Friday, September 25, 2009

Paul's Blog Post

I've been thinking a bit more about National Standards lately and talking to colleagues as the time the time of their release in early November draws closer.

The latest Gazette (Principal view) gives the detail about what we are to receive in November
An A3 foldout (The NZ Curriculum Implementing the Standards)
A literacy book.
A numeracy book.
Information about how many copies teachers in particular year groups are to receive.

NZEI has expressed concern in a recent article, "Bulldozer Approach To National Standards Won't Work."

"Schools know that they have to make the Standards work but the government has not recognised that principals and teachers have a responsibility to implement them properly and professionally and ensure they do not compromise nor take the focus off the new curriculum." (Frances Nelson)

It does seem that this whole initiative is being introduced with some haste. The degree of effort and additional work involved in a 2010 implementation will become apparent to us in November once the resource arrives and we have time to work out in practical sense what we need to do.

We need to keep in the forefront of our minds that National Standards as and of themselves are a device to measure and report. For the majority of schools whose focus is on quality teaching and learning interactions, National Standards simply provide a generic way of capturing data and passing on meaningful and concise information to parents in a way that will conform with political expectations. In that sense there's nothing new or revolutionary about them.

1 comment:

  1. Good points Paul. I do think though that education should not be about conforming to political expectations; but about doing what we know is professionally best practice.
    The maths standards too are a bit of a departure from our usual understandings about good maths teaching and assessment.
    The issue for me as well is that we have to report against the standards in 2010 and yet it will be November this year before we even begin to see the detail of the standards themselves. I doubt the time line will enable us to do much more than be glib.