Tuesday, 5 December 2006

NZQA: Perfectly suited to the Age of Crap

The Seventeenth Century was the Age of Reason. The Nineteenth Century was the Age of Capitalism. The Twenty-First Century will more than likely be the Age of Crap.

Sandi at SOLO outlines some of the means whereby the New Zealand Qualification's Authority is helping to usher in such an age, specifically "what type of courses are within the NZQA Framework [and for which] the government provides student loans."

Here's some highlights:

Developing Christian Spirituality
8515 3 Discuss a theology of hardship, suffering and blessing in Christian faith and life
Christian Worship & Preaching
11034 4 Choreograph, plan, and use dance as a medium of expression in Christian worship
Natural & Traditional Health & Healing
14822 25 Use an advanced range of essential oils and carrier oils for aromatherapy in the clinical setting
Hellerwork is a series of one-hour sessions of deep tissue bodywork and movement education designed to realign the body and release chronic tension and stress. Verbal dialogue is used to assist the client in becoming aware of emotional stress that may be related to physical tension.
14819 40 Apply Hellerwork dialogue techniques to meet individual client needs
Homeobotanical Therapy
Homoeobotanical remedies are powerful, synergistic blends of organic herbs in liquid form. They are potentised homeopathically and specifically chosen to target the Organs and Systems on the body.
14831 5 Use homeobotanical repertory and materia medica in clinical practice
14771 6 Conduct hypnotic regression for hypnotherapeutic practice

Read on here for the full list of crap.

As Sandi points out, the real tragedy is not so much the taxpayers' money wasted on these 'courses' but the intelligent young minds being thrown away in pursuit of such nonsense, while courses that do explicitly promote rationality have trouble fitting into the NZQA framework.

"Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing," noted Ayn Rand, "but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he'll rise." By that standard, graduates of course such as these are having their wings clipped before they've even learned to fly.

Montessori teacher training in NZ - Maria Montessori Education Foundation (NZ)

RELATED: Education, Politics-NZ


  1. Well along these lines, according to a report in the Aucklander a few weeks back, there is a main problem in secondary technology subjects...

    Apparently under the NCEA scheme, technology students do not spend as much time working with wood, or metal, or such as they should. However they do spend alot of time writing about the experience of working with this technology.

    How they are supposed to know much about this experience I do not know, or what good reporting such is supposed to, especially at the expense of vital practical work.

    It seems that they have forgotten that such subjects have a vital practical component to them , and that unless a student spends enough time converting their abstract theoretical knowledge of how to say make things of wood, or metal, into actual practical skills that they can connect with proper physical actions, than it is rather useless.

    And that no amount of writing about the experience can ever be a substitute for it...

    However it apparently gets worse...

    Apparently their is a major shortage of qualified secondary (and I would imagine intermediate) technology teachers. Now instead of thinking why this might be, and questioning the futility of the public education system, they charge right on ahead.

    They hire those that are not trained for the job. So we observe the farce of Woodwork teachers that do have no idea what the tools are. Or teachers trained for IT that work as "Food Technology" teaches when they cannot make something as simple as lasagne.

    But of course how much does that really matter if feelings or whatever they call it are what the students are assessed on and not practical skills?

    How long do you think any mind, no matter how brilliant can prosper in fields of education like this? Talk about having your wings clipped!

  2. Well I think it can fit in with Libertarian principles - now no-one cares about formal qualifications and judge the candidate on their personal qualities rather than a piece of paper.

    My own child left school at 15 and assured me he would be able to get an apprenticeship with no qualifications cuz no-one cares about that anymore. And so it has come to pass. So it's an ill-wind.

  3. I'm very pleased for your son. 'anonymous,' that he's signed up to learn a trade -- it is an ill wind, in which youngsters are ill served -- but in no way do libertarian principles on education embrace the promotion of "personal qualities" as a substitute for the imparting of a real education, and all that a real education implies for the production of virtues such as independence, integrity, rationality, and pride in real achievement -- in other words, genuine personal qualities that will help rather than hinder a youngster as he (or she) becomes an adult.

  4. In a capitalist society, such courses would reflect demand. Which would be sad.

    In a socialist society, such courses reflect supply. Which is equally sad.

  5. PC,

    Are such courses OK, if they are privately funded or they should be banned altogether regardless ?

    There are some faith-based courses such as homeopathy which are government funded and some are privately funded. Homeopathy is taught in degree courses at AUT. It is sad, that pseudo-science gets funded and real science does not get extra funds.

  6. If I might offer my opinion Falafulu Fisi...

    Yes, such courses are OK if privately funded, if one wishes to waste ones own resources on something which is futile/trivial then well they do have that right, even if they would be better off learning something more useful. As long as such people do not violate the rights of others they are their own victims, and it is their problem if they waste their time with such stuff, not yours or mine etc.

    Banning such courses if they are privately funded is to tell people what they can or cannot think and what they may or may not spend their own money and resources(at least in regard to these things) and is an immoral act.

    Part of being free to choose the content of ones mind (i.e. to learn/think what one considers approriate) and therefore to be free to live ones own life, is the freedom to make bad choices as well as good ones. There is not valid argument for violiting someones right to choose just because we might not agree with their choices as long as no other rights are being interfered with.

    I do think it is sad when people choose to waste money on such things however but if they want to fund/pay for such on their own, well that is sad but I have no business being too concerned.

  7. An educated society would be more particular.

    The courses supported by the government belong on a menu supplied by Denny's or Mac D's. I do however confess that I am generalising, never having the inclination to dine at either....ever!

  8. Anonymous, I have a lot of contact with a new apprentice at work.
    I was shocked by just how deeply ignorant he is (eg he asked me what I meant by "superstition"--he had no idea what the word meant!)but thinking about it, mere ignorance about the world is the very least of his problems.
    His school taught him nothing about how to organise himself, how to go about solving problems, how to find information when he needs to.
    In other words he hasn't been taught how to analyse the world around him.
    Seems to me that the most basic form of education ought to do that first.
    Yup, he got his apprenticeship. Now the company has to educate him as well as train him in a trade.
    What an appalling education system.

  9. Hey KG.

    One cannot blame the school system for eveything.

    People want to institutionalise their kids into 'education' - be it Montessori or otherwise at around 2 years old when they are much better served to be at home with their Mothers. Kids learn far more from a trip to the supermarket than they do in any 'educational' institution.

    In my case my son showed 'contempt for authority' as the school said-thayt is no reflection on his ability to learn or think. And as Ian Grant says, the personality traits which cause you the most grief in the teenager are often those you will be most proud of in the man.

  10. fala, whatever the funding, it would still be the age of crap. What would you think of a faith based bridge building course?

  11. " Kids learn far more from a trip to the supermarket than they do in any 'educational' institution."

    Which is a sad indictment of the education system in this country.

  12. Personally if I have kids I am going to find a way to afford to send them to a decent private school rather than a government one. Failing that I will home school them.


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