Kapi-Mana News : January 10th 2012
7 KAPI-MANA NEWS, JANUARY 10, 2012 OPINION / NEWS Porirua Mega Centre - Semple St, PORIRUA Ph: 9225830 | 68 Queen Street, Upper Hutt Ph: 04 894 3654 | 28 Rutherford Street, LOWER HUTT Ph: 901-8030 EVERYTHING FOR YOUR HOME EASYPAY® OPTION MEANS ALL YOU PAY IS THE ADVERTISED PRICE PLUS INSURANCE & CREDIT FEES. EASYPAY® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF SMITHS CITY (SOUTHERN) LIMITED. MINIMUM PURCHASE FOR EASYPAY® OPTION IS $499 (OTHER PAYMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE LESS THAN $499). ALL FINANCE OFFERS ARE SUBJECT TO NORMAL CREDIT GRANTING PROCEDURES. AN INSURANCE CHARGE AND CREDIT FEES ARE REQUIRED. A DEPOSIT MAY BE REQUIRED ON COMPUTERS, MOBILE PHONES, CAR AUDIO PRODUCTS AND NEW ACCOUNTS. INTEREST IS CHARGED FROM THE DATE OF PURCHASE, HOWEVER IF YOU COMPLETE THE ACCOUNT IN FULL WITHIN THE EASYPAY® OPTION PERIOD ALL YOU PAY IS THE ADVERTISED PRICE PLUS THE CREDIT FEES AND INSURANCE CHARGE. 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EASYPAY QUALITYBRANDS|EXPERTADVICE|NZOWNED&OPERATED PROFESSIONALDELIVERY&INSTALLATION|TRADE-INSWELCOME|EASY PAYMENTOPTIONS|EVERYTHINGFORYOURHOME |27 STORES THROUGHOUT NZ LESS THAN $14 PER WEEK *Trade-Inisforyour loungesuiteingood overall condition. LESS THAN $17 PER WEEK WAS$199999NOW$159999W I TH$400TRADE-IN* RITA 3+R+R LOUNGE SUITE • Microfibre Charcoal 8250 JS Finnish education system appeals TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL No doubt, several lobby groups will be hoping Prime Minister John Key has used at least some of his Christmas/New Year hol- iday break to kick back, relax and dive into a bit of background read- ing about their particular field of interest. Dream on. Somehow, it is easier to imagine Key lounging in his holiday hammock in Hawaii with the latest Lee Child or James Patterson thriller than with a briefing paper on the economy or the latest book on political theory. Few would resent him doing so. Regardless, just before Christmas, Post Primary Teach- ers Association president Robin Duff posted on the PPTA website his plans to present Key with some holiday reading about the Finnish education system. Sometime soon, the PPTA will try to give Key a copy of the book Finnish Lessons by Pasi Sahlberg, so the association can discuss with him how the Government might apply the book’s insights to New Zealand. The patronising-to-hostile tone of the PPTA’s missive was an interesting tactical choice for a union that may well be in the firing line this year, once Edu- cation Minister Hekia Parata has settled into her new job. Clearly, Parata is being groomed as a National Party leader. Winning a stoush with the same union that made life difficult for Parata’s predecessor, Anne Tolley (over the implementation of national standards), would be a very useful way of raising Parata’s national profile. Unfortunately, the slim chance of a reasoned debate on the con- tents of Sahlberg’s book would probably be the first casualty of any such conflict. For several years, Finland has topped most of the global measures of educational achieve- ment in maths, science and liter- acy – and it has done so with some relatively low-cost policies that are almost the opposite of the poli- cies New Zealand has chosen to adopt. Finland has focused on reducing class size. It uses a concise national cur- riculum only as a guide in cre- ating curriculum and assessment at the local level, and spends very little time, effort and resources on standardised testing. As Sahlberg says: ‘‘English edu- cation policies rely on more choice, tougher competition, intensified standardised testing and stronger school accountability. ‘‘These are the key elements of the policies that were dominant in the United States, New Zealand, Japan and parts of Canada and Australia a decade or so ago. ‘‘The overall learning trend in all these countries is consistently declining. That is a road to nowhere . . .’’ Instead of adopting market- based educational policies based on competition, test-based stan- dardisation and control, Finland has stressed co-operation, diver- sity and trust. It has also systematically set about raising the status and pub- lic esteem of the teaching pro- fession. Finland has also successfully combined its educational policies with measures to reduce the num- ber of Finnish children who live in poverty. None of this has taken place overnight. Finland has been engaged for three decades in such policies, almost as long as New Zealand has been pursuing market-driven initiatives in education and else- where. It is becoming clear whose chil- dren are doing better. For the sake of those children, most New Zealanders will be hoping the PPTA and the new Education Minister can avoid ideological confrontations in 2012, and work together on what will succeed in the classroom. FROM Page 1 ➤ HOT YOGA IN WELLINGTON ❚ ABUNDANCE STUDIOS City Fitness Porirua and Thorndon Quay abundancemindbody.co .nz ❚ Gabrielle Harris’ community class, Paremata Boating Club. ❚ Hot Yoga of New Zealand Wakefield St, Wellington hotyoganz.com ❚ Bikram Yoga Tory St, Wellington bikramyoga.co .nz. Doing good things for the body and soul Ms Harris gently works her way around the class while call- ing the routines, guiding students into the right postures, which require every part of the body to be engaged; shoulders held back and open, neck tall, back extended. Talking to her afterwards she compares the intensity of the class to a spin workout, say- ing that while it is gentle it is a very strong practice, and can burn up to 700 calories in a class. But she is also enthusi- astic about the mental and emotional benefits yoga offers. ‘‘When people first come in here it’s just the physical body moving, and later they realise there’s other layers and levels they can go to, even being aware of their breathing or see- ing other things – having questions in their life. ‘‘Yoga practitioners believe that when you have an emotional or a mental issue it gets stored in the body . . . like you store tension in your neck, so through yoga you can release some of that physical tension and hopefully we can translate that to some mental and emotional areas of our life; we should just feel like there’s some little shift, some way of transforming us.’’ I left feeling refreshed and thinking of ways to do more good things like this for my body and soul in the new year.
January 3rd 2012
January 17th 2012