Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's wrong here?

The following comment was posted under a column by Tapu Misa in the New Zealand Herald commending the education system in Finland, where teachers are esteemed and competition between schools is eschewed:

"NZ teachers are saught after internationally, unfortunately on my return to NZ this year I have not been treated as a professional that knows what they are doing."

One spelling mistake and three grammatical errors in one sentence. Not bad.

I know, I know ... it's unfair to take one example of an illiterate teacher and use it to ridicule the entire profession, which includes many highly admirable and conscientious people. But it does show that under the system Tapu defends, it's possible for a teacher to become qualified without having even a rudimentary command of the English language. I wouldn't want this individual set loose in front of my grandchildren.


Nicola Young said...

Using a spell-checker would have corrected one problem, although they're a treacherous tool for people who don't understand the English language.

The probligo said...

You may well be right. But, when a city college (some 1500 on the roll) is unable to employ a senior physics teacher for 6th Form (sorry, I am an oldie) and up, and who understands Newtonian physics, then there is something very seriously wrong. The person they ended up employing had a Masters in Science... but didn't understand Newton.

Is it the pay scale?

Is it the conditions?

And would you want that person teaching your grandchildren physics?

There is something badly wrong with the education system. Monkeying around with ideological experiments (most if not all of which have failed in their overseas application) is only going to make it worse.

"Back to basics" has a far clearer ring when you apply it to questions such as "What is an education system supposed to achieve?"

Pdogge said...

Perhaps a comment from you regarding the absence of the subbie's contribution might suggest your post lessen it's pettiness.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

My impression, having had two children go through the primary system fairly recently, was some teachers have relatively poor spelling ability. But, in the interests of fairness, I just asked the now-13 year-old what she remembered. And she related to me an incident in which she lost an argument with a fellow pupil. My daughter insisted that February was spelt with two 'r's. A protracted disagreement followed so the other pupil went to their teacher for verification. The teacher backed the child spelling it f-e-b-u-a-r-y.

The probligo said...

Yeah, like the recipe for pancakes that was on the wall of my daughter's classroom 30 years back -


2 cups of flower

Has it changed that much?