Fears over stressed children as how-to books race off shelves

18/03/2013 2:02
Fears over stressed children as how-to books race off shelves

”Rote learning and drilling are things from the dark past and we have to be very careful not to resurrect these … at the expense of a child’s love of learning.”
Full article can be read from the link above. 

Publishing houses printing how-to guides and NAPLAN-specific workbooks have found themselves winners as parents clamour for help in maximising their children’s scores.

Hinkler Books issued its own set of NAPLAN-style workbooks and preparation tests in December and already they have proved a sell-out.

The company’s product manager, Helen O’Dare, said she was surprised the original 60,000 print-run of books aimed at the year 3 and year 5 audience had sold out four times over.

”It’s been extraordinary. We knew they would be popular but this is extraordinary,” Ms O’Dare said.

She said the books differentiated from the competition by being ”bright, non-threatening and including sticker rewards”.

But Australian Education Union ACT branch secretary Glenn Fowler said they were a scary illustration of how NAPLAN had begun to exert its dominance in schooling.

”The NAPLAN tests are not designed to be practised or rehearsed,” Mr Fowler said.

”The tests are a one-off snapshot of a particular student cohort at a particular point in time, a full 10 months prior to the publication of results.”

He said it was understandable in the current climate that parents and carers felt anxious about wanting to do the best for their children. But reports of students feeling so anxious about sitting NAPLAN that they had been sick were not new and parents needed to understand NAPLAN was ”not the HSC for seven-year-olds.”

”Parents can be reassured that schooling is about a great deal more than these crude standardised tests. Every day, teachers are at work educating the whole child and providing the broadest of learning experiences…….

Tess Michaels