A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Category archive: Australasia

Saturday June 21 2008

That’s what it says here:

Celia Lashlie, an education adviser and author, said women should ‘step back and shut up’ in the classroom.

Instead of talking constantly, they should communicate with their pupils using non-verbal cues, such as a raised eyebrow. Female teachers should allow boys to be boys.

Miss Lashlie, who describes herself as a feminist, added that mothers should not try to run their sons’ lives.

‘I’ve been in classes with young female teachers and by the end of the session my ears hurt,’ she added. ‘Women need to step back and shut up.’

Nearly 90 per cent of primary school teachers are women, while at secondary level the figure is about 60 per cent.

Miss Lashlie, who comes from New Zealand, interviewed 180 classes in 25 boys’ schools in her home country for her research.

Her book, He’ll Be OK, is a bestseller in New Zealand and will be published in the UK next week.

The book argues that boys need male role models and Miss Lashlie suggested that schools should be ‘defeminised’ by employing more men.

I have for some time believed that being a male primary school teacher is OKAY.  A decade or two go, such men were, if not actual pedophiles, definitely rather peculiar, if only in being willing to be suspected of being pedophiles.  Now, you are brave, for ignoring all that nonsense.  But just because it’s now okay to be a male teacher of small children, that’s no reason to starting putting the knife into lady teachers.

Certainly, none of the above complaints apply to any of the lady teachers whom I am now getting to know.

I also think that teachers talking a lot can often work rather well.  I find that one of the simplest ways of cheering up a baffled or confused child is to just tell them, again, what you’re trying to tell them, and say: don’t worry if you don’t get it now, you will soon, thanks for listening.  Making him explain everything can sometimes, on the other hand, be excessively pressurising.

Saturday February 23 2008

Very strange:

A row has broken out over new “anti-poaching” rules introduced for high school sport stars - as players are sidelined from new season games.

New Zealand under-19s touch representative Lara Diamond-Brahne, 16, missed the first game of the season this week after moving from Auckland Girls Grammar to Mt Albert Grammar this year.

Her mother Debbie Brahne has called in her lawyer.

“I’m pretty gutted about it and pretty upset,” said Lara, who also plays netball, basketball and competes in athletics.

“I turned up to my school touch game and they came up to me and said that I wasn’t allowed to play otherwise my team will get disqualified.”

Under new rules introduced at the end of last year, Lara can’t represent her new school in top level inter-school competition for 12 months unless her old school gives permission.

I don’t know what “touch” is, but this does sound unfair.  I wonder what the problem was that this rule was presumably introduced to correct?

Monday December 24 2007

I suppose the usual way for an Education Blog to function over Christmas would be to shut down for the holiday.  But I’m going to keep this blog going, with something here every day right throughout the Christmas season.

I am making a point.  Education used to be an industrialised process.  (For many it still is.) But for many others, it has become something that they can do for themselves, any time.  At any time of the day, at any time of their lives, and at any time of the year.  Scarce educational resources, strenuously deployed by educational professionals, are now being engulfed by an abundance of stuff you can learn about whenever and however you want.  So, just as this blog got airborne at some random date in November, when it just happened to suit me, instead of at the beginning of the “academic” year, so too, contrariwise, will it just bash on over Christmas.

But old school education is absolutely part of the territory here, so here are a few old school websites to enable you to learn ...

Christmas seems to come upon us very quickly, at a time when teachers have many other things to do to. The aim of edna‘s Christmas Page is to give many links, all tested for their active status, suitable for classroom use, from the evaluated resources in the searchable edna database.

... about ...

In Czechoslovakia, the night before Christmas is spent fasting. A child who does not touch food all day is promised that he or she will see the golden pig (reminiscent of the golden boar which Freya, the Scandinavian Queen of Heaven rides through the night skies, and of the boar’s head served at medieval English midwinter feasts).

imageChristmas:

Although the majority of people in Thailand are Buddhists, the Thai people love to take part in celebrations. Christmas is not a holiday here but the students from our school still celebrated it by singing, dancing and playing party games.

Any excuse eh?

Thursday December 20 2007

Photographed by my friend Michael Jennings in Malaya:

image

See the comment at Michael’s for further explication.  It was this posting here, and Michael’s comment on it, that got him noticing this.

Here‘s the website, which is where I found the title for this posting.  The little guy with the bow and arrow reminds me somewhat of Marvin the paranoid android in the movie of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  It’s the blankness of his face.  Is this figure intended to suggest that if you go to a university in Australia or the UK, you will become someone? Maybe I’m reading too much into it.