On Learning and Travelling

Some time ago, I read this column which basically chastised parents who took little Johnny out of school during term time for skiing holidays in the south of France, and because missing school time to travel would see kids drop a full band in Naplan testing.

Seeing as how I’ve taken my kids out of school for 18 months to travel, I guess they’re stuffed.

I guess they’re stuffed because Naplan doesn’t test them on whether they can build a fire, or a drop trap (thanks Bear Grylls for that one), or explain how our solar panel and dual battery system operates.

I guess they’re stuffed because Naplan doesn’t test their reactions to seeing c.13000 year old rock art in person, rather than in a book.

I guess they’re stuffed because Naplan doesn’t test them on the way they relate to people from vastly different walks of life to their own – kids from
Cape York, a Czech couple in their 60s, people with much more than we have and others with much, much less. People with views similar to our own, and those who could not think more differently. (I’m looking at you, dude who thinks “they’ve all got XBoxes” is appropriate recompense for 200+ years of dispossession.)

I guess they’re stuffed because Naplan doesn’t ask what to do when you have limited clean drinking water available, or question the logic of using it for black water when so much of our state is in drought.

I guess they’re stuffed because Naplan doesn’t give a rats about their mental health.

Of course, since that piece was published the world’s gone nutso over the fact that our nation’s 9 year old’s are massive fail whales because they couldn’t write a persuasive argument as to what rules or laws they would change given the choice. Out of curiosity, I asked my 7 year old daughter that question, and she answered:

I’d stop them being able to cull sharks and crocodiles. They are apex predators at the top of the food chain, and without them the ecosystem shuts down. The animals in the water create the ecosystem. If the sharks don’t eat the seals, then there’s too many seals, but then there’s not enough food for them. We need more people like Sea Shepherd and Bob Irwin and Steve Irwin to save the sharks and crocodiles. When you cull sharks and crocodiles you unbalance the ecosystem and it doesn’t work anymore. That’s why I’d stop them doing it.

Yep, I guess they’re stuffed.

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2 thoughts on “On Learning and Travelling

  1. All those experiences, all that time with their parents and together as a family, all those places – yep, they sound stuffed to me!

    A friend’s family travelled for two years when she was a child and she still speaks of the experiences now.

    I read another column by that journalist about her brother taking his family to live in India and she was concerned her niece would fall behind in hockey. First world problems!

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