Educational priorities

The Herald reports:

The new will narrow educational opportunities for children, says the country’s largest teaching union.

“It all adds up to teaching to a very narrow focus and ultimately narrowing educational opportunities for children,” said New Zealand Educational Institute president Frances Nelson.

The union has been opposed to standards since National announced their introduction.

The standards were part of National policy before the party was elected to Government. Despite almost a year of talks, the Government has failed to reach an amicable agreement with the teaching unions.

– which represents about 45,000 people in the sector – did not attend yesterday’s formal launch.

The union is holding a forum next month to work out how the standards will sit alongside “everything else we do in terms of teaching and learning and getting the best results for students”.

Ms Nelson said the national standards were causing upheaval and the main issue for the forum was to “ensure a focus on improved student achievement across the broader school curriculum not just in literacy and numeracy”.

I am genuinely confused here. If a pupil can not read or write or count, then what are these other areas of achievement they may be doing well in, that don’t need basic literacy or numeracy?

Ms Tolley said it was hard to understand how teaching reading, writing and maths would narrow education opportunities.

“If they cannot do these basics, that is when opportunities are closed off.”


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