We’ve all heard the sayings, “Children should be seen and not heard”; “spare the rod, spoil the child”. Thankfully, gone are the days where a child would cop a clip over the ear from an old-school teacher for perceived misdemeanours, or outrageously, misspelling a word.
Those days are a faded stain on our education history. But, in an extraordinary move, the current Queensland Government’s “positive behaviour for learning policy”- enforcing a quota of positive behaviour reports – has drawn the ire of teachers for imposing insane bureaucratic burden and pandering to political correctness at the expense of educating children.
Queensland Teachers’ Union President, Kevin Bates on the OneSchool database, which records cases of injury, bullying or truancy “We have schools now that are wanting teachers to record 20 positive behaviour reports a week in OneSchool. “The concept is we should spend an equal amount of time noting and rewarding positive behaviour as we do noting and correcting negative behaviours. The notion is you get better behaviour for rewarding children for good behaviour than constantly focusing on the negatives.
What if school funding is determined by quotas; bureaucratic, arbitrary standards? The MySchool website, introduced by the Gillard Government in 2010, fear controversy comparing standardised testing and “results based” to determine funding; despite rhetoric that it is a transparent resource for parent’s to provide knowledge and power when it comes to selecting which school is best for their child. NAPLAN psychologist, Michael Greg-Carr “it’s quite Orwellian, noting every time kids do something wrong or right”. “We’re putting an unnecessary administrative load on teachers who are already struggling with disrespect from kids, parents and, in some cases, their colleagues”.
Independent Education Union representing teachers at private schools has complained to the Fair Work Commission, arguing teachers were smothered in paperwork, with Catholic school teacher, Philip Margerison saying “students these days are less resilient”.