Tag Archives: waste

Rote Learning — The old way, or the NEW way? A Mentor, please!

These days in schools, it’s cool to be cool.

It’s GREAT to be up with the latest IT, the software that promises so much.

But, DOES IT DELIVER?

So many valuable educational dollars spent on so much fantastic-sounding technology.

So many valuable educational dollars spent on the promise of software that will deliver great outcomes.

So few teachers who are in a position to capitalise on all this “promise” that surrounds them.

So, what is a school administrator to do?

Look good? Appear progressive with government and with peers?

Or SLOW DOWN, and bring along the teachers in an orderly, sensible, encouraging manner?

How about, then we all slow down, take a well-earned, much-needed educational “deep breath”, so that some of the proven teaching and learning methods of the past aren’t “lost” in the “promise” of the new, state-of-the-art technologies and hardware that at the moment seem largely a diversion, rather than a valuable teaching tool.

The old ways, like rote learning. Getting number facts and functional vocab into the long term memory of students.

Like, “automatic response” development, such as the teachers of old used to learn their tables, their spelling, their — lots!

And, how about we encourage each and every teacher to find their own teaching mentor — someone whom they trust, respect, “worship” and can easily learn from as they seek to improve their own teaching performance.

Too much to ask?

Too much NOT to ask!

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Revealed at Last . . . Money matters more than good teachers!

Yes, this morning’s Age contains the proof of a long-suspected malaise.

Our Premier yesterday announced the upgrading in various ways of three schools in suburban Melbourne, at a total cost of more than $10 million. Nice work if you can get it!

Juxtapose that story against a “Letter to the Editor” in that very same paper. It tells the very sad story of a young teacher who graduated in 2013. Not just your average graduate teacher. Rather, one who received “eight high distinctions, and exemplary comments from her teaching rounds”. Yet, this young teacher has received not even a single interview for a teaching position at any school whatsoever. And a similar situation pertains for many of her teacher graduate peers. This is tragic.

But, back to the top. Yes, the millions of dollars spent on the three schools in question will, doubtless, result in spick and span shining premises and equipment. And won’t those electronic interactive whiteboards and state-of-the-art data projectors look impressive!

But, will any of the teaching staff be able to actually USE them? Will anyone know how to wire them up, or to track down the technical problems causing them to “freeze” during a presentation?

Could it be that there would be considerable merit in spending money on PEOPLE rather than THINGS? People — teachers — young teachers — enthusiastic about their chosen profession, eager to make a positive contribution to students who would relish such support.

As we’ve said before, it’s not more money that’s needed. It’s the way the present bucket-full of funding is being spent that’s the problem.

And it’s not too late to do something about it.

Is it? Do you agree?