An Education System: But What For?

This is a short extract from an article titled “An Education System: But What For?” by Michael Newman – It ties education with children’s rights; an interesting idea.


The fight for good education is part of the fight for our children to have their rights expressed in their communities including their schools. After women, blacks, ethnic minorities, the working class, and groups of different sexuality, children are the last group prevented from struggling for their rights. Ironically, the image of the child was the powerful argument used to deny most of these groups their rights. We continue to do so by projecting onto our children the need for authority and control, experiences from our own childhoods, rather than the contrary examples of what children do when given those rights. We need the children to be able to respond to Toby Young and attack his view of childhood with a look at what’s happened, is happening and what has worked.

Without children’s rights all of our human rights are undermined. How can we have the values and culture of rights that protects groups from being bullied, imprisoned, disempowered, exploited, and killed if our childhoods are based on the opposite, paternalistic authority? When asked how schools based on children’s rights could be created, Mary Robinson, UN Human Rights Commissioner, said “by the children”. This can only happen if the children can see that rights are about justice, and that arguments about responsibilities and practicalities can be answered through models of extreme practice. They need to disarm those adults who hang onto unaccountable power by showing them that schools based on children’s rights can work, have worked and will work.

My mission is to help our children transform their schools as active citizens fighting for their rights. For children to be active global citizens they should learn about school councils and children’s voice through radical models of practice that create an alternative framework from orthodox, traditional schooling, allowing them to question the assumptions of the nature of childhood, learning and power. This will enable them to develop the underlying values of children’s rights and social justice.


Michael Newman

The 60 second science challenge

The 60 second science challenge is a fantastic way of engaging science and languages students in a creative competition which develops knowledge and creative video development.  Check out some of the winners from 2011 – fantastic stuff and lots of different categories to enter.  Present your 60 second science video in a language other than English with subtitles and you can enter the LOTE division!

Report Writing Time

As teachers all over Australia are finishing their reports here is a post from one teacher on their experience. It seems a common cry from many 21st century teachers as they battle to fit report writing structures with the new directions in teaching and learning.

I like his ideas – Here’s the post.

Adrian Bruce

This teacher has put together some fantastic resources.  They’re great for parents looking for ideas to use at home with their children and for teachers.  He’s a pro at integrating ICTs into the classroom and has heaps of great maths activities.

His free educational resources can be found on his website.   I’d also recommend keeping an eye on his blog.

A spot of sewing

Since it’s school holidays I decided I’d take some time to set up my sewing machine and have a crack at sewing.  I ended up making (what I think is) a pretty groovy patchwork bag from a free pattern and tutorial I found online.  Here is my bag . . .

The bag charm was designed by Laura and put together by me from bits and pieces we found in Spotlight, the instructions were in their Get Creative magazine (pg.104 of issue #4) – a good way to spend some holiday time.