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Frying kids brains

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by pro-pilot, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article2971600.ece

    Stealth curriculum is ‘threat to all toddlers’

    A new national curriculum for all under-5s will cause untold damage to the development of young children, a powerful lobby of academics says today.

    The highly prescriptive regime for pre-school children, which is due to become law next year, has been introduced by stealth, they say. It will induce needless anxiety and dent children’s enthusiasm for learning, according to the group of experts in childhood development.

    They say that the severity of the compulsory measures, which will apply to an estimated 25,000 nurseries across the private and state sectors, has gone virtually unnoticed and risks an array of educational and behavioural problems for the country’s children.

    A letter signed by the group, and seen by The Times, is highly critical of the Government’s drive to make children aged 3 and 4 write simple sentences using punctuation, interpret phonic methods to read complex words and use mathematical ideas to solve practical problems.

    The group, including the leading child psychologists Richard House, Dorothy Rowe and Penelope Leach, and Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, are today launching a campaign called Open Eye to promote the message that babies and young children learn most naturally and effectively through free play, movement and imitation, rather than formal teaching.

    “An overly formal, academic and/or cognitively biased ‘curriculum’, however carefully camouflaged, distorts this learning experience,†they say.

    “An early ‘head start’ in literacy is now known to precipitate unforeseen difficulties later on — sometimes including unpredictable emotional and behavioural problems.â€

    The new early-years foundation stage framework (EYFS), which becomes law next autumn, will affect all nurseries and kindergartens in England. The system requires children to be continually assessed according to 13 different learning scales, including writing, problem solving and numeracy.

    It could also have profound implications for thousands of non-mainstream preschool organisations, such as Steiner kindergartens, where formal learning is not introduced until children reach 6½. Montesorri schools, which also have a less academic approach, will also be affected.

    Richard House, senior lecturer in psychotherapy and counselling at Roehampton University, southwest London, said that the element of compulsion surrounding the new legislation been introduced “by stealthâ€.

    Unlike the national curriculum for schools, which does not apply to independent schools, the framework will apply to all pre-school settings — state, private and voluntary.

    “What is most objectionable is that the framework is compulsory. The central State is defining what child development is. It means that a pre-school would have to pursue the Government’s defined view of healthy child development, even if it contradicts their own view,†Dr House said.

    “Some people do not want their children doing synthetic phonics or quasi-formal learning at 3 or 4 but they could be left with little choice. There would be a very strong case for mounting a legal challenge under the human rights legislation,†he said.

    Experts believe that the legislation will impose a system of “audit and accountability†on children that will profoundly affect the way in which teachers interact with them.

    Margaret Edgington, a leading independent early-years consultant, said: “We are going to end up with lots of children who can read and decode print butwho haven’t got the skills to understand what the words mean.â€

  2. :roll:
    what a load of pigshit
  3. Funny, my brother and I could both read, and write some, before we went to school, and were also able to recite six of Banjo Paterson's longer poems by heart by the time we were three. Didn't seem to have harmed my scholastic or social development.

    I should also add that we were regularly singing Christian songs on the platforms at open air meetings at the same age; now, of course, I'm terrified of crowds and only sing in the shower: NOT :rofl:.
  4. plusse won
  5. Primary school aged kids should be playing games, not being taught crap that will probably be useless when they are in the real world. My kids have PE once a week, and only up to Year 3 are allowed on the adventure playground.

    Stop making my kids grow up so fast - let them have a 'Childhood.'
  6. So they should learn to read in, say, year two in High School???
  7. In Primary School I learnt English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Art. We learnt basic computer skills, went to the Library and Music once a week, and you could join the Choir if you wanted to. We played tiggy and red rover and had a massive playground for everyone to use.

    My children now attend the same school. They learn English, Mathematics, Science, Music, History, Microsoft Office programs, Art, go to the Library once a week, Music once a week, have a specialised unit each term. In Grade 6 & 7 they learn another language. By the end of Grade 4 they are expected to know how to do a powerpoint presentation. At the long lunch the years Prep, 1, 2 and 3 are allowed to use the playground. The years 4 to 7 have to go to the oval. If a child is sitting down, they are told to get up and join in sport. They get to use the library during their short break.

    Myself and my 3 brothers and 3 sisters are not illiterate. Two run very successful business, one is a Senior Policy Advisor for a government minister, one runs a multi-million dollar business, one is a miner, one is a Store Manager, and I am a stay at home mum. We all learned to read, write and count, yet we only learned half of what my children are expected to in the first 8 years of schooling. I think my kids are being overloaded and are missing out on the FUN of growing up.
  8. I'd like to see some evidence of that. It sounds like more 'chicken little' to me.
  9. Remember when half time at the MCG was silence ? Maybe broken by "red commodore rego DMD.482 you've left your lights on" . Thats the problem. Now it's freakin video clips and players bunting E's in each others asses for 100k a season.

    I'm just trying to get my post count up so I'm no longer a lurker.Whats your excuse ?
  10. 'Failed' teen sues state

    Fiona Hudson
    December 02, 2007 12:00am

    A TEENAGE student who can barely read or write is suing the Education
    Department for $300,000 for failing to teach him properly.

    Beau Abela, 14, claims he won't get an apprenticeship because he lacks
    basic life skills such as using a bus timetable, reading a menu or counting

    The Diamond Creek student claims Panton Hill Primary School should not
    have allowed him to progress to secondary school.

    Though Beau is enrolled in year 8 at Eltham High, experts have assessed
    his literacy and numeracy skills at five years behind his peers.

    He spells weekend 'wekenb', cannot tell the time and struggles to count
    beyond 10.

    In a statement of claim lodged with the County Court, his father Peter
    Abela accuses Panton Hill Primary School of ignoring his son's obvious
    learning difficulties.

    "This was done by allowing Beau to pass the year even though the level he
    was at was not suitable to progress,"
    he alleges.

    "Beau was not given the required level of attention for his special needs, which
    has failed him."

    The case comes in the same week the Australian Bureau of Statistics
    found half of Victorian adults were unable to read or count well enough
    to get through daily life.

    It follows a case last year in which a father sued an elite private school
    for failing to protect his son from bullies.

    Mr Abela, a single father, told the Sunday Herald Sun he had complained
    for years that not enough was being done for Beau, who suffers a mild
    intellectual disability.

    The disability pensioner claimed several requests to hold his son down a
    year to allow him to catch up to his peers were ignored.

    "They said it would be bad for his self-esteem to hold him back. But self-esteem
    isn't going to get him a job now, is it?"
    Mr Abela said.

    An expert at a specialist teaching unit who assessed Beau described the
    teen as showing the lowest skill of any student with whom he had worked.

    Mr Abela said his court action was not motivated by money, but by frustration
    at the way the system appeared to be letting down children. Mr Abela said
    he would drop the lawsuit tomorrow if the department would guarantee
    him it would educate (Beau) to a proper level.

    "I'm not doing this just for my son. It's for every child out there like him,"

    "How many other kids across the state are being shoved up to the next class
    even when they can't do the work?"

    Mr Abela conceded the Education Department had made significant efforts
    to help his son, including paying for one-on-one tutoring and providing a

    Over the years dozens of assessments and reports have been done to get
    to the bottom of Beau's problems.

    Beau has been on ADHD medication in the past and school reports consist-
    ently say he does not concentrate in class or make an effort with his work.

    Documents seen by the Sunday Herald Sun show Panton Hills Primary
    School and Eltham High have directed considerable time and effort towards
    the troubled student.

    Eltham High School principal Vincent Sicari said in a recent report Beau's
    behaviour was increasingly disruptive and violent.

    He had been suspended several times and bad behaviour logged by
    teachers included threatening to set another student alight and buying
    fireworks from another student.

    Mr Abela admitted Beau also refused to go to a special school in Donvale
    that could better cater to the teenager's needs -- because he did not feel
    capable of catching the two buses to travel there.

    Mr Abela said his main ambition as a father was to see his son schooled

    Mr Abela has had some free legal assistance, but is now handling the complex
    case. He said he felt daunted acting on behalf of his son, but believed it
    was worth the fight.

    Lawyers for the Education Department indicated they intended to contest
    the lawsuit.

    Failed: Beau Abela is suing the Education Department, claiming it has
    let him down.

  11. That's what's caused the real damage Paul... :p

    (left yourself wide open there)
  12. "Mr Abela, a single father"

    "The disability pensioner"

    "Mr Abela said his court action was not motivated by money"

  13. I'm not quite sure what this is supposed to prove?
  14. Mr Abela conceded the Education Department had made significant efforts
    to help his son, including paying for one-on-one tutoring and providing a laptop.

    How far are they supposed to go to help this kid? He has a mild intellectual disability and what sounds like serious behavioural problems. I'm left wondering whether his home environment might not be a contributing factor as well...

    When they suggested a special school he couldn't go because it was too far. His father obviously isn't working - perhaps he could have taken him on the bus for a while until the kid was able to go on his own.
  15. [​IMG] Tony & Rev
    The more of the article I read, the more I thought [​IMG]
  16. [​IMG]

    How'd the paper get those two to pose for that photo?

    "We want you both to look a bit despondent...

    ... that means 'a little bit angry and a little bit sad at the same time', ok?"
  17. Australian students slump in reading skills

    By David Crawshaw | December 04, 2007

    AUSTRALIAN students' reading performance has gone backwards in the past
    six years, although the nation's youngsters can still take on the world in science.

    These are among the findings of an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
    Development (OECD) report which examined the abilities and attitudes of more than
    400,000 15-year-olds in 57 countries.

    Although science was the focus of the OECD's Program for International Student
    Assessment 2006, it also collected data on reading and maths.

    Worryingly, it found Australian students' achievement in reading had slumped since
    2000 when compared to other developed countries.

    Australia was one of nine OECD countries to record the downward trend, and dropped
    from a score of about 535 to 520 on the ranking system.

    "Among the countries with above-average performance levels only Australia has seen a
    statistically significant decline in their students' reading performance, by 15 score points,
    which is attributable to a decline at the higher end of the performance spectrum,"
    OECD said.

    Australia's overall performance in mathematics also fell slightly between 2003 and
    2006, although those at the bottom of the class improved.

    But it wasn't all bad news.

    Australian students were ranked eighth overall for science out of the 30 OECD member
    countries and 27 other OECD-associated countries.

    This was on par with Japan, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Finland topped the

    The report expressed concern about poor student attitudes towards science,
    evidenced by a drop in university enrolments.

    "In today's technology-based societies, understanding fundamental scientific concepts
    and theories and the ability to structure and solve scientific problems are more important
    than ever,"
    it said.

    "Yet the percentage of students in some OECD countries who are studying science and
    technology in universities has dropped markedly over the past 15 years."

    In most countries, students from more privileged backgrounds enjoyed science more
    than those from lower socio-economic classes and were more likely to value the subject.
    The same was true of Australian students of immigrant backgrounds.

    The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) said it was concerned that 13
    per cent of Australian 15-year-olds fell below the OECD's scientific literacy baseline.

    Although this was below the average of 19 per cent, students performing below this
    level were at serious risk of not being prepared for the 21st-century workforce, ACER
    said in a statement.

    "Of particular concern is the fact that in scientific literacy, 40 per cent of Australia's
    indigenous students, 27 per cent of students in our remote schools and 23 per cent of
    students from the lowest socioeconomic quartile in Australia performed below the OECD
    it said.

    ACER chief executive Geoff Masters said the challenge was to ensure every Australian
    student had access to high quality teaching and resources regardless of their back-
    ground or school.

    Member Countries

    Czech Republic
    New Zealand
    Slovak Republic
    United Kingdom
    United States

  18. MG,

    Is that quoted article supposed to say that if that boy was tought at 3 years old he would be a genius now?

    I think that starting at 5 years old is plenty enough time to determine he is 'learning challenged' and do something about it.

    Maybe instead of teaching all children at 3 they need a better way of spotting and correcting learning problms in schools as they are now.

    I want my kids to finger paint at pre-school and enjoy themselves. Most kids don't have attention long enough to learn in a structured 'adult' way; they learn like kids do, play and mimic, etc.

    EDIT: and am i correct in thinking that it is not compulsory to go to a pre-school anyway? so they are essentially saying if you want your kid to survive in society you need to pay for them to go to an overpriced day-care centre?
  19. IMO, my theory is the kids themselfs, they have no respect for anyone or anything, dont want to learn, and expect to walk straight into a managers possition @80k plus a year.

    Its the years of the 'Do gooders' that usually dont have kids themselfs telling everone how to raise and teach the kids with the velvet glove approach. So now these new generations of kids coming through, expect everthing given to them on a silver platter,with little or no effort by themselfs.

    Dont get me wrong some kids are great and will be the new 'kerri packers' etc because they do want to learn and make something of themselfs.

    I could go on and on but I wont, I got enough problems 'trying' to educate an 18yo that is NOT my kid, that money does not grow on trees and if you want a hand out from the goverment, you have to at least fill in the form yourself ! :shock:

    But no he CBF'd and gets his stupid mum to not only fill it out but hand it in for him as well, as he's to lazy to get out of bed b4 3 in the afternoon :evil:
    Then look out if his money is late into his account :shock: :?

    My only saving grace IS that he is now over 18 so next time he wants to try the " you'd love to smack me in the head, but cant becourse of mum and I'm too young routeen" he's in for a big shock :twisted:
  20. I say give him 11.00 dollars tell him it's really 11,000 thousand and be done with it......i mean he wouldn't fcuking know anyway, right? :LOL: