Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Our good friend and fellow Googler Brendan Brennan, who put together much of this itinerary for us, works here at this school as a Maths Teacher.
The morning we visited, he was courageously 360º live-streaming his maths teaching and his learners’ responses. -Way to go Brendan!
The school was founded on and continues to follow John Dewey’s principles and the original classroom blocks were designed by him. They look rather like NZ 1950’s blocks but with better verandahs and opening french doors where we have push out windows.
Facilities are not flash as the University is unwilling to put more funding into them. Relationships between teacher unions, the Charter school staff and university can be challenging. Charter schools get less funding than state schools, so although this school has very bright learners, the school is not well off.
For all this, by following John Dewey’s methods, they get the highest scores in the state once the kids get to Y10. A bit like our kura, the teaching method does not lend itself to good scores in the junior classes, but if everyone holds their nerve and keeps with the programme, it all “comes right” or better than right by Y10. Interesting support for an excellent liberal arts programme.
The maths we saw was organised around clever questioning and looked like what the NZ Numeracy Project hoped to achieve but never quite managed. Gotta say though, we only saw it and heard it from Maths Specialists, -so maybe the Herald , supported by Stuart McNaughton during the week, was right!
Original post by RG Burt