Posts by Michelle Nixon

Flying high on the West Coast

Westport Kindergarten gets all five Best Start stars: 100% qualified teachers, good adult-to-child ratios, small group sizes, positive relationships, and a warm and loving learning environment. But that’s not all. This is both an all-day early childhood education (ECE) centre AND a kindergarten” working together on the same site, with two types of education happening…

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Christchurch – down but not out

But that doesn’t seem to have figured in Education Minister Hekia Parata’s decision to cut off life support for at least a dozen communities, and there are fears it will further undermine and destabilise their already fragile recovery. Not everyone is unhappy” some welcome the changes as heralding a promised new age of modern learning…

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Obituary – Elwyn S Richardson QSO

Richardson is best known for his book In The Early World, published by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research in 1964. The book, an account of his experience developing his child-centred educational philosophy, was widely taken up by teachers colleges both in New Zealand and the United States in the ’60s and early ’70s…

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Light inside the tunnel

Specialist education staff at the Ministry of Education, who work with some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children, have settled their collective agreement after making a commitment to “work to rule”. This followed excessive workload issues dating back to 2008. The settlement commits to looking at workload. In Christchurch, Kaye Hyams tells EA why it…

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Unchartered waters

The original charter schools were started by teacher unions in the United States more than 20 years ago to enrich the public school system by trying out new ways of doing things and sharing what worked. But the model has since been hijacked by right-wing political parties, big business, and fundamentalist thinkers who want to…

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Where have all the jobs gone?

In October last year a speaker contracted by the Ministry of Education caused a furore by telling a group of Victoria University primary teaching students they should go overseas after graduation because only 20% of them would get work. The seminar was to advise students about their job prospects, and they were told only two…

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Christchurch unites to save schools

The 11,000-signature NZEI petition calls for a halt to the plans and urges the government to listen to Christchurch and refocus on quality education. The plan to close or merge about 30 schools was riddled with data that was unclear, inconsistent or plain wrong, the consultation timeframe was ridiculously short, and scant notice was taken…

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When English isn't spoken at home

Linda Milton was always interesting in teaching but for various reasons followed another career path until seven years ago when she became a teacher aide at Miramar Central School, in the heart of the capital’s Wellywood. The school has a very well resourced special needs learning centre, which provides learning support mainly to children who…

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How to Finnish ahead of the rest

Finland is proudly egalitarian and educationalist Pasi Sahlberg believes that’s behind its success the home of Nokia and the Angry Birds app is a leader in technology and innovation, as well as in education. It consistently comes out on top in international measures of student achievement for 15-year-olds, without even trying. Its students rate highly…

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Skill 'em or drill 'em

[g1_row type=”default” color=”none” background_repeat=”repeat” background_position=”center top” background_attachment=”static” background_scroll=”none” padding_bottom=”3rem” padding_top=”4.5rem”] [g1_1of1] Skill ’em – Finland A free public education system with small schools, small classes, and rigorous teacher selection and training. Schools do not stream. No league tables. Finland has no private schools. All children go to their local school and children of all abilities…

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