@1 When teaching remote I was a liaison person for David …

Comment on Indigenous education review: no more ‘biliteracy’; boarding for secondary students by Howard Davies.

@1
When teaching remote I was a liaison person for David Odling-Smee and David Holt when they were at the Yirara helm in the late 70s and early 80s.
I recall minimum entry standard for any remote student was year 4 literacy. They were pretty strict about it.
I was a classroom teacher at Yirara from 2003 to 2005. David Rose and Sue-Ann Tickoft convened a Literacy Scaffolding program ostensibly to remediate widespread illiteracy within the teenage student population. All the teachers, including me, were committed, diligent and caring.
Professional teachers work hard with whatever standard of skills they encounter. That is a minimum professional requirement. I have observed that people who could not teach Aboriginal children with care and creativity and commitment could not ultimately succeed as teachers anywhere.
Nevertheless, because Yirara frequently tests its students according to Commonwealth requirements in basic literacy and numeracy skills, evidences of successes or objective skill trends are presumably in the public domain.

Howard Davies Also Commented

Indigenous education review: no more ‘biliteracy’; boarding for secondary students
@1
I understand that many distinguished people belonging to many distinguished organisations appraise education in and about the outback, even as far away as Sydney.
However having just referred to the 1998 Collins report, non indigenous students in urban schools achieved national reading benchmarks of 82% and 78% in years 3 and 5 respectively against same age indigenous students in non urban schools of 6% and 4% in the same grades. Any success progress on that situation?
The remote Aboriginal students I taught 30 years ago had better literacy and numeracy skills than remote students I taught more than a generation later.
One often lauded school (according to its own cultural story written by the non indigenous career variety) had one whole student with a reading age of 6 according to the base line data at the time.
And Bob Collins made a no brainier point at a seminar I attended once, that anybody without at least year 9 literacy and numeracy skills had no functional control over their own life. If that was my child I’d call it failure.


Indigenous education review: no more ‘biliteracy’; boarding for secondary students
@4
“the skilled educators-practitioners with a proven record of success” (sic)
Question: What is the success and what is the proven record of it?
“policy makers and providers with the tools and mechanisms to Deliver the Goods.” (sic)
Question: What policy makers making what policies delivering what goods with what tools and mechanisms?


Recent Comments by Howard Davies

Knock-out concussion causes irreversible brain damage
In Central Australia, drugs and alcohol cause the most non reversible brain injury, including resulting domestic king hits and car crashes.
There is a school of thought that boxing is a mug’s game. However, otherwise lethargic and traumatised youth have gained self-respect and self-control in a belonging context of controlled community, where they learn their own limits and become mugs no longer.
I would argue that bloody cage bouts are ghoulish and pointless but boxing has a respected and distict safe place for some people.


Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
Just read my own comment. The jibe he used was “go halves in a coloured kid” not “white kid”.
The first time the jibe is given in the book is over the spectator fence when he was playing for Pioneers and being given some abuse.
When accused on ABC radio of mooning a CLP polster at a polling booth during a Territory election once, Tracker claimed in self-defence that he had been having trouble with the button on his pants.


Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
I read the book and loved Tracker’s resilience, engagement and hilarity.
He was prepared to talk to anybody and relate anywhere with unarmed truth. He got a lot of things moving.
Rosa Parks changed segregation in the US too, ostensibly because when she was arrested on that bus she had contacts across the social, status and racial divides who were prepared to support her.
Tracker Tilmoth operated similarly with commitment, shrewdness, gusto and panache.
Anyone who can ask Bronwyn Bishop if she wants to go halves in in a white kid and get a laugh from her has something special. The big wheelie bin jibe at the funeral after he was shafted for a senate spot was pretty funny too.
I used to get him mixed up with David Ross on the radio. Like Herod I was confused by a lot of things Tracker said but I liked to listen to him.


Michele Castagna, 1944 – 2016
My favourite time with Michelle (among many others) was at one of our Alice Chorale celebrations after a performance.
She had two celebration helpers either side of her. One held her cigarette on one side, the other a glass of red on the other.
I know how important I was to Michelle. So did everyone else she talked to.
If there is great, Michelle will always be a great Northern Territorian.


Time server Conlan gets government junket to Germany
Interesting reminiscing about dear old Dennis, Ian Sharp.
The last time I was spoken to by Dennks was at a wedding at the Date Farm. I found out that Martyn Bryant was a patsy and that the Twin Towers was a funded Jewish International conspiracy too.
Dennis was clever enough to provide free pancakes for free votes on election day. A sad blight on his constituents.


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