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Of Mice And Men (And Urbanisation)

People who become more free tend to have less loyalty towards a collective such as an organisation. Instead, these people will show greater loyalty to real people that they know at a personal level within their family and the direct community. In a recent article I speculated regarding this shift in loyalty that maybe we would see a slowing down of urbanisation. Furthermore, humans are now far more capable of working from anywhere and those people who become free agents seek personal r...

November 5, 2019

Autonomy Is Not The Antithesis Of Community

In a recent podcast (Collectives Are Not Entities), I mentioned that a big reason why people still choose to work in companies is that they provide security. The company looks after them, so to speak. The employer and the employee form a deal in response to the company’s provision of security, workers reciprocate with their loyalty to the company. Security comes in a variety of forms; in particular, companies provide a steady income, opportunities for promotion, and a permanent job contract th...

November 1, 2019

The Difference Between ‘More Freedom’ And Freedom

Motivation, it’s what we need in all our learning and development as human beings. But how are humans motivated? What drives them? This is the topic of Daniel H. Pink’s book ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.’ This insightful book looks into the research behind what motivates humans and then seeks to show how this can help us in understanding our own motivations. The book also provides examples of people who have sought to apply this knowledge in new ways.Pink uses the...

October 26, 2019

Incidental Inspiration

One of the most essential activities that humans like to engage in is learning. To learn we must be motivated by something, and for the most part, that means being inspired by someone. Now as humans we are not so impressed or inspired by people who are doing things for the express purpose of inspiring others. That cannot be their main reason. We like to see people and are inspired by people who are doing an activity for its own sake or for a personal purpose. For example, this is why we lik...

October 16, 2019

The Causes of ADD/ADHD

The Causes of ADD/ADHD by Justus FrankDelving into the world of disorders has been fascinating. Figuring out the principles behind what is going on with ADD in particular, but also many disorders in general, has had a powerful impact on my thinking. Hope you find this helpful in understanding where these disorders are coming from and reflecting on how we relate to children in our society.Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash...

July 16, 2019

Child-led Education?

The question of child-led education came up in a recent email I received and is becoming something that is discussed more often. It certainly is encouraging to see adults beginning to show greater recognition of the individuality of children, but the term ‘child-led’ is also confusing, as seen by the confused attempts at implementing it. The end result is often either finding more subtle ways of control or attempts to abdicate responsibility.Power and control struggles For many people, the t...

July 16, 2019

Why Is Purpose And Direction So Elusive?

Link: Why Is Purpose And Direction So Elusive?What is it about our formative years, particularly in school, that causes so many of us to stumble around without a clear purpose or sense of direction? Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash...

July 3, 2019

An Explanation For Why We Don’t Learn From Others In A Debate

Link to:  An Explanation For Why We Don’t Learn From Others In A DebateUnderstanding the implications that come from understanding the differences between a debate and a conversation has been an interesting journey for me. But I am convinced that understanding these differences will have a lasting impact on the way we see education and the people we speak to in our everyday lives....

June 22, 2019

ADHD and the story of two brothers

Link:ADHD and the story of two brothersADHD is a fascinating topic and there are a host of opinions on it. In this article I do not seek to define it as much as to explore the way that society and schools react to those with ADHD or ADHD symptoms. I certainly would like to write more on this topic so please feel free to interact with what I am saying and if you like what I have to say please give it a like on Facebook or a clap on Medium.Thanks and hope you find it interesting!...

June 13, 2019

Why children gravitate to video games.

Link to: Why children gravitate to video games This is a topic I've been thinking about for a while. I've also been curious as to why simulated scenarios such as movies and video games don't attract me as much as they used to. What I have written is not the whole answer to the question of why children gravitate to video and computer games, but I am convinced that it is certainly a major aspect.Also this is my first article on medium.com so if you can give it a clap if you liked it...

June 11, 2019

Progressive education vs Self-Directed education

In my last article, I shared my thoughts and experiences in attending the teacher’s strike march in Christchurch on the 29th of May. As I headed back to my car I had an interesting conversation with a secondary school maths teacher. This teacher had an interesting perspective on progressive education based on his current teaching position. He told me about how his school has a more modern style learning environment. And while he said it can work for some highly motivated students, many of the ...

June 4, 2019

We Want Change!...Somebody do something!

Today I went along to the teacher’s strike action in Christchurch. There were some interesting speeches whose content I’ll talk about another time but I joined the throng of people as we wandered down through town to stand before the Ministry of Education building. Along the way, I decided to engage some people in conversation. My first conversation was with a young mother who was also a teacher. She said that for her, the class sizes were an issue and just generally that there wasn’t enou...

May 29, 2019

Conversations, articles, plausible deniability and learning.

Over the last year, I’ve really found that one of the key ways that I’ve learnt, and that all people learn, is through conversations. The very act of speaking our thoughts aloud to another person and allowing them to interact with our words is so important. If you have read some of my articles or had a conversation with me you may have noticed that I do stress this point relatively often. But why is this the case? What makes conversations so powerful? Whenever we read something or we watch s...

May 17, 2019

"Who's going to teach the children if I do up and leave?"

MP tells 'undervalued' teacher to look for a new jobHave to say, Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott is spot on. If you don't like the terms your employer is offering you after negotiation talks, then leave.If you still want to be involved in the lives of children and education there are other paths to take other than working in a government school. Work at a private school, do tutoring, home education support, activity centres, not to mention starting your own school or other educational business. Yes,...

May 15, 2019

“I’m very concerned about education and the teacher strikes but I don’t think I’ll make any changes for my children.”

Over the last while I’ve been heading down to a playground here in Christchurch and interviewing the parents down there about their views on education. In particular, I asked about their thoughts on the upcoming teacher strike in response to the ‘education crisis’, as it is called by NZEI (the teacher’s union). As I write this article it has just been confirmed that a strike will happen on the 29th of May, 2019. While this was a small scale study, the answers were in-depth and very revea...

May 12, 2019

The NIB State Of The Nation Parenting Survey (Pt 5)

Linked Article: Daycare stress highest in Auckland: surveyToday I look at a further article from the NIB State of the Nation Parenting Survey. The NIB State of the Nation parenting survey quizzed 1200 parents throughout New Zealand. The article linked is about childcare.The article states that; ‘12 percent of the parents surveyed were "extremely concerned about placing their children in daycare when returning to work". A further 17 percent were "very concerned".’It would be interesting to al...

May 12, 2019

The NIB State Of The Nation Parenting Survey (Pt 4)

Parents: time poor and still critcised In my first response to the NIB State of the Nation Parenting Survey, I wrote about the major result from the survey that identified that 76% of parents are worried that they don’t spend enough time with their children. An opinion piece was written regarding guilt that parents may have regarding the time they spend with children (see link above). The author talks about a time she attended a Positive Parenting Programme.“The facilitator, a wise old nun, ...

May 6, 2019

The NIB State Of The Nation Parenting Survey (Pt 3)

‘One in four parents had felt pressure about their child's stage of development or pressure from friends or family to raise their child in a certain way.Wallis said it was usually parents with babies and very young children who succumbed to "antenatal class syndrome" comparing how quickly a child reached different milestones."No one actually wants to say out loud that the baby who walks first is going to be the cleverest because no one really believes that but there's still an unspoken competi...

May 6, 2019

The NIB State Of The Nation Parenting Survey (Pt 2)

Survey shows big parenting guilt over social media and time with kids In this second commentary of mine on the articles being put out by Stuff on the NIB State of the Nation Parenting Survey, I just want to focus on some of the comments that were made by the mother that was interviewed in the article. In the article Slavin, the mother, states that quality time is better than quantity of time, "Half an hour of a super fun/attentive parent still builds strong bonds and quality memories. Or if not ...

May 3, 2019

The NIB State Of The Nation Parenting Survey (Pt 1)

Survey shows big parenting guilt over social media and time with kidsThere’s a fascinating series of articles (see link above) being released by Stuff based on the NIB State Of The Nation Parenting Survey which surveyed 1200 New Zealand parents. According to the survey, 76% of parents worried about the amount of time they could spend with their children.Nathan Wallis is right on point when he says; "It's no surprise we have skyrocketing rates of anxiety and depression and suicide in our teenag...

May 2, 2019

Are parents and teachers switching roles?

“Hi Tim, and what have you got for lunch? Just that packet of chips?”“Yes.”“No, fruit or sandwiches or anything? Oh, you’ve got a sandwich!”“But I don’t like peanut butter.”“Have you talked with your parents about this?” In my time as a teacher, I observed a strange phenomena increasing in the relationship between school and home. An increase in the switching roles of parents and teachers. The scenario above is a common one in schools, even in the private schools where I ...

May 1, 2019

Helicopter Parenting

A fascinating recent article here titled; Helicopter parenting works, but is it worth the price? Yes, it is true. Statistically speaking the higher the qualification, the higher the person's income. But the real question is why? Unless you understand the mechanics of how the education system works you will be forever in fierce competition with those around you and getting frustrated at the results.If you are the one person who stands up at a concert, you get a better view. If everyone stands up,...

April 30, 2019

Who is responsible for education?

A desperate plea from the parent of special needs child: we’re at our wit’s end For those of you unfamiliar with New Zealand law, it is the Ministry of Education’s responsibility, not the parent’s responsibility, to provide children with an education."I find it hard to disagree with her conclusion as that is indeed the case. Two of my conversations yesterday were with mothers who were very concerned about the Education Crisis as described by NZEI (the teacher's union). However, when I as...

April 29, 2019

Child-led Education?

By Justus FrankThe question of child-led education came up in a recent email I received and is becoming something that is discussed more often. It certainly is encouraging to see adults beginning to show greater recognition of the individuality of children, but the term ‘child-led’ is also confusing, as seen by the confused attempts at implementing it. The end result is often either finding more subtle ways of control, or attempts to abdicate responsibility. For many people, the term ‘chil...

April 18, 2019

Are Your Children Lazy?

By Justus Frank“He could have done it, but he’s just lazy.” How many times have we heard that type of phrase and how many times have we used it ourselves? I know that as a teacher I would regularly label certain children as lazy, sometimes just privately in my head, but also in the staff room and occasionally in a teacher-parent meeting. Lack of completed homework is a favourite for identifying ‘laziness’, as is lack of study and not getting good test marks. Children are commonly also ...

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