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The Forum > Article Comments > Fat and dumb State? > Comments

Fat and dumb State? : Comments

By David Gillespie, published 18/2/2009

Our children do not need less time in the classroom, or to be missing school to satisfy a mythology about obesity.

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You raise some interesting points.
However your piece is hardly more than your opinion that of a lawyer/author whose real intention is to sell books. It’s a matter of understanding and expertise being sacrificed to make a marketing point. You don't seem to understand are the limitation to scientific paper's absolute [universal] applicability.

Your selectivity of supporting papers is astounding for both those that were included but also the ones left out or ignored. i.e. you include a 1930’s paper and ignore the plethora of later more relevant ones.

Your rant on Bligh and bridges is at best an irrelevant political shot and at worst disingenuous.
Her decisions are only as good as the advice tendered to her from advisors who seek information on her behalf.

We that consider these things all know
• That many children today don’t get the exercise they did once.
• That diet AND exercise at the root of obesity problems. Any government can mandate only the latter. What would you suggest for the other, invasive diet police?
• These two are by no mean the only factors involved that need to be addressed.

Yours is no more than yet another of perhaps well intentioned authors who add to the great unwashed’s confusion at the bookshop with all the other over simplified DYI experts.
No surprise, I won’t be contributing to the David Gillespie coffers I’ll take my advice from people who have the right training and expertise
Posted by examinator, Wednesday, 18 February 2009 11:18:26 AM
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As the figurehead of the Queensland Government, it's obvious that Bligh must answer questions about the substandard performance of Queenslanders in the NAPLAN testing. She is certainly happy to put her face and name behind all of the solutions she offers.

Unfortunately, many "solutions" seem to be missing the point. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will sit a practice NAPLAN test this year. As a solution, I think this sends an incorrect message to parents who want answers. It implies that students' poor performance was a result of their unfamiliarity with the test format, rather than a result of their relative illiteracy. Practice the test and they will do better, right?

I doubt it. As a high school teacher, I am faced each year with Year 8 kids who barely know how to spell their names. Some can't complete this simple task at all. They have made it through seven years of schooling and entered the secondary world without the most basic of skills. Why is this? Should we be practicing name-writing tasks to solve the problem? Or should we start weeding out illiteracy at its roots?

If we choose the latter path, we have a few things to consider. How can we achieve this while cutting class time to go out and get active? Well, if five hours of class time a day can't teach the kids the basics, then it's quality of educational experience, rather than quantity, that is at fault.

I'm not blaming primary school teachers exclusively here. While it is customary for us high school types to grumble and ask what they DO for seven years, I know plenty of primary teachers who work very hard but, alas, are forced to take on so many other programs that the basics get squeezed out. If the Smart State is to be more than a cheesy slogan, we need to make some sacrifices. Which child-rearing roles are we willing and able to shift back to the parents? Let's take a step backwards and fix the problems before we rush forward into the exciting pedagogical future.
Posted by Otokonoko, Friday, 20 February 2009 12:31:38 AM
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