33 Replies to “Peter Liljedahl Empowers Our Leaders”

        1. I reckon all we need to do is go back through our scope and sequence documents and change – ‘scuse me: transform – every instance of the word “lesson” to the phrase “rich learning task”.

          Cash or cheque, I don’t mind. Thanks.

      1. I used to work in health care and there were often conferences for 2 days that had this sort of price tag. Once I wrote to the organisers to complain about the cost. They said that they had to pay speakers a substantial amount of money. My reply was that the speakers were all on good salaries anyway and, I suppose, would be paid my their employers on the days of the conference. Sure you might pay for their expenses (travel, hotels) but I could not reconcile that with the fees that they were charging. I suppose that the employers of attendees would pay, but I would not have the gall to ask my employer to pay out this sort of money. BTW, I also object to conferences on education being held during term time.

  1. Proverbs 21:20 (of the King James Version of the Bible) – A fool and their money are soon parted.
    David Hannum – There’s a sucker born every minute.

    The gravy train depends on and exploits these truisms.

    1. When I was still a high school teacher, we had to regularly drink the Kool-Aid, however unwillingly, in order to maintain teacher registration with NESA.

        1. Hobson’s choice.
          Henry Ford – A customer can have a car painted any color he wants as long as it’s black.

          1. But is that true? Did NESA demand that NSW teachers buy a Ford?

            I know plenty of Victorian teachers who worry about PD being formally acceptable, and keep a diary and whatnot. I’m not convinced that any of this is necessary to satisfy VIT.

            1. If I may interject (and in doing so I’ve blown May).
              I can only comment on Victoria. Many schools force staff to attend (1) and (2) below under the guise that it is needed to satisfy VIT requirements. But in reality it is simply to serve someone’s agenda. It is in this context that I view the comment that many staff are (repeatedly) forced to buy a black Ford. And it ain’t even a decent black Ford.

              In my mind there are three types of PD, all of which count towards satisfying VIT requirements:

              (1) External PD that a teacher requests to attend. The subject of this blog is an example. Another example is MAV workshops.

              (2) Whole school (or department wide) internal PD. Usually done either on student free days or scheduled into the school timetable. This PD is delivered either by an external provider (so it’s similar to (1) except you don’t get a choice to attend or not) or a member of school staff. For public schools, the DET has compulsory training modules (such as Ergonomic Awareness training) and these also count as acceptable PD.

              (3) Activities such as writing or proof reading assessment tasks, staff meetings, collaborative lesson planning, peer observation, professional reading etc. It is reasonable to argue that corresponding with the VCAA about mistakes on exams and exam reports also constitutes acceptable PD. As does reading and contributing to blogs (such as this one). The important thing is to maintain a record, whether it be a diary or within a VIT portal. And yes Terry, we know exactly what you’re going to say.

              There are various agendas served by each of the above, apart from the obvious gravy train agendas. (2) is often used by some staff to pad out their CV (they’ve introduced a whole school initiative) and tick a box to facilitate climbing the greasy pole. Leadership also loves this because it has to tick boxes such as ‘Building capacity within the system’. Everyone wins except the captive teacher audience forced to buy yet another black Ford (aka another PD on positive education, literacy (*) etc) from the pole climber. I also have a theory that (2) is used by micromanaging school leadership to maintain further control over it’s staff and let staff know who’s the boss.

              (3) is not widely known or promoted. Leadership in many schools \displaystyle seem not to be aware of it. Although I suspect this apparent lack of awareness is feigned in order to serve its agenda. People with agendas served by (1) and (2) like it that way. (3) is certainly not in the interests of the gravy train.

              Yes, teachers can push back against this. But unfortunately teachers typically prefer to row with the current rather than against the current.

              VIT audits do occur. Given how the VIT behaves, it is very reasonable for a teacher to worry about satisfying the VIT. And so teachers are putty in the hands of those with agendas.

              * I find it hilarious that at some schools running literacy PD (mandated by the DET in public schools), teachers are unable to write assessments using correct grammar, punctuation, formatting or wording. To me, this says a lot about how totally useless this PD is.

              1. I have been audited by VIT. Did I write about that? In any case, the audit was pure ritual. I don’t believe VIT will ever gonna cause a teacher proper trouble over PD. They’re loathed enough as it is, and they know it.

                And BiB’s point (3) is very important, and probably even broader than he suggests. Teachers should have zero concern for whether they’re meeting PD requirements.

                1. Thanks, Marty. I’m not sure you’ve explicitly written about your VIT audit but it sounds like it was a fairly painless process.

                  Re: (3). Yes, I think any teacher performing their duties in a competent manner will automatically meet their PD requirements. But fear, the “Just in case” mentality and good old FOMO is powerful. Particularly when it’s reinforced by those driving the gravy train.

                  1. Huh. I thought I’d written about it, but I can’t see it. I’ll add it to the list.

                    In any case, it is absurd to be fearful of an audit. As you note, any halfway attentive teacher will automatically fulfil the PD requirements. But even suppose VIT declares that a teacher’s PD is not up to scratch? What are they gonna do? The very worst is to go “tut tut tut”, mandate some idiotic PD homework, and that’d be it.

                    VIT is sound and fury, and nothing else.

            2. Maybe keeping a diary etc is not necessary to satisfy VIT – but it may be sufficient. As one who is new to teaching in schools, I log all my PD on the VIT portal. This includes on-line modules through the Dept Education, PD events at school, attending conferences, and my reading. I do this as soon as I have completed something so that I don’t forget the details. I have clocked up more than 30 hours in the 2023-2024 year which started in October. To be honest, it does not take long to log this.

                1. It also unnecessarily provides extra personal information. I refuse to do this for several reasons including as a matter of principle.

                  (I know it’s only a small drop in the data collection ocean. I’m fine if you all laugh at me).

                2. I support BiB – our world is full on insane bureaucracy.

                  The trick with insane bureaucracy is to be seen to satisfy it while actually pursuing worthwhile objectives. Keeping a diary (or compiling it from memory if asked) will tick the box.

                  The key here is to remember that VIT has to be ‘seen’ to be doing something (hence SAC audits). Performative accountability is what the world is ever more about in a world of too much supposed ‘transparency’.

                  Providing the veneer of meeting their requirements is simply insurance in a crazy world. VIT is unlikely to declare that a teacher’s PD is not up to scratch – but if you haven’t got a list, well that’s a real issue. Every so often they may pick a case to make an example of someone to prove they are doing their job (whatever it is).

                  1. You support BiB? Or Terry?

                    I can see no value in any of this, not even a list. You have a 1/500 chance of being audited in a given year. And even if they audit, so what? It’s trivial to dig up enough evidence of PD that satisfies their necessarily meaningless criteria.

                    1. It was BiB whose analysis I thought was good. However you are probably right on digging up the evidence if necessary. Will be interested when you write it up.

  2. Apparently he’s a “world-renowned mathematician”:

    Peter Liljedahl brings Thinking Classrooms to ESD 113

    I don’t see anything here
    https://www.sfu.ca/education/faculty-profiles/pliljedahl/background/education.html
    that qualifies him as a mathematician (let alone a “world-renowned mathematician”).

    We’ve seen what happens when these self-styled ‘mathematicians’, let alone ‘world renowned mathematicians’, get given the keys. Fraudulent or fair game as part of the nudge-nudge wink-wink advertising hyperbole? (Except what happens when people think it’s real?)

    1. Of course Liljedahl is only a “mathematician” in the sense that any of these maths ed clowns is a “mathematician”: that is, not at all. But, as nauseating as this claim is, it’s par for the idiotic course.

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