The word ‘controversial’ is over used by the Media Party

It seems all that is required these days for someone or something to be described as controversial by the Media Party is for the reporter to quote one person who is critical of the person or thing. This doesn’t apply of course to anything from the left because left wing views can never be controversial as they are promoted as being mainstream views held by the average Joe Blogs.

Charter Schools are the brain child of the Act Party and they add to parental and student educational choice yet they have been labelled controversial by the Media. In contrast Sugar taxes and other Nanny State directives taking away our choice such as telling us what we can and cannot eat are reported without negative comment when the Green Party propose them.

The latest middle-right wing organisation to be labelled controversial is Teach For All a network of international programmes that puts university graduates into low-income schools at no cost to the schools. In New Zealand the programme is called Teach First.

Teach First NZ
? Takes high-achieving university graduates for its on-the-job training programme.

?Begins with a six-week intensive residential programme.

? Graduates then move in to low-decile schools.

? Mentoring is ongoing.

? Had 300 applications for its 20 places for 2016.

? Applicants must meet a range of achievement, leadership and attitude criteria, as well as having a bachelor degree with strong subject knowledge in the topic they wish to teach.

Radical new teaching system comes to NZ

A teaching revolution that’s helped turn around some of the world’s toughest schools has come to New Zealand – but not everyone is laying out the welcome mat.

…Hosted by the local iteration of the controversial on-the-job teaching model, called Teach First NZ, the conference will involve 200 overseas delegates mixing with local education experts.

On the job training has been around forever. Calling it controversial and radical is ridiculous. I completed on the job training in three different schools when I was training to be a High School teacher. It is the teacher training model that has been in place in New Zealand for decades. My mother trained to be a Primary school teacher the same way.

The purpose of the programmes is firstly to provide free expert help in the classroom to benefit the classroom teacher and the students and secondly to try to encourage our best and brightest to become teachers. After experiencing this on the job training some of the graduates will then go on to teachers training college to gain their diploma of teaching. This is not a scheme to train teachers in 6 weeks. It is a scheme to help low-decile schools and to give University students an opportunity to find out if teaching is a career path for them.

It makes sense and is a win win solution. When I was at training college I saw university students who on paper looked brilliant but when put in front of students fell to pieces. They couldn’t control the students and they were boring and were unable to engage them. If they had been part of something like Teach First they would have quickly learned that teaching was not for them and would not have wasted a whole year training to be something they were ill suited for.

 

…So far, around 50 teachers have gone through the New Zealand programme, with chief executive Shaun Sutton hoping to increase the intake to 60 incoming participants a year by 2020.

But despite the organisation’s commendable goal – to close the gap for disadvantaged kids – not everyone in the sector believes the programme should be in New Zealand schools.

Critics have labelled it a “crash course”, and this week primary teacher union the NZEI said it believed disadvantaged students deserved experienced and qualified teachers, and should not be treated like guinea pigs.

President Louise Green said the money behind the organisation – which in New Zealand comes from philanthropies such as The Aotearoa Foundation as well as the Government – also hinted at an additional agenda: privatisation.

“In the past few years, New Zealand has started drifting down the path of neoliberal education reform,” she said. “We only need to look to America to see how far it can go – and they have by no means finished their privatisation of public education.”
…Ms Kopp said that wasn’t the case, and that in most countries Teach For All worked by supporting the public education system.

So far, reviews of the New Zealand programme have been good, with evaluation reports finding the teachers were having a positive impact in their schools.

Internationally, results have been mixed, but a UK study identified Teach First there as one of four factors that helped bring about a turnaround in London’s education system.

– A Newspaper Kirsty Johnston

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