Friday, July 06, 2012

New book: Educating your child: it’s not rocket science

 Kevin Donnelly is a  very experienced teacher and one of the voices of reason in Australian education.  He is a good antidote to Leftist fashions in that field.

I don't agree with him on all issues but if you want an alternative view to what your kid is probably getting at school, this book should be helpful.  Donnelly stresses that parents have a huge educative role too.  Some of his major recommendations:

*    Say ‘no’ to children and teach them respect and self-control

*   Always have dinner at the table and make sure TVs, computers, game boys, electronic readers and mobile phones are turned off (and no computers in the bedroom)

*   Surround children with myths, fables, legends, music, creative and practical arts

*   Let children take risks and give them the space to make mistakes

*   Give children a moral compass that will help them decide right from wrong

*    Respect teachers and support schools in educating your child

*   Understand that every child is different

*   Understand that you cannot live your child’s life

*   Realise that you are your child’s first teacher

*    Enjoy and love being a parent – there is nothing that will ever equal the experience

He gives his reasons for each of those ideas in his book.

You can get it here.  His website is here.

One area where I am less wary than Donnelly is in computer usage.  I allowed my son to play computer games to his heart's content.  But he is bright so always did well at school nonetheless and is now in Australia's premier university mathematics Dept. working on his Ph.D.  So a lot depends on the child.

No God or Queen for Guides

TONY Abbott has hinted that he wasn't in favour of the Girl Guides cutting ties with the Queen and God.

The Opposition leader said his daughters and wife were all involved in Girl Guides, which he considers to be a fine organisation.

“Speaking for myself, I don't mind pledging to both God and the Queen. They are OK by me. I don't want to drop either of them,” Mr Abbott told the Nine Network today.

Debate on the issue was a hot topic on radio and TV this morning.

Promising to serve God and the Queen and pledging obedience as they have for more than half a century, has been ruled old-fashioned and out of step with modern Australian life by junior and senior Guides.

Australia's 28,000 Guides will instead vow to serve their community and country, and "live with courage and strength".

The change to the Guiding Promise and Guide Law begins in units across the country from today.

Girl Guides spokeswoman Belinda Allen said it was up to members to decide if Queen Elizabeth's photograph was removed from Guide Halls.

"They may decide they still like to have pictures of the Queen around but . . . we have to move on," Mrs Allen said.

About a million Australian women have been part of the Guiding Movement since it began in 1910.

The review of the wording has been under way for two years and involved a survey of all members. "(The Queen) is not part of the Australian Citizenship pledge and being responsible to one's community is one of the essences of Guiding," Mrs Allen said.

The Australian Scouting movement made pledging its duty to the Queen optional in 2001 but retained God in its Promise.

Twelve-year-old Girl Guide Rebecca said not all Guides followed the same religion.  "I think it's pretty cool, most people have different religions or views and this takes it into account," Rebecca said.

Guiding has already tried to modernise. Brownies and Rangers have been cut and uniforms swapped for informal clothes.

But the famous three-fingered salute devised by Robert Baden-Powell remains.

The Queen has a long-standing relationship with the organisation. Her wedding cake was made from ingredients supplied by Australian Girl Guides.


Thug bouncers at Melbourne casino

A CROWN casino patron had died after an unnecessary and "extraordinary display of violence" by security staff, a magistrate said yesterday.

The aggression and arrogance of the casino's security staff was "quite breathtaking", magistrate Peter Reardon said.

Anthony Dunning, 40, died in hospital four days after an altercation with bouncers at the casino on July 3 last year.

He was with friends when he was allegedly held down on the gaming room floor for several minutes.

Security guard Matthew Lawson, 27, faces a manslaughter charge over Mr Dunning's death.

Fellow security guards Quoc Tran, Benjamin Vigo, 24, Cameron Sanderson, 40, Nicholas Levchenko, 26, and Jacques Fucile, 30, all face assault-related charges.

Mr Reardon said the bouncers had obviously been trying to preserve order, but their behaviour was "completely out of proportion".

Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard that after an intoxicated Mr Dunning was asked to leave the venue, his friend, Olivia Ferguson, slapped Mr Tran because she believed he had said something insulting.

It is alleged Mr Tran then threw Ms Ferguson to the floor and restrained her for more than 50 seconds.

Mr Reardon said this reaction was "out of all proportion to the situation".  "This led to a train of events that ultimately led to Mr Dunning's death," the magistrate said.

He said the "aggressive, arrogant attitude demonstrated by Casino security" was "quite breathtaking".  Mr Reardon said there was absolutely "no necessity" for the "extraordinary display of violence".

"It's hard to imagine where the bouncers at Crown casino, or anywhere else, think they're entitled to throw patrons to the ground for any reason," he said.

Mr Reardon said the job of security staff was to calm situations, not inflame them.  He said it was astonishing the guards had reacted as they had despite knowing they were filmed on CCTV.

Mr Reardon rejected a no-case submission by Mr Tran's lawyer, saying he believed there was enough evidence for the accused to stand trial.


Coalition targets welfare 'bludgers'

A COALITION government will "break the cycle of idleness and habits of apathy" that can develop among those on welfare, according to leaked speaking notes provided to opposition MPs.

"The Coalition will renew the commitment to mutual obligation" and allow people to "give back" in return for assistance, making welfare "a disincentive to those who just want to bludge", the 135-page "Coalition Speaker's Notes" say.

Opposition MPs have also been told to reassure constituents the Coalition believes there is "workplace relations fatigue" in the community, and its approach in government would be problem-solving and pragmatic, not ideological.

The notes propose this response when MPs are asked: "You are on the record attacking Labor's workplace laws. How can we trust you when you say that you now support the Fair Work Act?"

Covering all policy areas and dated July 1, the notes have been published on the Crikey website.

They suggest that MPs say the main industrial relations problems are with militancy, lack of flexibility and inadequate productivity trade-offs.

Among the lines on IR are that "we have well and truly absorbed the lessons of the Coalition's 2007 defeat, as well as the different lessons of the current government's failures.

"We will seek a mandate for any changes to the Fair Work Act at the 2013 election ... The Coalition will always work with the independent umpire, Fair Work Australia."

When asked "are we worried about increased wage outcomes, particularly in the building sector?", the suggested answer is: "The larger concern is that big wage rises seem to come with no trade-off for increased productivity."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has been anxious to take a middle course on workplace relations to minimise Labor's scope for a fear campaign, despite a more gung-ho approach by some in his party.

MPs are being given heavy ammunition against the Greens.

The Greens "believe in legalising same-sex marriages ... in reintroduction of voluntary euthanasia laws  in the NT and ACT ... support holding a plebiscite for an Australian republic ... will legalise the use of cannabis for specified medical purposes".


1 comment:

paul said...

We recently had a death in Cairns from a patron being "restrained" face-down on the floor of a venue. Imagine the angry, wound-up patron hyperventilating into a hyper-alkalotic state suddenly being slung to the floor, face-down and pinned, unable to breath. Rapid and drastic change in pH and other blood gases leading to sudden death. They didn't even know until the told him to get up and he no longer moved. Bouncers can't be expected to know how this works but they can be expected to know it can happen.