It seems it's been quite a while since anything has fired me up enough to remember how to log in to my blog. But eventually someone, somewhere will be stupid enough to do it. Just in the last week there's been a few examples of crashing stupidity.
First off the rank, career counselling for preschoolers. What a fantastic idea that is. Let's plough money into career advice for those not old enough to tie their shoe laces, or think as far ahead as what they'd like for dinner. Tremendous. Forget about giving them access to books, making sure they can read, or checking that they can see or hear, or have access to a decent meal. We need them to think outside the box about career choice.
Next: career counselling for toddlers
Natasha Bita | April 04, 2009
Article from: The Australian
TODDLERS in daycare should be given early career counselling, Principals Australia has told the committee drawing up the nation's first childcare curriculum.
The call comes as the state and territory children's commissioners caution against pushing academic-based teaching on children still in nappies.
And a leading childcare operator insists it is "crazy stuff" to start telling pre-schoolers about their career options.
Kate Castine, who runs the Principals Australia career education project on behalf of the federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, is calling for "career development concepts" to be included in the new curriculum to be introduced nationally by July 1.
Her concern is that little children rarely think beyond what their parents and relatives do for a living.
"The argument that children should be exposed to career development concepts at an early age has been endorsed by current worldwide research," she wrote in comments posted on the department's official online forum, seeking feedback on the latest draft of the "early-learning framework".
"Reference to career development competencies needs to be explicit so teachers understand its importance."
Ms Castine said research showed students as young as six could identify what they wanted to do when they grew up.
"They identify very, very limited careers, usually associated with their family," she told The Weekend Australian. "That makes quite good sense but what needs to happen is that children who are very young need to identify there's a whole range of possible careers ... and not just what they see at home."
Ms Castine said childcare workers could casually canvass career options with children while watching a film, playing, or on an excursion.
"If they go on an excursion on a bus, you can talk about how we need people to drive the bus, or you can go to the museum and talk about scientists. It broadens their thinking at a young age."
Queensland's biggest childcare chain, the community-based C&K, yesterday rejected the kids' careers counselling as "crazy stuff". "What about letting children be children?" said C&K's chief executive Barrie Elvish.
"It's bad enough that kids in years 11 and 12 have to choose a career. How on earth can you get a four-year-old to think about what they'll be doing in 20 years' time?"
But Ms Castine said career education needed to start early. "If they don't start considering other careers until high school, there's less possibility they're going to consider the whole range," she said.
The federal Government's plan for a national curriculum -- a prerequisite for giving all pre-schoolers 15 hours of free care each week from 2013 -- has sparked squabbling between academics, bureaucrats, childcare workers and parents.
Criticism of its politically correct jargon forced a rewrite of the original draft, released last November, and now the authors are working on a third version.
The nation's children's commissioners -- state government agencies charged with safeguarding the rights of children -- have warned against an "academic" curriculum for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
"Care needs to be taken that we are not creating additional years of school for our youngest children through a stringent academic-based way of teaching," the commissioners from NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT say in a submission.