Dave Armstrong: Back to basics education policy push is all too familiar [Video]

National Education News


At the heart of National’s latest education policy lies the debate between skills and knowledge, writes Dave Armstrong.

Dave Armstrong is a playwright and satirist based in Wellington. He is a regular contributor to Stuff.

OPINION: ‘Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.’

Charles Dickens was satirising the back-to-basics movement when he wrote Hard Times, but I was immediately reminded of merchant Thomas Gradgrind when National last week announced its education policy.

Forget the airy-fairy, trendy-lefty curriculum. With the Nats in charge, it’s an hour a day of maths, reading and writing. If there’s any time left you can do all that fun stuff that left-wing educationists advocate. And you’ll be tested twice a year in a policy that seems to be labelled Not National Standards by leader Christopher Luxon.


The origin of COVID-19: The debate opens up title=
The origin of COVID-19: The debate opens up