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The other French revolution

Last month France celebrated the storming of the Bastille, an assault that became a flashpoint for the French Revolution. As a fortress and prison, the Bastille was emblematic of the French monarchy. Its fall triggered the events that would lead to the formation of the First French Republic. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
10 August, 2018

Incentivising vocational training

It is not clear whether the increased visibility of vocational education and training in New Zealand is due to worsening skill shortages and/or to a change in government, but either way it is a discussion worth having. Read more

Martine Udahemuka
26 July, 2018
Classroom student

A better way to measure school effectiveness

You should not compare apples with oranges. But what about schools? As it turns out, comparing schools with schools can be just as problematic. School composition can vary significantly between different deciles and within the same decile. Some of these differences include prior student academic achievement, the student’s parents’ level of education, and the student’s parents’ average income. We know from the vast amounts of education research that these student characteristics (which are outside the control of the school) are... Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
13 July, 2018
Apprentice welder

Less is more

In The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, Psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that too much choice can hinder rather than support our decision making. That the validity of this theory has been challenged is beside the point. What I do know is that if I were a student right now deciding my next steps after school, I would likely feel more apprehensive than I do when I am confronted with a 100-item menu in a Chinese restaurant. Read more

Martine Udahemuka
Insights Newsletter
29 June, 2018
Snake oil

21st century snake oil

After 11 years as a cowboy in America’s wild west, Clark Stanley claimed to have created a medical cure-all from secrets learned from a Hopi medicine man.He began marketing his Snake Oil Liniment in the early 1900s. Then, following the passage of the Food and Drug Act in 1916, Stanley’s concoction was examined and found to be of no medicinal value.Stanley was fined and banned from selling it. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
9 June, 2018
researchED 1

Raging at researchED

Last year Prince Harry interviewed Obama. The former president told the Prince that to improve things you have to find common ground between people. And that this requires them to encounter each other – not just online but in person. I know that debate in education can be polarising. Perhaps because of this, and because Kiwis are so polite and friendly, there has been limited debate about educational ideas in New Zealand for some years – regardless the flavour of government. Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
8 June, 2018
Katharine researchED

Revolutionary common sense

The counterrevolution started in Auckland last night. That is when the Initiative hosted British educator Katharine Birbalsingh for a dinner lecture in front of an audience of almost 300 teachers, school trustees, business leaders and politicians. What made this event revolutionary was the fact that Birbalsingh re-introduced some much-needed common sense into New Zealand’s strange education debate. Auckland-born Birbalsingh is a thoroughly modern woman who believes in equal education opportunities for all students regardless of gender, race or social background. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
1 June, 2018
School zone

Decile - a misinterpretation?

Choosing the best school for your child is an important decision. The best school, whether it is primary or secondary, can have a big impact on your child’s wellbeing and success in school. At least, that is what we currently believe. So far there has been no evidence to prove this or otherwise. For most parents this decision comes down to where they live, local word of mouth and what they’ve inferred from a school’s decile ranking. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
1 June, 2018

The story of Michaela Community School

New Zealand born London headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh founded Michaela Community School. It is often referred to as Britain's strictest school. Children have to attend a seven day boot camp before starting at Michaela to learn the school's strict rules, which include no talking in the corridors and demerit points given for forgetting a pen, or slouching. Katharine tells Heather du Plessis-Allen what is behind the school's philosophy. Katharine is presenting at researchED in Auckland on Saturday 2 June. Read more

Katharine Birbalsingh
Wellington Mornings with Heather du Plessis-Allan - Newstalk ZB
31 May, 2018

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