Curriculum encouraging climate activism and capitalism

Should the school curriculum be limited to bland academic subjects, or should it also encourage critical thinking, care about important issues and advice on capitalist activities?

Should kids be taught about dealing with outrage expressed on Twitter?

I did reasonably well at school academically, but was often bored and uninspired. I left after getting University Entrance in the 6th form to get a job, wanting to avoid another year of tedium and years of university.

One stand out period at school was when Grahame Sydney (who gave up teaching after a few years and took up painting) plaayed us Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant.  We were too young to be potentially affected by being balloted into the New Zealand Army and being sent to Vietnam, it provoked thought about the a big issue of the time and got some interesting discussion going.

The Taxpayers’ Union put out a media release:

Climate change curriculum skirts close to taxpayer-funded propaganda

The Government’s new climate change educational material for year 7 and 8 students skirts close to taxpayer-funded propaganda, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “The new taxpayer-funded curriculum promotes the campaigns of Greta Thunberg, School Strike for Climate, and even Greenpeace. Students are encouraged to reduce their feelings of climate guilt by participating in this kind of political activism.”

“Left-wing campaign groups would be spewing if the national curriculum ever promoted the Taxpayers’ Union vision of a prosperous low-tax New Zealand. The national curriculum should not be used to promote particular political groups or agendas.”

“A sensible climate change policy would focus on the science and policy options. But even on these points, the course is weak: it promotes a tax on carbon while failing to mention that we already have an Emissions Trading Scheme.”

“A major portion of the material is fluffy, condescending rubbish. Students will have to sit through five different sessions focused on their feelings about climate change, with activities including a ‘feelings splash’ and a ‘feelings thermometer’.”

The teacher resources even include a 15-page ‘wellbeing guide’ for teachers and parents, which warns: Children may respond to the climate change scientific material in a number of ways. They may experience a whole host of difficult emotions, including fear, helplessness, frustration, anger, guilt, grief, and confusion. When discussing the material, teachers may encounter students who cope through avoidance, denial, diversionary tactics, wishful thinking and a range of other coping mechanisms.

“This isn’t teaching kids how to think – it’s telling them how to feel.”

It would be terrible if schools dealt with feelings about important issues. (Actually schools do deal with feelings, especially when there are deaths and disasters that could impact on kids).

Should discussing the Australian bushfires and their possible causes be banned in schools?

Should anything that could be construed by someone as political be banned?

@GraemeEdgeler points out

And here is teaching resource encouraging students to become property developers, selling off and subdividing publicly-owned land.

https://t.co/eeSHElhKqB?amp=1

He asks:

Why are schools encouraging capitalism and not socialism?

Should schools stick to reading, riting and rithmetic, and ignore everything else in the world?

 

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62 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th January 2020

    Kids should be taught to question but not to believe.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  15th January 2020

      From what I gather, they are, and have been for a long time. Question rationally, I mean.

      Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th January 2020

    Why are schools encouraging capitalism and not socialism?

    Because capitalism requires actually doing something yourself whereas socialism just requires sticking your hand out.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  15th January 2020

      Should schools be teaching kids that socialism is just and only ‘sticking your hand out’?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th January 2020

        Yes. That is why socialism can’t exist without capitalism.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  15th January 2020

          Too true. A collective of drones never produces anything. The rugged individual with a can-do attitude; who’s prepared to take his lumps on the way to success is the cornerstone of any economy.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  15th January 2020

            feel free to provide examples of these heroic…’rugged individuals’.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  15th January 2020

              1- Bob Jones
              2-Jim Wattie
              3- Hamilton Jets
              4-Graeme Hart
              5- Warehouse
              6-Alan Gibb
              7- Banskie
              8- John Key
              9-Ernest Haye
              10- Paul Henry

              I could go on. While not all successful people are Righties, they share the Rightie ethos of hardwork and thrift.

              Please feel free to name the socialist collectives who have added to community and life in New Zealand.

              Oh, I forgot. You are a busy man. Let me answer for you…none!

            • Blazer

               /  15th January 2020

              take out those who came from moneyed families,and the beneficiaries of cheap state assets and we are left with-Paul Henry a polarising radio man,
              John Key an ex forex gambler whose fortune increased significantly whilst P.M,
              Bob Jones who was reprimanded for insider trading as his company crashed and burned losing shareholders mega millions,
              John Banks known for forgetting he went on a helicopter ride to Dotcom’s mansion and…’Justice Patricia Courtney ruled that on the balance of probabilities, and taking into account Banks’ refusal to undergo a DNA test’that he was the father….’
              Tindall ..has a very ‘slim’ bio..but found this intriguing-‘ He held the position of Loss Prevention Manager of The Warehouse until January 2001, when he became known as the Founder. ‘

              So not a compelling list of much other than luck and inheritance.

              As for any positive ,lasting effect on NZ overall…very hard to quantify .

              You will find that the people like Savage ,Shepperd,and mostly unsung heroes have made NZ a better place than most on your list.

            • duperez

               /  15th January 2020

              Name the socialist collectives who have added to community and life in New Zealand? Is there an implication there that socialist collectives haven’t added to community and life in NZ? Or that somehow people with socialist views to add to community and life have to belong to a collective?
              I’m trying to work out the capitalist collective those on your list belonged to. Is it the ethereal ‘ethos of hardwork and thrift collective?’ You surely aren’t suggesting that being socialist automatically means those qualities aren’t present in someone.

            • Corky

               /  15th January 2020

              I could carry on the list…but that would have you reaching more then you already are. You seem to assume successful people are, or should be, ‘white knights.’ Some have their faults and foibles as do your socialist kin.

              The difference is attitude and production. Simple really.

              ”As for any positive ,lasting effect on NZ overall…very hard to quantify .”

              Oh, no. It’s very easy to quantify. Have these successful people sell up all their assets and leave the country. Thousands of jobs and probably billions of dollars gone from our economy to start with. Where’s the benefit money coming from now?

            • Corky

               /  15th January 2020

              @Duperez

              Read my original comment..again.

              ”I’m trying to work out the capitalist collective those on your list belonged to.”

              They don’t…that’s the point.

            • duperez

               /  15th January 2020

              And you seem to assume that socialists cannot be successful people, productive people and the difference between socialists and capitalists is attitude and production.

              Unions, professional organisations, sports and service clubs are socialist collectives. Here’s your opportunity to say they haven’t added to community and life in NZ. 🙂

            • Corky

               /  15th January 2020

              What don’t you understand?😉

              ”I could go on. While not all successful people are Righties, they share the Rightie ethos of hardwork and thrift.”

              ”Unions, professional organisations, sports and service clubs are socialist collectives.”

              No,they aren’t. Unions maybe. These are community groups.

            • Blazer

               /  16th January 2020

              @Corky…so tell me the negative impacts if say, John Key sold up and left…NZ(if you can).

            • Corky

               /  22nd January 2020

              Millions in investments may follow him.

            • Blazer

               /  22nd January 2020

              ‘Millions in investments may follow him.’…yeah right!..why would that occur….garbage!

    • Blazer

       /  15th January 2020

      Says someone who seems to have N.F.I what Capitalism is and how it …works(or doesn’t).

      Critical thinking taught early in life ,leads to challenges to the embedded establishment.
      Something not…encouraged,as is educating people about the financial system.

      Ignorance is bliss…for debt slaves.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th January 2020

        Critical thinking taught early in life ,leads to challenges to the embedded establishment.

        Exactly. As I said the other day – There are two forces, private enterprise trying to be more efficient and politicians and bureaucrats trying to stop it. Capitalism vs socialism.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  15th January 2020

          I wish I could see evidence of this efficiency!

          All I see is gaming,and handouts via crony Capitalism and remaindering the assets of all taxpayers.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th January 2020

            Probably should try running your own business then, B. Amazing what you would learn and see.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  15th January 2020

              surely you can present some evidence of this…’efficiency’!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th January 2020

              If you can’t see it all around you, you deserve to be transported back to the trees and caves your ancestors came from.

            • Blazer

               /  15th January 2020

              will it be a reunion ?

              Do I need to bring a …club?

  3. Geoffrey

     /  15th January 2020

    Nobody: not one body, was balloted into the New Zealand Army and sent to Vietnam. All of our contribution were volunteers.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th January 2020

      Yes, but those being balloted didn’t know that would be the outcome. Potentially and legally we could have been sent there. Those were very uncertain times.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  15th January 2020

        yes they did know it wouldnt be the outcome. It was government policy not to sent CMT conscripts and the time they had in the army for CMT wasnt enough training, ( 3 months ?) ,you would have had to formally ‘join the army’ – was for it 7 years at the time. Some may have liked the life and done so
        Australia was different, in that the ‘national service’ was longer and men were asked to go to ‘Nam in the way that armys get ‘volunteers’
        “The selection of conscripts was made by a sortition or lottery draw based on date of birth, and conscripts were obligated to give two years’ continuous full-time service, followed by a further three years on the active reserve list. ”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_Australia

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th January 2020

          Rubbish. I was one of them. We knew US was pressuring Aus and NZ to help in Vietnam for PR purposes. We had no statement from PM Holyoake and the Government on whether NZ would send conscripts. We were running protests and university seminars on the war issues. Lyndon Johnsone visited NZ to pressure the Govt. Here is a sycophantic Govt account of that:
          https://vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/new-zealands-day-with-lbj

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  15th January 2020

            That NZ was pressured by the americans to send ‘regular troops isnt in dispute .
            That those whose birthdays came up for CMT werent going to be sent to Vietnam was known as well. Like I said the conscripts werent in the Army long enough, unlike Australia

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th January 2020

              I was 18 in 1964 two years before Johnson visited. Vietnam was hotting up then. I was balloted while at uni. Teach-ins about the war were being held all over the country. Johnson bombed, then sent marines, then sent conscripts. No-one knew where it was going to end up but with Russia and China backing the North it wasn’t going to be good and it wasn’t.

      • Geoffrey

         /  15th January 2020

        Alan your recall is faulty. Those balloted to under go National Service were indicted into the Territorial Force and required to undergo a period full-time training, followed by some weekend training and annual camps. To require any National Serviceman to serve operationally in Vietnam would have required a special Act of Parliament. Given the ongoing debate about the relevance of that war, that was never going to happen.
        Regular Force personnel who, for whatever reason, did not wish to accept a posting to Vietnam, were not compelled to go. I know of a number from my time.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th January 2020

          No, my memory isn’t faulty although you may well be right about requiring an Act of Parliament to send conscripts there. I wouldn’t know about that but there is no doubt the Govt could speedily have passed such an Act had it decided to. Of course the US was doing exactly that and wanted support. I had the bizarre experience of being balloted in, going through the process of registering as a conscientious objector and then being “balloted out” and deregistered. I presume the Govt had a change of mind as to how many conscripts it wanted – quite possibly the result of a decision not to send them to Vietnam or conceivably a lack of training capacity due to permanent personnel being sent there following Johnson’s pressure.

          Reply
          • Geoffrey

             /  15th January 2020

            Wrong again. Nobody was conscripted to go to Vietnam. Without exception, all who served there first enlisted in the Regular Force and volunteered for service in Vietnam. Had the government of the day attempted to provide for compulsory service in Vietnam, the uproar would have dwarfed that which met the SA rugby tour.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th January 2020

              You seem to be misinterpreting what I have said. I haven’t said anyone was conscripted and sent there. Merely that there was reason to think that they could be.

            • Duker

               /  15th January 2020

              You have strange ideas about what ‘could be’ means
              I have shown how Australians were in the army longer and definitely went to Vietnam
              “All New Zealand troops in Vietnam were volunteer regular personnel, so the protest movement did not have an anti-conscription edge, as it did in Australia and the United States. ”
              https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/vietnam-war

              and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_military_training_in_New_Zealand#Post-war
              ‘Ballots based on dates of birth were conducted to decide who would undertake compulsory service. Those selected were required to complete three months initial full-time training, followed by an annual commitment of three weeks part-time training for three years.”
              I have very liitle knowledge of NZ Army training, but its obvious that 3 months was only -basic training- , not enough for the actual units that went, an artillery battery, 2 infantry companies, a medical unit and SAS unit

            • Geoffrey

               /  15th January 2020

              Comment about the depth of training of NZ National Servicemen is correct. There was never any intention of sending them to Vietnam and they were not therefore trained for that task.
              The Australian position was quite different in so far as young men were conscripted specifically for service in Vietnam

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th January 2020

              Little knowledge never seems to inhibit your opinions, duker. I was there in the hot seat before the Govt decided how it would respond to the US and I know what our concerns were.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  15th January 2020

        Alan, do you remember OHMS (Organisation to Halt Military Service) It was a bit before my time, but I have a poster from it; I take this to be quite a historic piece. It should really be in the Alexander Turnbull Library, I think.

        Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  15th January 2020

    Yes.. students need to question what they are being taught. BUT they also need to realise that; those with money & power do not have all the answers either.. in fact the ‘C-C denier-in-chief’ (MrT) is a perfect example. Im sure he would like to see fossil fuel use increase & the impact on the environment get worse, whilst he & his sit in their ‘Ivory towers’ casting scorn on the rest of us.. meanwhile the foolish, still have their heads squarely up their A :/

    btw: Alan.. its gone beyond ‘leftVright’ to ‘there is no Planet B to move to.. so its time we all woke up & got our heads into reality & off FANTASY Island !’

    …BUT you cant fool all the people.. all the time.. & so say all of us 🙂

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th January 2020

      its time we all woke up & got our heads into reality & off FANTASY Island !’

      Couldn’t agree more, Z. When will you?

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  15th January 2020

        ho ho ho.. hum 😀

        I woke up this issue about 40 years, after I read ‘Gaia’.. BUT has taken a young lady called Greta, to shake most of the world up to it :/

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th January 2020

          She’s just a tool for the rabid loony Left and media, Zedd. They’ll discard her when they’ve no more use for her.

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  15th January 2020

            really…. do tell ?

            Reply
            • Zedd

               /  15th January 2020

              whats your point ?
              Are you just confirming, what you have already made clear.. C-C denial until your dying breath, regardless of:

              1) hottest 5 years on record in last decade
              2) global seas are warmer now than any records; about 1 degree
              3) melting icecaps (land-ice) & glaciers: Antarctica & Greenland etc.
              4) rising sea-levels.. come on down to Sth D & see it.. at St. Clair/Kilda
              5) bleaching of many reefs; increased acidity in oceans
              6) animal migrations.. DUE to warmer seas & icecaps
              7) massive/unprecedented, bushfires; Australia… smoke now in the upper atmosphere.. crossing the pacific ocean

              *just some, off the top of my head

              OR is this just ‘part of a normal cycle’ as is the ongoing echo/mantra from all the ignorant/righties: C-C deniers ?

              pray tell us all Alan.. ;/

            • Zedd

               /  15th January 2020

              btw: YES.. we can all select the stuff (from the internet etc.) that confirms our point of view, BUT as I said, I’m not some ‘johnnie come-lately’ on this, Ive been watching it since my teens : 40 years ago. Now it IS coming, to a place near ALL of us ! 😦

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th January 2020

              Z, I’ve said many times the issue is not that the climate is changing but how fast and what to do about it.

            • Duker

               /  15th January 2020

              Yes , like it always has . Some places are changing faster than others, some not at all. A mini ice age like the one that ended about 1850 or so would be much more of a problem, as we are on the tail end of that in some respects like the glacier retreat.

        • Zedd

           /  15th January 2020

          Alan.. what happened to your staunch stuff about ‘Loony Left Climate Alarmist’ as you have pointed at me before.. OH thats right it might happen eventually.. say in the next century or three.. BUT; hey lets not worry about it because; its the next generations PROBLEM to do that !

          may i suggest, you look out your window & turn off your air-con for a while 😦

          Hey I hear that MrT is making more deals to buy more coal & Oil.. that should cheer you up.. WTF

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th January 2020

            I don’t have aircon – never have had – and live in a much warmer place than you, Z, which I enjoy and I spend a lot of time outdoors so I don’t need to look out the window but when I do it is very pleasant and thriving. Had a good much needed rain last night as January is often dry up here.

            You seem confused that it is conceivable that the climate may change slowly without being calamitous – yet it always has.

            Reply
  5. Corky

     /  15th January 2020

    ”The teacher resources even include a 15-page ‘wellbeing guide’ for teachers and parents, which warns: Children may respond to the climate change scientific material in a number of ways. They may experience a whole host of difficult emotions, including fear, helplessness, frustration, anger, guilt, grief, and confusion.”

    And maybe boredom listening to some Marxist trained teacher drone on?

    Honestly, what more proof do you need? A sign saying: ”We are nuts?”

    Did the Wombles who produced this crap take it to Remuera and South Auckland to see if they were a target audience for indoctrination? Hell, no. The later would tell them to fuck off unless they had drugs to sell. The former would tell them to fuck off otherwise they would have them sacked from their jobs. That just leaves our beloved middleclass. Suckers for the taking.

    Reply
  6. PartisanZ

     /  15th January 2020

    Nobody can “read, write and rithmetic” about nothing!

    The question isn’t “what’s wrong with relating teaching to ‘real life'” but rather, “Is it possible not to relate education to real life”?

    Who chooses what ‘real life’ is?

    In the Seventh Form we ‘studied’ the novel ‘Lord of the Flies’, which just happened to be a perfect metaphor for the culture of the school ‘playground’ ….

    While learning about Authoritarianism and Totalitarian regimes in History was the perfect metaphor for the classroom culture.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th January 2020

      Who chooses what ‘real life’ is?

      Everyone. That’s why education should be about learning what and how to question, not about what you should believe. Skills are about equipping students to ask questions and evaluate the answers. That’s what reading, writing and arithmetic are for.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  15th January 2020

        Certainly reading, writing and arithmetic are key competencies … but you can’t read, write and calculate except with words and numbers conveying ‘meaning’ …

        Other key competencies are currently neglected, like TOP’s ‘C’s … Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking etc …

        When I learned to read, write and calculate in primary school and got to study Social Studies I was ‘taught’ year after year after year about High Country Sheep Farms …

        That was SO impartial! It had nothing whatsoever to do with the prevailing ideology and the pervasive economic paradigm of the 1960s … (which some/many parents probably questioned even then?) …

        In large part education is temporal. Its going to deal with the ‘signs of the times’ …

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  15th January 2020

          Good to have you back, Parti. I thought you had forsaken us now that you are living in the go-to area of the country. Northland as you know it is about to change as us monied Righties move to your exclusive climes.

          Education: Education should be about drawing information and knowledge out of a pupil…and not continuously pumping them full of stuff to remember..but not to mentally digest and apply.

          Reply
        • Barbara McKenzie

           /  22nd January 2020

          “I was ‘taught’ year after year after year about High Country Sheep Farms” Funny, I don’t remember a single year in which I was taught about High Country Sheep Farms …

          Reply
  7. Barbara McKenzie

     /  22nd January 2020

    “Should schools stick to reading, riting and rithmetic, and ignore everything else in the world?” Most important things children can be taught are the 3Rs, and then critical thinking, starting with literature and science. This curriculum is designed to crush critical thinking.

    Reply

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