EDUCATION - Where there are things that other countries have done well, we should steal it!

Source: NEWSHUB.CO.NZ In an interview with NewsHub on Monday the Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said his Coalition Government has set some ambitious goals they want New Zealanders to focus on and will take inspiration from other countries to achieve them. "We are here to improve the country by these targets and as a result, we look at whatever is working around the world," Luxon said. He talked about three countries in particular due to them being a similar size and examples of success. Going so far as to say “Where there are things that other countries have done well, we should steal it!” Concerns about " used futures " put to one side, let's investigate this idea a little further. So who were the three counties he named? Estonia, Ireland and Singapore. So that got me thinking, what does education look like in these countries? And when and how do we start our plundering?  Singapore: Holistic Education: Emphasising the development of students' character,

The National, Act and NZ First Coalition and what it means for education

Photo Source Yesterday saw the announcement of a new government which came with a raft of new policies and ministerial appointments. The Minister of Education, as was expected, is National MP Erica Stanford. More interestingly was the number of policies and priorities two parties who only collectively gained 15.5% of the votes managed to get across the line.  The common threads across both Act and NZ First included some good old-fashioned back-to-basics, a focus on compulsory attendance and cracking down on truancy, increased focus on academic achievement and shifting the fees-free policy from the first of uni to the last. To be fair, none of these represent much of a departure from what National was touting anyway.  The interesting and, at times, worrying changes suggest Luxon was willing to let both Act and NZ First foist their ideologies on innocent schools and students for the sake of a "strong and stable" government.  Unsurprisingly Act got Partnership Schools across the

National, Act and the age of standardisation in education

Chris and David discussing the joy of testing. Whilst we are still awaiting the outcome of special votes, it is pretty safe to assume that we are staring down the barrel of a National / Act Party government that will be bringing a very distinct flavour to the education landscape. Below is an outline of what each party promised for education.  Front and centre is a focus on "back to basics" and what looks like a whole lot more standardisation (from both National and Act) and testing to ensure we are all "teaching the basics brilliantly". Those of us in schools know that standardisation isn't necessarily the answer and testing didn't seem to turn the dial in the past either. That is the trouble when policies are designed to satisfy parent voters who just want their kids back in school and succeeding.  In their 100-day plan, National is promising to do the following in the education space: Require primary and intermediate schools to teach one hour a day each of