At a time when there seems to be a real swing against small schools coming from the powers that be in NZ, there's a pretty strong underlying message in here about the magic that happens in our place...
This week an interesting documentary screened on TV3 by former teacher and documentarian, Bryan Bruce. It was entitled: “World Class – Inside NZ Education – A Special Report”. If you didn’t see it, I would highly recommend watching it online (the direct link is here). In this documentary, Bryan has an in depth look at the NZ education system, examines where he feels it is going wrong, also comparing it with other education systems around the world.
One of the aspects of his report that really struck a chord with me was the research he highlighted that stressed the importance and effectiveness of small schools, and the positive impacts and outcomes they have on children.
There was also significant mention of the importance of community involvement in schools and the fact that NZ teachers are some of the highest trained and most effective teachers in the world. The inequality created through decile based funding, and the importance of a school curriculum that fostered and nurtured inquiry based learning that encouraged creativity and individual interests, rather than a culture of testing, and teachers ‘imparting knowledge’ were also stressed.
I encourage you to watch the documentary if you can, you may just find yourself nodding away and see some excellent correlations to Bryan’s descriptions of what works best, and education provided at Paparimu School.
Ngā mihi nui