Education

Public education: a women's domain, a feminist issue

Equal opportunity is a cornerstone of education. That all children have the same birthright to education – regardless of their background – is a fundamental democratic premise. Wherever a child is disadvantaged, then, schools should ensure that it doesn’t affect his or her opportunities for learning. Wherever patterns reveal themselves – for instance, if whole communities appear …

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San Francisco's De Young Museum, and the lie of Irian Jaya

In September, I spent a morning at De Young museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. I was excited to go. I like modern painting, and de Young has collections of surrealist and social realist painting; impressionist, and pop art works. The city’s Museum of Modern Art gave me a new appreciation for Wayne Thiebauld too, and …

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"Unconscious bias" in education goes deeper than the classroom

When I was eight, the kids at school used to call me the “dictionary eater” – ironically, this compromised my access to dictionaries. Kids would sometimes run to “save” a dictionary from my desk, running off with it yelling that I’d been just about to eat it. I was an alright speller, that’s how this came about. I liked deducing the meanings and …

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How Apirana Ngata pioneered contemporary "creativity in schools"

“Creativity” is a twenty-first century buzzword, and it’s been refreshing in recent years to see thinkers like Ken Robinson apply it in tackling the problems with our Western education system. “Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status” Robinson says. “I believe this passionately: we don’t grow into …

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When the shoe won't fit: transgenderism's sticking points

I have two good friends who are mums with small boys who like wearing nail polish and dresses, as much as they like playing with toy bulldozers and aeroplanes. One is three years old, one five. They identify with girl cartoon and Disney characters as much as boy ones. The three-year-old really wants to be Elsa from Frozen. …

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The importance of music at school: lessons from Ngataki

In February this year, Radio New Zealand reported that music in schools is in crisis. Programmes receive meager funding from the Education Ministry, and there are only about six hours of contact time in music for student teachers, who are leaving education faculties completely underprepared to run classroom music programmes. Tim Carson from Music Educators New Zealand Aotearoa (Menza) says he believes that …

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How Te Papa exploits its bicultural policy to manufacture Maori consent for whitewashed histories

…and why Aotearoa needs to see a 100% Pacific-curated exhibition about the impact of empire, and resistance to empire, in Oceania. * Like the oil reserves that lie deep under the earth and seabed, history is a powerful resource. Appreciated in context, history can help us gain a critical understanding of the present, and so provide an awesome force …

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Te Papa's response to critical engagement: quiet, yet arresting

This year, I’ve been at Te Papa on four separate occasions, to respond to the position on militarism in the Pacific implied in the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition. On February 4, Dr Pala Molisa and I dropped a banner that temporarily renamed the exhibition. In April, we went to chalk some messages outside the entrance, questioning Te …

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Ian Fraser's 1983 interview with Clarence Beeby: an excerpt

  FRASER: 1935 is a watershed in New Zealand education. It marks the beginning of a long period of Labour government, a government with a very different education policy from its predecessors. By 1935 as well, we’d started to move out of the Great Depression. How would you describe the education landscape before 1935? BEEBY: …

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