously believe this exists in any profession?

robertguyton said...

"What else would they be coloured by"

Are you serious, Shunda?

How about 'expert advice', or 'independent studies' or 'commonsense' or 'general consensus'? I'm not saying any of those in particular ae foolproof, just that there are 'safety mechanisms' to protect you from bias when it comes to decision making on particular issues.
I think it is really illogical to suggest that all teachers are somehow inherently good at what they do, how can you seriously believe this exists in any profession?"

It is and I don't. Unless you can show me where I've said that.
"

Suz said...

"Expert advice", "independent studies" mean sweet f--k all Robert, when you're in a position that Shunda is.

He's had his experiences, you've had yours.

Shunda barunda said...

Roberts reaction to me is intriguing (now that I am learning to control my frustration, thanks Robert!)

What I think he is saying is that I have displayed traits in the past that in his eyes make me an irrational person.

In some cases, this is fair enough.

However, somewhat more disturbing is the attitude that despite my direct experience I should just "trust" experts, or even "general consensus".

In other words, deliver my kids to school, let the experts take over, and don't look at anything else that I think may be an issue.

A government commissioner in charge of a school? don't concern myself with such issues, my tendency toward right wing bigotry will just confuse the process, let the teachers union sort it out.

Concern over under performing primary school teachers? don't be a fool, teachers are almost always good people, I must be mistaken.

In short Robert has simply chosen to insult me in the hope that I will retaliate and thus enable a quick dismissal of my concerns.

But I am finally learning how to debate with people that use these tactics........... ;)

Suz said...

Hope you read my 8.51am comment above.

I doubt very much that Robert is intentionally trying to insult you Shunda, altho' I can see how it comes across like that.

I'm sure we'd all be rapt for our kids to have a teacher like RG, sadly that's often not the case.

Towack said...

How about 'expert advice', or 'independent studies' or 'commonsense' or 'general consensus'?

This is a classic line RG. You often quote or link to people opinions that are none of the above, you just agree with what they think.
At times you are seriously biased and quite happy to climb down the throats of individuals that disagree with your thinking.

Towack said...

I wouldnt agree that everybody would want to have a teacher like RG. With the bias that he shows on here how can one be certain that these political views are not born out in the classroom.

I dont say this from experience or student comments, its just a general comment

Shunda barunda said...

I doubt very much that Robert is intentionally trying to insult you Shunda, altho' I can see how it comes across like that.

I think it is more a tactic of debate than a direct attack, so yeah, I agree.

However it doesn't really help in debating or resolving issues, it is more an act of "you stay over there and I'll stay over here". It is simply a disengagement tactic when real issues emerge that complicate a situation or entrenched viewpoint.

My concerns are valid on this topic.
Interestingly, what Robert doesn't seem to understand is that some of the bad teachers I have experienced were actually right wingers and fundamentalist Christians.

Suz said...

Shit,you're lucky Shunda...some of our bad teachers were asleep on the job..literally! :)

Suz said...

@ Towack...as a neurotic mother of an only child, I've never been that concerned of what political influence, if any, his teacher may impart. The more view-points and opinions the better.

My 15 year-old son is currently going thru' a stage of fervent Atheism, and is fortunate enough to have a devoutly Christian English teacher, who is happy to debate/discuss with him...more power to the both of them :)

robertguyton said...

Shunda - you say;
"However, somewhat more disturbing is the attitude that despite my direct experience I should just "trust" experts, or even "general consensus"."

And seriously misunderstand my comment. Here it is again. I urge you to read it more carefully;

""What else would they be coloured by"

Are you serious, Shunda?

How about 'expert advice', or 'independent studies' or 'commonsense' or 'general consensus'? I'm not saying any of those in particular ae foolproof, just that there are 'safety mechanisms' to protect you from bias when it comes to decision making on particular issues"

Do you see that I preface it with your words/question,
"
"What else would they be coloured by"
Notice my emphasis? I gave you examples of other other influences that you could take into account. You assume that I want you to throw away your own experiences in favour of 'expert advice' etc, as does Towack, who also reads carelessly. I don't say you "should just "trust" experts, or even "general consensus"."(my emphasis, again) at all.
Can you see it, Shunda?
Often, your arguments hinge around such a misinterpretation as I'm trying to highlight to you here. This is largely due to preconceptions held, I reckon. No doubt I do something like it and am happy to have it pointed out to me, but if you are able to recognise the phenomenon, you might be able to correct for accuracy and the opportunity for more constructive debate :-)

robertguyton said...

Suz - killer quote and the reason I like you contributions so much. There are, btw, so staunch fundamentalist Christian teachers at Towack's college who share what I believe to be some pretty scary Apocalyptic views with their students, but I'd never want them muzzled - a well informed and free-thinking student like my daughter can sift the wheat from the chaff :-)

robertguyton said...

'Some' staunch

robertguyton said...

Towack is correct. Not all parents would want me as the teacher of their children. Nor would all children want me as their teacher. It's not a perfect world, we are not homogeneous units. Those children who have expressed a reluctance to my teaching have been those from families where the parent objects to my world-view, in my experience. In some instances, the fact that I'm considered 'Taha Maori friendly' has caused reluctance. Go figure!

Shunda barunda said...

but if you are able to recognise the phenomenon, you might be able to correct for accuracy and the opportunity for more constructive debate :-)

Fair enough.

I am trying to be more objective and I appreciate your honesty.

I am also now looking for evidence of your concerns and will adjust my attitude on this accordingly.

All I want is for my kids to have a good education.

Towack said...

'fundamentalist'
I asked you yesterday what you meant by this, you havnt answered yet.

I am not scared of being Christian but when I research the fundamentalist word, it actually more describes your views and how you attack the current goverment and anyone who disagrees with you.

Do you use the word as an insult?

Towack said...

"Those children who have expressed a reluctance to my teaching have been those from families where the parent objects to my world-view, in my experience".

I have heard students talking about different teachers, you included, and this point is not entirely true. Some of those are alot closer to your viewpoint than you think.

robertguyton said...

'Fundamentalist' was not an insult, Towack, just a lablel, like 'lefty', or 'greeny'. What disturbs you so much about it? I would class anyone who believes in the Rapture as fundamentalist. Does that describe you? I mean no insult by that, simply a measure of where I draw the fundamentalist/non-fundamentalist line.

As to those parents who have/had reservations about my teaching their kids, I care not one whit and don't want to pursue that here with someone commenting under a pen-name. It doesn't concern me, quite frankly. I consider it part of the territory for an outspoken person like myself.

Towack said...

If I'm a bible believing Christian, then simply put, thats what I am, a Christian. Thats waht the term Christian is RG.
I'm not insulted, I just think your wrong.
As for your second comment, let me give you your advice, go and read my comment fully as I wasnt talking about parents but students.

On a friendly note, looks like an interesting talk tomorrow night, I'm going to try and make it. You will know me as I will be the one preparing for the rapture.....

robertguyton said...

I hope it doesn't come before you get there, Towack. I'd miss you at the meeting. Mind you, Jade'd be up there with you, I'm guessing.
I'd have to do the presentation but I'd be wasting my time. As you know, we 'chaff' just don't listen!

Anonymous said...

What Towack said. Especially @8.42

RG - I was paraphrasing what your whole post supports ie. the status quo. This completly ignores the major problem the education system has with bad teachers, and the inability for the system (more particularly individuals within the system) to address specific issues with students. Bad teachers is not the only problem mind but a major one, especially when they are sheltered by ideologues like yourself and the self serving unions.

You seem too busy pushing the Gnats bad all is sweetness and light meme to really be bothered with the problems in the system.

Paranormal

robertguyton said...

'Bad teachers' is a major problem in our education system, paranormal?
I don't believe you.

Please back up your claim, for the sake of credibility.