The New School: Ideas from Joel Klein and Sir Ken Robinson

Follow the link to share the 30 min video

Some key ideas from the presentation are:

  • Learning needs to be student focused
  • There needs to be a shift in assessment and how data is gathered and used
  • There needs to be a improvement in student experience
  • Students learn differently, at different rates and in different ways

New Challenges for education:
World population is approaching 7 billion and continues to accelerate putting pressure on global resources.
Technological advancement is also accelerating meaning there is no clear picture as to what the future will look like for students today let alone their off-spring.

Age old issues:
Education needs to address the motivation, engagement, interest and imagination of students.

Related posts:

Othello @ Maidment Theatre

22 Jul - 13 Aug 2011

Telephone bookings and enquiries: (09) 308 2383

NB: If you wish to book tickets for a school group, please contact Tim Blake, Ticketing Co-Ordinator  or ph 09 923 4823.

Graham Henry on Education

Teaching students is ''way more important'' than being coach of the All Blacks, Graham Henry says.

I know that. You know that. But isn’t it great to be having the importance of teaching highlighted in a positive way.

"...Henry says he was also a keen advocate of athletes pursuing an academic career, which was an important way of finding the right on and off the field balance..."

It also nice to know that when the boots are hung up then there is a life beyond the field. I know most of us never get to play at a high level but even so. A sporting career really only lasts a fleeting few years at best and then ‘normal life’ has to kick in.

For the vast majority of those 'dreaming of being an All Black' it remains just that, a dream. ‘Normal life’ is what we work towards from the beginning.

With a solid education behind each of us we have the opportunity of greatness in own field of expertise.

Solid careers are built on positive role models and sound education.

Paper Plus Takapuna Presents an Evening with Jeffery Deaver

Last minute I know.. I hate it when that happens but there you go...

Paper Plus Takapuna invite you to hear Jeffery Deaver talk about writing the new James Bond novel Carte Blanche.

This is the only public event that Jeffery will be attending on his tour of New Zealand and will be sure to sell out - so get in quick!

Thursday 21st July, 5.30pm

$10 Available from Paper Plus Takapuna
Ph 09 486 7472 or email

Paper Plus Takapuna
20 Hurstmere Road

Internet access drives up digital literacy

It appears that kiwi kids are better prepared than their international counterparts when it comes to addressing the 21st Century workplace.
  • Access to computers at home,
  • Having higher scores in digital-reading,
  • Browsing the internet for fun,
  • And email, chatting online and downloading music, films, games or software.
All these culminate in a higher level of digital literacy for New Zealand students.

"Lynne Whitney, a senior research manager at the Ministry of Education, said Kiwi students did well in both kinds of reading but the overall average digital scores were significantly higher than the print ones."

I wonder, though how those statistics will play out in the workplace. Perhaps we need to revisit those 15-year olds five years from now to see what has become of those with ‘quality’ digital literacy.

Vlog: Whales, dolphins and the ocean

My trip out into the Hauraki Gulf has left me wondering about how much we need to take care of the oceans as part of any ‘Green-Activity’.

A staggering 80 percent of all the life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and this vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet.

9 Ways We Can Save the Ocean, and Save Ourselves:
  • Save the whales
  • Save the sharks, too
  • Say no to drilling
  • Offer reef relief
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • No more plastic bottles
  • Practice green surfing
  • Be kind to your beach
  • Cut back on fish, eat sustainable fish, or quit eating fish completely

School should be a place that inspires children

The principal of Pukeokahu School, Marama Stewart, reflects on how the education system has changed and asks what we want for our children's future education.

She highlights some difference in the presentation of education:
  • Schools were formed to create batches of cookie cutter graduates that fit into an industrialised society.
  • if you were lucky you had one or two teachers who inspired you and broke the mould.
  • [we now] move away from this industrial model in order to meet the dynamic needs of our 21st century society.
  • New Zealand is already way ahead of the ball game when it comes to dynamic education, with it's world renowned New Zealand Curriculum.
  • [It is] really important that our community have a long hard think and begin a robust conversation about what we really want for our children in education.
I want the school I teach in to be a place that inspires children to shine in all areas of their life.

The Great Gatsby Chapter 1: Extraordinary gift for Hope

There is nothing I prefer than passing the mantle to someone smarter. That way I can learn. Perhaps we can learn a little together?

John Green is reading ‘The Great Gatsby” and encourages all nerdfighters to do the same. Over the weeks and months ahead he’ll be sharing his thoughts, chapter by chapter. You can subscribe to him directly and share in the comment stream his listeners create or follow eductingthedragon as we share each episode right here.

"In which John Green discusses the first chapter of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, including thoughts on the role that the ideas of the self-made man and the American dream fuel the beginning of the novel. Themes, metaphors, and symbols are all discussed--although hopefully not in that boring and unlikable way you all find so reprehensible."

In the first chapter, our narrator Nick Carraway introduces us briefly to Gatsby before taking us to an awful dinner with the unhappily married Buchanans, Tom and Daisey, who live in great wealth and misery on East Egg.

Napier celebrates National Poetry Day

22nd and 26th July 

Rose Whittaker, Dave Sharpe, Carole Stewart and Angus MacDonald

Hawkes Bay Live Poets' Society
Reading poetry at four great Napier Venues:
Friday 22nd July
10-10.45am  Beattie & Forbes Booksellers, Tennyson St
11-12pm St Luke's Church, 196 Vigor Brown St, Napier
1-1.45pm Taradale Senior Citizens, 10 White St, Taradale
Tuesday 26th July
12-12.30 Student Cafeteria, EIT, Gloucester St Taradale

If you have an event that Teachers, parents or bookworms would love why not drop the Dragon an Email.

Allyson Gofton - Country Calender Cookbook

Tuesday 9th August 12-2pm
@ Kitchen Table 138 Tennyson St

Join us for a recipe demonstration, fun out-takes from the project and a chance to ask Allyson your pressing cooking queries.

Tickets $20 - includes a light lunch, profits to Friends of Napier Library
Tickets are limited - so why not get a group together and book early at Beattie & Forbes or the Kitchen Table.

If you have an event that Teachers, parents or bookworms would love why not drop the Dragon an Email

NZPost Book Award finalists

General non-fiction

This year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards finalists provide a feast of Kiwi experience, reflecting a growing and confident awareness of our unique place in the world, says Judging panel convenor and Te Reo Māori Advisor for the New Zealand Post Book Awards, Paul Diamond.

‘All the finalists enable us to see our world differently. They tell great stories with pride, brightening our lives in this time of dark days.’

Finalists include:
Laurence Fearnley
Charlotte Grimshaw
Tim Wilson
Kate Camp
Cilla McQueen
Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan
Paula Green and Harry Ricketts
Chris Bourke
Ian Mune
Paul Millar
Neville Peat
Illustrated non-fiction
Athol McCredie
Russell Beck, Maika Mason and Andris Apse
Nigel Watson and Jane Ussher
Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, Claire Regnault and Lucy Hammonds
Damian Skinner

Westpac Big Chip in for Christchurch

In light of even more recent earthquakes, New Zealanders feel it is time to remind our friends in Canterbury that we continue to think of them and are getting in behind the Big Chip in for Christchurch on Friday 15 July.

The objective of the day is to cover the country in red and black and give them a national bear hug to reassure them they are not forgotten. It is NOT a fundraising campaign.

On the day, Kiwis across the country are being encouraged to wear red and black and to do something for someone in Christchurch - call a friend or workmate there, buy a Christchurch made product, send food or clothing to the Salvation Army etc. The rationale being that the small contributions of individuals from around the country can make a collective difference to those in Christchurch.

Schools around NZ could show their support by encouraging their pupils to wear Red and Black on Friday while pupils might event want to engage through various social media links as below:
  • Like the Facebook page
  • To share a link on their own Facebook page encouraging their networks to 'Chip In for Christchurch'.
  • To tweet the hash tag: #chipinforchch on the 15th of July 2011

Help your kids fight the inner slob

Waikato children are starting high school unable to perform basic physical movements, and one physical education expert says more attention needs to be paid to PE in schools to keep New Zealand from becoming a nation of slobs.

Why is it that schools seem to take the brunt of initiatives and changes in foci?

Sex Ed, Drug Ed, health, fitness, smoking, driving, binge drinking. It seems to me that whatever the current issue is, whatever the social question, the answer is always: ‘Education in school’.

Teachers take on all these new roles and extra responsibilities but the reality is that there are only so many hours in the school day. You can cut that number in half if you’re talking about ‘productivity’ and learning retention. Yet here we go again...

This time it’s a emphasis on PE.

This of all things s surprises me. Reason being that there are a massive number of sports and clubs and facilities available for youngsters to choose from.
Rugby, Netball, soccer, hockey, cricket, athletics, swimming, martial arts to name but a few. Yet to save the next generation it seems that "school and Education" are again the only answer.

There needs be an emphasis upon positive parenting and how they can encourage, or even ‘make’ their off-spring pick a sport and commit to it during a session.

“But Dad, I’ve never been any good at rugby, you can’t make me go!”

And true enough, yet as mentioned previously, there is a wealth of opportunity out there for youngsters. Surely the conversation should be:

Father: I don’t mind which sport you choose, but you have to choose one to attend over the next two terms. Options are: Rugby, Soccer, Rock climbing or bowling. Which is it going to be? 

Daughter: erm... can I think it over. 

Father: yes, decide by Friday, first practice is Saturday morning.

I’m not saying that schools should shirk responsibility. I’m merely saying that they are not the only ones with the responsibility. Come on New Zealand GET ACTIVE! And on that note, I’m off for a swim, I never was any good at rugby. Related posts  

NZTC: Candidate nominations are now open

Candidate nominations are now open 
for the 2011 New Zealand Teachers Council Election.

Through nomination, you can identify the candidate you feel can help lead the New Zealand Teachers Council. Your nomination is important, as it will help determine who amongst your profession is best suited to influence direction and lead the teaching profession for the next three years.

Making a nomination is easy. Either download the Nomination Paper and Candidate Handbook via the Teachers Council website, contact the Returning Officer via email at or phone the Election Helpline 0508 666 336 to receive a Nomination Pack.

Both the person nominating and the person seconding the nomination must be registered and hold a Current Practising certificate as at Tuesday 2 August 2011 and be on the same Sector Electoral Roll as the candidate.

Nominations close at 12 noon on Tuesday 2 August 2011.

If you want to vote for your Sector Representative, you must make sure:

  • your Practising Certificate is current on Saturday 1 October 2011 - if it expires in September or earlier, apply for renewal before the first week of August 2011
  • your email address or postal address is correct
  • you are in the right Sector - visit to update your details
  • you vote during the voting period in September 2011.

Voting documents will be emailed or posted to electors on Thursday 1 September 2011. The voting period will be from Thursday 1 September to 12 noon on Saturday 1 October 2011.

Please refer below for the official Notice of Election.

Pursuant to Rule 12 of the New Zealand Teachers Council Election Rules 2002, an election for sector representatives from Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary, and Principals to the New Zealand Teachers Council will be held by internet and postal voting from 1 September 2011 to 12 noon on 1 October 2011 using the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system.

The Electoral Roll can be inspected upon request at Level 12, 80 Boulcott St, Wellington, and, Level 1, 506 Wairakei Rd, Christchurch, or on the Council's website:

Dated at Christchurch this 8th day of July 2011.

eLearning Capability Framework - July 12

"eLearning Capability Framework" 
Ross Alexander
Core Education 
Tuesday 12 July 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

This session will provide you with:

  • An overview of the frameworks
  • The opportunity to be part of the consultation process
  • How you can use them in your schools and clusters to identify areas of focus to build e-learning capability
  • Information about the Enabling e-Learning website and links to resources and services to support you on your journey.

This promises to be a very informative & practical session.

You can read more about Ross's session here and register your attendance here.

Mangakahia Area School win gold

A Northland area school has scooped up a prestigious gold medal in environmental education.

Congratulations to Mangakahia Area School for their win.
"The caretaker suggested the students were trying to put him out of work. They have managed to reduce the volume of waste going to their local rubbish transfer station from one ute-load a week down to one every three weeks."
The environment is such a precious resource. There are so many schools doing so much in the way of promoting recycling and engaging the community in 'Making the world a little cleaner, and greener'

Further information:

This week’s hot topic: Phonics

There are two schools of thought on this subject. The first states that phonics is the way to go, that it’s skills and techniques have made reading skills accessible for hundreds of thousands of students around the globe, through generations. The second is that phonics should only play a cursory role in the teaching of reading and that it has no place outside the new entrant classroom.

With the publication of research this week the debate continues as to how great a role phonics should play in the teaching of reading.

Related new articles:

Related posts:
fonikx iz not da cea to reedin

Murder rips mercy's heart out.

“During the sentencing, Judge Clapham asked Ms Baker, who was sitting in the public gallery, to "tell him what you need. You know better than me". Ratana wiped away tears as he listened to the weeping woman tell him she loved him and wanted them to have a decent life. She had stood at the back of the courtroom, looked at Ratana and told him she wanted him to change for himself.”

This story is tragic on many levels. Lives will ever be the same. The implications of these actions could have far reaching implications than first realized.

The loss of child is obviously the most devastating for family, for friends, for us all. To think that so much potential is snuffed out in one violent moment.

That poor mother, asking the judge to give her partner a chance. The hope for a better future so dear to her heart. Such betrayal. How could you feel that you could trust another human being ever again.

That poor judge. Responding to the initial case with such mercy. How many future defendants will miss out on that compassion as the judge prefers to deal in justice, fearing the consequences of a merciful heart.

Indeed a tragedy.

Last day of Term – not quite

If it were not for the Rugby World Cup would all be heading into two weeks holiday.

Principal Greg Chalmers spoke to the Aucklander yesterday and expressed what most students and teachers are thinking.

“Mr Chalmers says the long terms are a "real stressor" on school life. 'I think we had just got used to the 10-week terms and the extra week has made it seem disproportionately long. The kids and teachers are tired'.” 

But then with an eight week term at the end of the year it might feel a short hop to the summer holidays, admittedly, reports need to be written and parents met with.
Hosting the World Cup does not come around often, I’ll be surprised if I see it again in my lifetime so its good to know that the country is behind this endeavor. With the school terms being manipulated this year the implication is that employers around the country need to also be more flexible as parents request annual leave to coincide with their kids vacation.
I guess, if the All Blacks win all will be forgiven.

Auckland's Measle epidemic rising

Is it not interesting how the focus on your mind seems to bring issues into sharp relief?

I have just watch “A walk in the woods” an episode of ER featuring a child who is presented as having measles. Dr Carter claims 4 in 500 die from the disease,. I doubt the stats are accurate in the first place let alone 5 years on but still, the issue of whether to have your child immunized is still very much debated.

Auckland's measles outbreak is worsening with 50 people now confirmed to have the disease, a number expected to rise.

"Common symptoms of measles include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes and fever followed by a raised red rash that starts on the face and spreads across the body.
Hoskins said anyone displaying symptoms of measles should ''immediately'' telephone their doctors, or Healthline on 0800 611 116, for advice." 

'It is important to call ahead, measles is highly infectious and people with it can infect others in the waiting room.

National Aquarium holiday programme

National Aquarium July School Holiday ProgrammeWe�d love to have your children join us for the our July school holiday programme. Take a look now at what we�ve got planned!

Make sure you book soon as our popular holiday programmes have limited spaces and fill quickly!
We hope you can join us for some great fun and learning for the holidays!
From the team at The National Aquarium

Like us on Facebook PS: Come and Like us on facebook

and join in our fishy chatter!

Dare to swim with the sharks? Purchase gift vouchers online now! Book your birthday party at the Aquarium!

Contact us!

National Aquarium of New Zealand,
Marine Parade, Napier

Phone: 06 834 1404 | email us | Visit
our website

The Parenting Show with Pio – 6 July

Wed 6 Jul, 10:30am–12:00pm

Where: Te Horo School,  3239 Pipiwai Road, Pipiwai, Maungatapere
Restrictions: Over 15
Admission: Free

Care for a korero with Pio Terei? 'Become a Parent Coach' - come and hear Pio's down to earth ideas on how to be a choice parent. Especially designed to inspire and equip Maori parents and caregivers for the awesome role they play in their whanau.
Entry by gold coin donation.
For more information contact Cheryl or Rongamau ph. 09 438 6453

Other dates:

Bullying isn't just the kids

Workplace bullying is not only hurting victims, but colleagues who witness it, according to a new study...

... The study involved 1733 participants from 36 organisations across the health, education, hospitality and travel sectors in New Zealand.

It disappoints when we learn that the workplace where our children are without us is equally subject to workplace bullying as anywhere else.

School should be one of hte safest environments when it comes to self-esteem and the nuturing of impressionable minds. Teachers and Principals should be leading by example. Clearly demonstrating to their charges the value of repecting others and the power in promoting positive self image.

Yet still Education is a sector where the workplace environment is not what it should, particularly in terms of professional relationships.

We must all be vigilant for the bullied do not necessarily have voice without our support and kindness.

fonikx iz not da cea to reedin

The phonics method of teaching children to read is not necessary past the initial stages of learning.

It would seem that phonics alone is no longer the answer to our ‘learning to read issues’.

What does it say about previoud generations of learners? Surely, if it is true of this NZ/Scottish generation then the same can be said of previous generations around the world. Were we wrong again? Will this prompt another cycle in the ‘roundabout’ of pedagogical ideas and implementation?

On a personal note, phonics worked for me, but then I struggled with reading and was diagnosed with dyslexia at 12 and classified ‘special needs’ for many years, right through my secondary schooling. Even I know that there is more to reading than simply knowing the phonetic structure and rules. There has to be a ‘whole text’, context driven, element to reading.

As an aside a while ago I was in discussion about ‘skimming and scanning’ text. It surprised me when a colleague talked of moving their eyes in vertical fashion down the centre of the page and then was able to pick out the key themes and ideas of a passage of text. No wonder I’m a slow reader. I seems can skim for keywords and phrases but not scan, it would appear. The redeeming feature of this disability of mine is that I can retain larger portions of text over a longer period of time, but then if I have to read every word its hardly a surprise.

Other articles:

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