April 14, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print


Shin Guards: Violence can happen at any level of school, but even jaded education watchers were taken aback when scores of kindergarten teachers signed up to learn restraint holds and other hand-to-hand tactics they could use on their pint-sized charges. “It’s a sad indictment when people that just want to teach our children are being required to … take self-defense courses,” lawmaker Simon Power told the national Web site Stuff. About 80 teachers in the Manawatu region recently took the free, two-day “non-violent crisis intervention” course. On the curriculum: how to stop a punch, a kick, choking, biting, and hair-pulling. Jill Ellis, a 15-year kindergarten educator, called the course worthwhile, but said she feels more unsafe around parents than she does her students.


Crossed Out: Hot cross buns—rolls that are daubed with small, white-frosting Xs and traditionally eaten during the Christian Good Friday holiday—are now verboten at schools in Ipswich. Over the local vicar’s protests and parental complaints that the ban represents “political correctness gone mad,” The Oaks primary school head teacher Tina Jackson insisted that all buns supplied by caterers forgo the marking, which symbolizes Jesus’ cross. “For our students who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, hot cross buns are not part of their beliefs,” Jackson told Agence France-Presse. “We decided to have the cross removed in respect of their beliefs.”


From Scratch: How do you teach students to love their country when the nation in question is a violent work in progress? “Patriotic education,” as the class is known, used to revolve around the hagiographic study of Saddam Hussein, but amid the power vacuum in his wake, the uncertainty of the class subject mirrors the volatility of the country. “We have hope that the children will learn to love their country, and that this will last, but I only say I have hope. … I am not so confident,” a 6th grade teacher in Baghdad told the Christian Science Monitor, using a pseudonym to protect her anonymity. For now, the course’s textbook is sticking to the practical, encouraging students to keep their neighborhoods tidy.


It’s All Relative: Students Down Under aren’t learning much science in science class, some teachers are complaining—just “a way of knowing … constructed in a sociocultural context.” That’s the Northern Territory’s approach to the discipline, as described in its curriculum guide. Other parts of the country take only slightly different tacks. In West Australia, students are expected to learn that “aspects of scientific knowledge are constructed from a particular gender or cultural perspective.” Polysyllabics aside, critics charge, this relativistic approach is dumbing down science. “Last time I checked, Newton’s theories of motion hadn’t changed, the periodic table hasn’t changed, the basic atomic theory hasn’t changed,” Perth science teacher Marko Vojkovic told the Weekend Australian.

—Kristina Gawrgy


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Teaching Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: How Can We Help Students Feel Connected to School?
Get strategies for your struggles with student engagement. Bring questions for our expert panel. Help students recover the joy of learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

International What the Research Says How Nations Can Repair Pandemic Damage to Students' Well-Being, Trust in Government
International data suggest the pandemic has marginalized young people in many countries.
3 min read
Image of high school students working together in a school setting.
International What the Research Says Schooling in a Pandemic: How Other Countries Are Doing It
A new study highlights how instruction in 11 countries has changed following pandemic closures and outbreaks.
3 min read
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has lifted the restrictions on schools in Russia's capital, students of all grades will to return for face-to-face education after months studying remotely.
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow last January. Russian schools had relatively shorter periods of academic disruptions than other countries, a new study finds.
Pavel Golovkin/AP
International Opinion Why Other Countries Keep Outperforming Us in Education (and How to Catch Up)
Money from the American Rescue Plan could be our last chance to build the school system we need, writes Marc Tucker.
Marc Tucker
5 min read
A student climbs stacks of books to reach the top
Tatyana Pivovarova/iStock/Getty Images Plus
International Global Test Finds Digital Divide Reflected in Math, Science Scores
New data from the 2019 Trends in International Math and Science Study show teachers and students lack digital access and support.
3 min read
Image of data.