Thursday, February 14, 2013


Coming from a world of litigation prior to teaching, I understand the reticence some have in writing down what you have said.  For many, not writing something down leads to deniability and the ability to change position without having evidence of doing so.

I have never thought of written evidence that way.  I was once told, don't write something down that you wouldn't want to appear in a court of law.  Secondly I was told never to write an email in anger.  I think these are both wise but are only part of the story.  

Only today I was told that communications I sent last year were likely to come back and bite me, but they are opinions at best, that people can take or leave - I'm not precious about my opinions, nor do I have a monopoly on being right.  I aim to help, and hopefully that is what I do most of the time.

The problem with not writing things down is that memory is fallible, and a lack of documentation (or inadequate documentation) means that definite positions are lost to the mists of time or worse still, history is re-written by those that have no evidence at all because no evidence to the contrary is available.

At our school I am seen as a supporter of IPS, but those reading this blog will realise that I criticised it before our implementation and that I continue to be wary of it.  My support for it was based in the people that needed it to staff the school, not in what I thought it would achieve in other areas.    

I have criticised OBE widely, but have supported ideas within OBE, and question its implementation more than the underlying concept.  I've seen it work, and have seen the consequences of diabolical assessment policies, hoping that we have learned from the issues and won't repeat them with Australian Curriculum.  The fact that we lack clear guidance for assessment and that an ambitious implementation plan set to political timeframes is occurring, means that we have some difficult years ahead.

I have watched the effects of delaying year 7 transition to high school and the effect of the half cohort on small schools.  Schools continue to struggle with planning over the next few years,  and the effort ensuring the ATAR courses in some guise will be practical under national curriculum requirements will be considerable.  2015 will be a watershed year for public school education.

By writing things down I can see how my opinions have formed and changed based on circumstance and perspective, I can reflect on my decisions (good and bad) and attempt to make better informed decisions in future.  Though this may be a brave position, I think documentation of this sort is important for future planning and that a fear of documentation where honesty and positive intent is present is ill founded.

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