Attack! 119 The government dismantling of public education: and reflections on resistance Part 2

Welcome to ATTACK! 

ATTACK! is a two-page occasional publication giving attention to the curriculum – the holistic curriculum.

ATTACK! is for you, also to introduce to your colleagues. Each issue will be restricted to two pages. A cover graphic for a file or folder to store ATTACK! issues is available.

Most of ATTACK! will be concerned with the holistic curriculum which, if acted on, is a fundamental way to undermine the present undemocratic education system. Don’t be discouraged if opportunities to teach holistically are limited, do your best, be a guardian, and act as a witness to this culturally significant and inspiring way of teaching and learning.

To get in touch for comment, questions, and the ATTACK! issues to be sent to you personally:  ksmythe@wave.co.nz

Attack! 119 The government dismantling of public education: and reflections on resistance Part 2

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2 Responses to Attack! 119 The government dismantling of public education: and reflections on resistance Part 2

  1. John H says:

    As always, the situation in a nutshell Kelvin. We live in hope that the resistance you speak of will grow to the point where it eventually disperses the miasma.

    One quibble. Like the primary union you focus your attention on principals. This is a mistake in my view. To be effective resistance must come from the grass roots (i.e., classroom practitioners).

    First, primary teachers vastly outnumber primary principals. There is both safety and power in numbers.

    Second, the growing professional separation between teachers and principals is contributing to a situation where (a) principals are less likely to be defended to the death by teachers should they come under attack from central agencies, and (b) teachers have been ‘sheltered’ (excluded) by principals from indepth discussion about these issues, resulting in widespread teacher disinterest in the political aspects of education.

    Third, in the current neoliberal environment teacher-qualified principals are reaching their use-by date. Business managers will soon suffice.

    We continue to talk about rather than to teachers at the entire profession’s peril.

  2. Kelvin says:

    Thanks for insightful comment John H.

    When I produced the Developmental Network Magazine in the 90s it was purchased by every school and it was wonderful to have communication with classroom teachers, as well, I spoke to thousands of them as I wended my way around New Zealand a couple of times a year. Towards the end of the century the education review office had made school education a very fearful place, a situation that has only worsened.

    Principals have been separated from the curriculum, therefore reality, and teachers have become submerged.

    Virtually any principal who speaks out is attacked by the review office, and is vulnerable to an LSM placement; teachers can’t be reached except by NZEI, but NZEI has moved from the curriculum, therefore children, to become much more absorbed in keeping ECE, teacher aides, and its own members thinking they are being well-represented on salary and conditions. For instance, they have sold teachers and children down the drain for those farcical career CoL pathways. There is no philosophical depth in the NZEI. And elections occur at conferences not within the membership at large. The executive is untouchable.

    That leaves only NZPF when it throws up a good one, and at the moment it has (but too late). Business managers in control of CoLs will occur if National is returned and their function will be to keep all within the CoLs under control, not just principals.

    I have always predicted that change would come from crisis – economic, climate, political, performance. But there was always the chance, as miniscule as it might be, that a morally-strong, charismatic leader might come through. I use some of my postings for that chance, and the Attacks!, for that crisis future.

    Of course, there might be a Labour coalition, there are some good people there – they offer a slinter of hope.

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