David kia ora, nga mihi to you
Having listened to the article on National radio yesterday Monday 23rd here I am
compelled to respond.Something you wont like to hear is that the
Education System at primary and secondary level is a bullying
system, indeed it models it and makes a fertile environment
for bullying.If we take Victoria University's Vanessa Green's
description that bullying is about a power imbalance and that it is
'regular', then this fits the teaching profession. In schools,you (a
teacher)tell others what they are to work on,when to sit, stand,
eat, be tested.When the child resists because they want more freedom
or dont want to do whats asked you call him or her 'disobedient' or
'defiant' Then coercion is quickly replaced by force.You then
exclude them from rewards such as their freedom or punishments (In
my day the cane) or by constant montoring of their attendance
etc.How different of this is from bullying in the peer to peer
An overlooked reason why its so prevalent is because the system is
I am a trained teacher - recently exiting myself from this system
after my involvement for20 years; in part because because it is one
that models power imbalances and creates bullying.
I encourage you to read more on the subject and withhold any
judgement that I could be so wrong. It seems incredible I know; to
question something as readily accepted as being a model of human
behaviour and just a part of life as the primary/ secondary system
Bullying also happens when you lump together (by force) one
agegroup.In my experience of teaching, and backed up by my research
from other experts in the education field, when you have a more
natural social grouping you mitigate against bullying. I can give a
concrete examples from my experience an area school where the form
class was year 9-13, the accidental influence of older youth on
younger classes of school children at a state secondary school, to
the almost absence of bullying in homeschooled social situations (my
children are homeschooled)
Of course we cant single out the school system as the 'cause'-you
are right in you analysis that it reaches deep into out culture.
School is a part of this culture.We believe violence and force are
legitimate problem solvers and ways of getting what we want.
I only want to point out that the problem is in part created by the
people who are being expected to solve it.
Its not just my thoughts.Read California 's ex teacher of the year
1999 John Taylor Gatto and others..
Opening this up will create havoc and defensiveness,and in my
experience will not make it to the popular media. We hesitate to
question the unquestionable-that the school system is fundamentally
flawed and fosters a bullying environment
In a brilliant repaste, national radio this morning held up educator
Yong Zhao http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2570375/yong-zhao-educator
.He talked about the educational environment that looks to the
present situation and the future.He used words like
entreprenuership, creativity, empathy when describing the new system
yet to be realised. The chicken coop we call schooling is going to
disappear, and- when we relinquish our addiction to problem -solving
and meeting our needs through violence- with it much of bullying.
I am happy to engage in this debate.I look forward to venues and
opportunities to discuss and listen.
As for the solution? Well that's to be negotiated, surely. The first
step is to recognise the illness without blame, judgement and