Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Henare O'Keefe a great New Zealander

So is it true that we learn by association?
Do we need to change the habits of a school or community in order to create opportunities for learning?

In the holidays a watched a brilliant documentary on maori TV about one of NZ's most amazing men. Take 51 minutes of your life to watch this doco (not sure how long the link will work) and challenge yourself to make changes.
One of the points he makes is about learning by association. If you look at soldiers and the way they associate and the way they learn, compare this to gang members, babies at a pre-school and children in your class (no matter what age) you probably see that they behave in a way that "fits in" rather than "stands out".

As a Principal or teacher I reckon we have a responsibility to our children and our school to ensure that the associative behavior outside of your classroom meets the expectations of what happens inside your room. I have a saying that goes something like this, "judge our students not when an adult is present but when they think no-one else is looking". It can be quite harsh and often we are let down but it is still a great leveler and a goal to aim for. kids will let us down and their differences need to be sorted, but doing nothing all result in more of the same.

I love the way Henare is saving his suburb "one sausage at a time".
Metaphorically we have to look at our children, families and community and identify those who can cook the sausages, and those who can eat them, and as a school we may have to be the barbeque.

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