Thoughts on National Standards

The last few days at a National Standards Hui have enabled me to string a few thoughts together regarding the implementation of these changes. These thoughts are not really specific to the standards and could be transferred to any conversation regarding implementing something new.

The pyramid diagram helps to illustrate these thoughts. At the bottom of the pyramid are the building blocks of effective teaching and learning. These inlcude but are certainly not limited to:

  1. effective leadership
  2. evidenced based practice
  3. home/school partnerships
  4. effective professional development
  5. purposeful learning

The top of the pyramid are the desired outcomes. For example:

  1. improved student achievement
  2. empowered and knowledgeable teachers
  3. motivated/engaged students

We enter into the age old debate of the top down or bottom up approach, but I believe in the case of the National Standards and the haste at which they are to be implemented, that unless the building blocks are in place then the desired outcomes of the Standards, which I have no problem with, will never actually be realised to their full.

A quote yesterday from one of the hui speakers

…a repertoire of pedagogy rather than a recipe or prescription…

sounds great and few would argue we want this for all of our teachers regardless of if we are talking about the Standards or not.

The Standards themselves will not give teachers a repertoire of pedagogy but effective leadership and professional learning will, there is not one without the other… right?


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