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A fascinating read about an historic period in NZ education policy in the early 1960s, unearthed by the wonderful Kiwi Research Information Service’s recent items RSS feed.

The Currie Commission and Report on Education in New Zealand 1960-1962

The interaction and networking of key participants is studied and the important inter-relationship between central bureaucratic interventions and powerful educational pressure group activity points to the continuing operational success of central government processes. The often competing forces of provincialism and centralism in New Zealand education underlie many of the conflicts surrounding educational change. Religion, race, gender and class are forces that continually interact to create legitimation crises. The governmental attempt to minimise or at least rationalize these socially contested differences in education from 1960-1962 is the subject of this thesis. An analysis is made of the process by which public dissatisfaction regarding education in the fifties and sixties was mediated and largely marginalised by the educational bureaucracy. This is done by a thorough examination of the interaction of pressure groups, unions, media and governmental agencies during the two year submissions to the Commission on Education 1962. The distinction between the commission’s report and the submissions and interrogations leading up to the report is important, as the primary data extracted from the primary resource material in the submissions, at times, contradicts the departmental view as expressed in the report itself.


Long time no chat with Teemu Leinonen. Tonight he skyped me out of the blue and in no time has me signed up to Jaiku – another group IM system, but seems to have more features than Twitter such as intergration with mobile phones..

We also got to chatting about various stuff in the world, flicking links to movies back and forth before we settled down to watch the first part of the BBC series Century of the Self. More info about this BBC series here.

Its another very thought provoking film in what seems to be a series of stuff I’m just happening across, such as Newman’s History of Oil and Zeitgeist. Apart from being interesting in that this BBC series seems to support in some way the general ideas coming out of the more “conspiracy” minded films like Zeitgeist and History of Oil, Teemu and I kept the skype chatgoing through out the 1 hour movie. We chatted to each other, summarised what was being said, grabbed links to some of the names etc. It was quite an enjoyable way to watch this film.

Here’s some of the transcript: [10:42:12 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I am watching the movie too.
[10:42:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: ๐Ÿ™‚ me too
[10:42:33 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I have this idea of having a TV with chat. We can do some quick user testing in here.
[10:42:44 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: right ๐Ÿ™‚
[10:43:27 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: I have often tried to talk to my grand father about his life – but he does not talk about himself too well
[10:44:28 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: Where did he grow up?
[10:44:35 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: Australia
[10:44:52 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: through Depression WW2 etc
[10:45:48 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: My grandfather wrote down his memories.
[10:45:56 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: good man
[10:46:34 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: was common to keep journals in the 18 19th century hey
[10:46:35 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I have this plan of “digitalizing” them. They are written with a typewriter.
[10:46:42 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: great
[10:53:50 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: hmm cigarettes
[10:54:02 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: torches of freedom
[10:54:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: bernays takes credit?
[10:54:27 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: dunno about that/..
[10:54:37 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: Bernays
[10:55:23 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: Bernays = emotional connection to objects
[10:55:32 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: emotional
[10:56:18 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: I think functional virtues will come back
[10:56:30 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says:
[10:56:46 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: needs to desire culture
[10:57:03 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: does this reflect a European experience?
[10:57:43 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: emotional connection to objects is good if the objects are good. ๐Ÿ™‚
[10:57:54 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: ah ha ๐Ÿ™‚
[10:58:18 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I don’t have anything agains good propaganda if the products are good.
[10:58:50 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: cigarettes – torches of freedom – money – wealth – jobs = good in 1920
[10:59:03 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: bad today
[10:59:12 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: hmm.. well…good for whom?
[10:59:32 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: women freedom?
[10:59:39 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: good point.
[11:00:30 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: if you could jump right from the “smoking” to the “torches of freedom” and the rest will still follow it would be much better.
[11:01:06 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: smoking – torces of freedom – money – wealth – jobs.
[11:01:33 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: well, money and jobs are good for others
[11:01:44 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: wealth for the nation/community
[11:02:01 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: women freedom means money for women.
[11:02:02 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: but all this just to question the notion of “good”
[11:02:36 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: “…and everybody was happy.”
[11:03:10 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: this bernays is a demon
[11:03:13 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: ๐Ÿ™‚
[11:03:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: he has horns
[11:03:28 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: hah..
[11:04:35 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: bernays and co strike me as gloting arrogants
[11:04:46 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: or just american>
[11:06:37 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: freuds thinking = christian belief of inate sinfulness of men
[11:06:40 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: ?
[11:08:01 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: the mob and web2…
[11:08:09 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: unconsciousness = innate sin.
[11:08:17 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: hmm
[11:09:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: “engineered concent” – Bernays.. later Naom Chompsky
[11:10:55 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: Actually I mean: freud’s unconscious mind = the christian innate sin.
[11:11:42 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: right
[11:14:54 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: It seems to be that Europe exports “ideas” to US and when they are “imported” back to Europe it is a catastrophe.
[11:15:00 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: need to watch Zeitgeist for an idea about why the depression happened
[11:15:27 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: indeed
[11:16:00 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: …just waiting when the nuclear bomb will be finally “imported” back to Europe.
[11:16:24 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: freedom is impossible ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
[11:22:41 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: on there is a good film called Despotism – 1947 or something..
[11:25:28 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: yes. I have used the Despotism in some classes.
[11:26:51 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says:
[11:36:01 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: not as active citizens but passive consumers
[11:36:15 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: web2 = active citizens?
[11:36:24 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: hmm..
[11:40:06 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: oh no.. the CIA
[11:40:15 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: Right..
[11:40:34 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: good film
[11:40:43 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: thanks to the google pirate

I finally made it up to Dave Wiley in my terribly over crowded news reader… only to be let down by him ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I found a volley of blogged considerations and thoughts going on over at Dave’s blog (all these links so far) about the very same issues with Share Alike restrictions that I attempted to raise with the same network more than 2 months ago.

I blogged about it, I argued til blue in the face with the Wikiversity, Wikieducator and TALO crowd, I emailed and commented in on Dave asking for his thoughts on the issue as I prepared the article, I even spoke about these concerns at the same conference on the same day as David. But somehow all this has missed his valuable commentary, nor have any of the comments to David’s recently expressed concerns about the Share Alike license referred to my work on the issue… these are my peers, the ones I like to think I am connected to in some way, clearly the issue interests them – just not when they are raised by me…ย  its about now that I sink into a state of pathetic, self loathing depression as I realise I truly am just a raving ozzy living with a bunch of non plussed kiwis, and that I’m doomed to talk to myself and go crazy hermit doing so.

I’m an outsider, alienated, incomprehensible, irrelevant and dismissed by the ones I respect the most, and remembered for the contributions I like least.

I’m having a great old time with Slideshare’s new audio synch feature. Have been reviving old presentations from 2005. Here’s ye old Networked Learning with a nice soundtrack from Melissa Welch.

Bill Kerr perplexes me. A voice in a growing chorus of non specific Web2 in education criticism, his post Don’t be too proud of Web2 has me a little confused. On the one hand he is calling for deeper thought, but on the other is reluctant to model it in this brief critique and uses the throw away language that he holds others to task for. In his observations of the web2 movement being a bit full of itself:

Global village idiocy, like the uncritical promotion by some of conspiracy theories of history on the TALO list

And that’s why I’m writing up Bill’s post. He’s talking about me there. Me and a couple of others in TALO that found Zeitgeist to be a film worth considering. Bill came in on that TALO thread and dismissed the film as conspiracy theory and reckoning that the US leaders are not that organised and that history is not that simple, but he didn’t try to back that up and has only watched half the movie selectively…

I’m not defending the movie, I still have little idea if the claims in the movie are true or not, that doesn’t matter to me as much as Bill’s all over dismissiveness. Its not village idiocy to want to discuss the film. Surviving the deflation of Bill’s mere conspiracy theory, the counter was to talk about the film in terms of it being a device for motivating inquiry learning or encouraging questioning generally. I’ve started a wikieducator page around the movie for just that very purpose. If Bill’s not energised enough by the movie to start looking into its claims, then maybe the global village will have a go.. Off list Sean and I had a go at the Wikipedia bureaucrats who deleted the movie’s article, which is one of many many topics that can spin out of Zeitgeist discussions…

I find it perplexing that of the hundred or more claims in the movie, and the thousands of details behind Web2 really, that Bill is calling others proud fools… and being dismissive without being specific. Bill?

A little birdy dropped this in my email recently. Its a job ad for NSW DET. Can you imagine the sorded characters they are going to get knocking on their recruitment doors this week!! Quick! Get your kid into a homeschool fast.

Dear everyone

We are urgently seeking a nominee at SEO or CEO level, to take up a full time role starting ASAP for up to 6 months to authorise the filtering of websites as part of the AIBE project.

The person would need to understand the educational /delivery implications of blocking sites and be able to liaise effectively with relevant staff to ensure a decision is made that is consistent with policy and addresses TAFE NSW delivery needs. More details about the roles are listed below.

I’m advised that funding is available from TOL2 for this position.

Would you let me know by COB Monday 11 Dec of a nominee? Thank you


The person would be the TAFE representative on a Team involved in a range of activities including:

    Looking at each request to block web sites and make an assessment as to the educational value of blocking each web site. In the case where it would be appropriate for a web site to be blocked for certain year groups or to be blocked for all those not studying a particular subject, they will block the site for those in the appropriate year groups or subject groups.

    Looking at each request to unblock web sites and make an assessment as to the value of unblocking the site. Where a site is educationally suited to be unblocked for a particular year or subject group, they will add that site to the allow list for the appropriate year and/or subject groups.

    Review overall filtering profiles for year and educational subject groupings to ensure that they are appropriate to the needs of students and staff.

    Review the operation of existing email filtering and โ€œbanned words and phrasesโ€ to ensure that the levels of filtering are appropriate to the requirements of staff and students.

    Review the current browsing filtering to ensure that the current โ€œbannedโ€ search terms are appropriate to the requirements of staff and students.

    In consultation with TAFE Curriculum Centres ensure that access to web sites identified in new curriculum material is accessible to staff and students

    Research and provide advice and comment on future filtering requirements for DET to ensure that the most appropriate levels of filtering are available to ensure the best possible educational outcomes for students.

    Liaise with the Child Protection and Audit Units in relation to the levels of filtering that are set and to ensure that emerging issues based on legislation and incidents that may have occurred within DET and the wider education community are addressed.

Kind regards


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