Dominion Post Interview about Independent Education
1. Do you think national standards are being used in the way they were set up and that children are making progress against the standards?
I initially agreed with the concept of national standards, as I understood the reasoning behind them and the need to raise achievement across all areas of learning among young people. However, the implementation feels “contrived” in a way, and the artificial structure does not allow for independent learning.
2. Scots College also uses IB alongside NCEA, what are the benefits of that? Are there still problems with NCEA that need fixing, if so what? Given we're now more than 10 years down the track since NCEA was implemented, how is it performing?
I personally believe that a gaining a qualification like the IB Diploma offers me an edge in a world that is competitive and fast growing. NCEA does not, in my opinion, reflect the needs of students a modern world. I do not believe that NCEA is an accurate nor fair system, as it encourages mediocrity among students and does not allow for effective engagement on the world stage.
3. What information do students and parents value from schools about achievement and is there a feeling there is too much testing? Are teachers spending too much time testing and has it taken over as the priority in the classroom?
The structure of teaching in NCEA needs to less on lecture and more on teaching –at the moment the emphasis is too much on working around the teaching rather than on the actual teaching. It is rare to come across a teacher that actually teaches the subject as opposed to teaching to the subject.
4. If you had one minute with the Minister of Education to discuss the country's assessment system what messages would you want to convey?
In my opinion, there needs to be more focus on holistic education. As the concept of being a “global” citizen growing throughout the world, there is a need for a more...