Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ooooooiiiiiiiinnnkk! Splat!

Apathy Jack writes:

Alright you mouthy bastards, listen up.

Between blogs, the actual media, and sundry people I’ve talked to, too many people who have nothing to do with education have recently have been telling me the merits or otherwise of NCEA.

I figured that I would write something about the subject, but, you know, I’m very lazy, and can’t really be bothered - I only have another eight and a half weeks of holiday, and can't spend them all worrying about school. My time is precious.

So here’s the deal: If you have any questions about how it works (or doesn’t, as the case may be) put them in the comments below, or email them to the brainstab address on the side of the page there, where it says ‘contact’.

I figure my attention span for this will last about a week, so any questions within that time frame get answered.



llew said...

This isn't a question about NCEA sorry, but something you said a while back made me want to share this little story with you, but there was no comments field to mention it.

Anyway... actually, really, this is just feeding you a mean teacher line to use on one of the kids, I thought it might appeal.

Mate of mine (who is a teacher, possibly even is you! for all I know), arrived in class & announced "Today there is a spot test on the reading I gave you yesterday!"

A female student squealed "You can"t!"

To which my friend replied, to tumultuous acclaim from the rest of the class, and satisfying embarrassment on the part of the particular student...

"Don't call me that."

Josh said...

Y'know, the e-mail link's always there if you want to reply to something Jack's said - he may even reply in a post. I know if I was handed some pre-written material, I'd make use of it, just like a real journalist...

Anyway, I'm happy to admit I don't know shit about NCEA - I did fine under the old system, but frankly I'm a smart guy and I figure I'd do well under any system. The thing that strikes me when NCEA is discussed, though, is the eagerness with which its opponents want it to fail and be scrapped.

Surely, if you actually care about the kids, you'll want the system to work unless it's actually completely unworkable, and will want just about anything to avoid the complications of ditching another system and bringing another other one in.

As someone who's taught under the old and the new system, how much disruption or difficulty was caused by bringing in NCEA? Basically, how bad does a system have to be before the benefits of switching to a new system outweigh the hassle of the actual transition?

llew said...

Well... I'm no expert, but I've been happy with how my 13 year old is coping with the system. (Is that still NCEA?

We'll see how college goes next year I guess.

Apathy Jack said...

NCEA starts at Year 11 level - what we used to call fifth form. However, a lot of the junior work is done in a similar fomrat to prepare them for it.

What specifically is the coping problem your kid is having?

The Hand of Morthos said...

The year after the NCEA came in was interesting for those of us who worked in the teritiary sector because sudddenly we had students coming up to us panicking over exam formats and tests (I'm talking about first years here) because these had suddenly become very strange entities for them (well, some of them, but my colleague and I always tried to make the ship that was PHIL105 a smooth ride for everyone). It turned out that the entire teritiary sector was completely and utterl unprepared for the changes that the NCEA wrought; we knew that the assessment system was changing but we never thought about, and no one advised us on the matter, just what these changes would mean for students going from the secondary to teritiary sectors. Transition periods are fun... That's why I'm going to avoid the UoA next year when the new degree structure regulations come in.

span said...

what i find most fascinating about NCEA is the bipartisan nature of the slagging.

National introduced the system, Labour has fiddled with it but maintained it. Both major parties and most of the minors have strong histories of bagging it as a system though.

So is it really truly a problem about the system, or is it just a convenient whipping boy that gets trundled out for the cane whenever the opposition of the time feels they need to put the heat on?

llew said...

Ah sorry, it's not a problem she's having, she's coping really well. Just took out the Maths & English prizes, two year rep player in her sport, house captain, just missed the top student cup (they gave it to twins as though they were one person (sheesh! But mustn't complain...).

As & Ps (took me a while to get my head around that system) throughout her report...

I have absolutely no beef with the system whatsoever.

Although it looks like a lot of work for the teachers & probably depends how well organised & prepared they are.

Apathy Jack said...

"they gave it to twins as though they were one person"

Yeah, I do that - saves time.

"As & Ps (took me a while to get my head around that system) throughout her report..."

What's a "p" when it's at home?

llew said...

A= Advanced & P= Proficient. Um, can't remember what the 3rd one is as she didn't get any of those.

Bet the twins did though.

Took me ages to find the glossary.

llew said...

And predictive texting - do you send "Oompapah" out whenever you try & txt "OK" to any question?

I found a manual & turned that feature off.