Posts by Melissa Schwalger

In the footsteps of Beeby

In 1938, Dr Clarence Beeby brought his radical ideas about the value of the arts into the heart of our public education system. Art and Crafts and Physical Education Advisers were introduced that year under the new assistant Director of Education, with experimental programmes trialled in Wellington and Dunedin. Two years later, Beeby became the…

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Give peace a chance

Folded paper boats

  Principals are great people managers. Good leaders have the support and trust of whānau and their working relationships with boards and staff are positive. But good relationships take time and effort, and it’s not unusual for overloaded leaders to miss the warning signs and suddenly find themselves in turmoil. No matter how dire the…

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Early intervention: Yes please! But where’s the money?

Alfroi with teacher Nisha Rani and early intervention teacher, Katherine Reilly

Figures bandied about by officials suggest that a $30,000 investment in early intervention education will save the government around $150,000 down the track. Yet officials are also clear that there will be no new funding for the early intervention, and in fact the Ministry of Education may have less to spend. Last term, the ministry’s…

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PORSE the winner in nanny intern programme

It looks like PORSE (owned by Evolve Education) is onto a real money-making winner with its nanny intern course. According to its media release and website, young women (they’re invariably women) aged 17-25 can do PORSE’s 21-week Nanny Intern Programme, at absolutely NO COST. Such an amazing deal – how do they do it? The…

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Ngahere Tamariki – Children of the forest

A four-year-old girl scrambles to the top of a steep, slippery slope, her face flushed with triumph. Just 20 minutes earlier, she had been clinging to a tree root at the bottom of the hill, too scared to move. This sort of achievement is what bush kindergarten is all about. “Bush kindies” in various forms…

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Feeding childhood independence or parental fears?

This is a photo of my son on the very first day he was allowed to walk to school by himself. He was five-and-a-half years old and his excitement is obvious. As his mum, I was less thrilled. I watched the clock until about 9.15am, at which point I figured that the school would have…

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Complaint from head of ERO

On Friday November 13, the New Zealand Herald published a front page story about the ERO report, Infants and Toddlers: competent and confident communicators and learners. The story related to meetings and discussions at ERO and the Ministry of Education prior to the release of the report. EA published a link to the story and commentary as events…

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World Teachers' Day protest over ECE funding cuts

Concerned parents and teachers wanted to send a message to Education Minister Hekia Parata and the Government that every child needs a great teacher. However, the only additional ECE funding in the past five years has been for increased participation, with no extra to cover inflation or other growing costs. The lost funding means that…

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