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Communication, education and language

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New Zealand Communication, Education and Language

Crisis in New Zealand Schools, The by Martin Hames.  ISBN 0864692625.   Published by Dunmore Press. Recommended retail price $17.95.

The Crisis in New Zealand Schools is a broadside fired by an education traditionalist at the contemporary educational establishment, and at policies that, in the author’s view, are seriously damaging New Zealand school children. In a book that combines wicked humor with careful analysis, Martin Hames attacks the philosophies that have increasingly been creeping into our classrooms, our school curricula, the NCEA, and what he sees as the monopoly-like nature of our state schools, which shield them from competition and hinder parents from exercising genuine choice.

Using jargon-free language the author takes us inside what he terms the Alice-in-Wonderland-World of contemporary ‘child-centered’ education. He writes: ‘It is a world of contradictions, role reversals, distortions and surreal jumps in logic. It is a world in which the child almost becomes father to the man. The more one delves into the philosophies driving education today, the more one begins to appreciate that they do not just represent a retreat from teaching; they represent a retreat from thinking. They represent a retreat from Western civilization itself.’ Soft cover, 205 pages. Published in 2002.

Culture Counts; Changing Power Relations in Education by Russell Bishop and Ted Glynn. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693516. Recommended retail price $30.

This book develops the idea that educational policies and practices in most Western countries were developed (and continue to be developed) within a framework of colonialism. The dominant educational culture tends to steam roll over minorities. The central thesis is that the classroom is a place where young people’s sense-making processes is incorporated and enhanced, where the existing knowledge of young people is seen as acceptable and where the teacher interacts with students in a way that knowledge is co-created. It avoids the commonly prevailing view of knowledge as something that the teacher makes sense of and then passes on to students. While centered primarily on Maori culture, this book is very relevant to any teacher whose classes include cultural minorities. Soft cover, 217 pages.

Education & Society in Aotearoa New Zealand: An Introduction to the Social and Policy Contexts of Schooling and Education by Paul Adams, John Clark, John Codd, Anne-Marie O’Neill, Roger Openshaw and Hine Waitere-Ang. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693702. Recommended retail price $42.

Why do some children fail at school while others succeed? What role do gender and ethnicity play in education? Can teachers really make a difference? Who should decide what is in the curriculum? Why do we have exams?

Beginning with a broad introduction to the nature of society, and what schools are for, this timely book goes on to consider the hidden, and not so hidden, structures and processes of education. After examining various ongoing struggles over curriculum, credentialling and administration, it concludes by analyzing a range of theories which purport to explain differences in educational achievement.

This book has been designed for students studying education for the first time, for those involved in education in various areas (such as teachers aides and members of Boards of Trustees) and will be of particular interest to parents who would like to ensure their children’s educational success. It is essential reading for those wishing to understand fully the relationship between education and society in Aotearoa New Zealand. Soft cover, 326 pages, published in 2000.

In Other Words!: A dictionary of expressions used in New Zealand compiled by Lynn E. Grant and Gaylene A. Devlin. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693303. Recommended retail price $20.

This dictionary contains hundreds of idiomatic expressions used in everyday New Zealand speech. It uses examples in contexts which clearly show the meaning of the expressions.

In Other Words! is an invaluable resource for students learning English at intermediate and advanced levels. Soft cover, 209 pages. Recommended retail price $20, our price $18.50. Free postage.

It’s All Done With Mirrors by Geoff Lealand and Helen Martin. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693982. Recommended retail price $25.

Because we have all watched such a lot of television, we tend to regard ourselves as experts on the subject. This book, written by two leading figures in Television Studies in New Zealand, argues that to be fully informed and educated about this most important aspect of New Zealand life, we need to know a lot more.

Taking readers through ways of understanding and studying television (and its relationship to other media), the authors provide the concepts, terms and structural approaches which are essential knowledge for both students and teachers. Because of its emphasis on New Zealand, this book informs both the Visual Language strand of the New Zealand English Curriculum, and the burgeoning area of Media Studies.

There is also a great deal here of interest to the general reader, in the form of details about how television works, the role of the television audience, and why we have the kind of television we have in New Zealand. The authors draw on their wide experiences of teaching, writing, researching and working in the New Zealand media. Their intention is to increase critical understanding and appreciation of television, and to share the pleasure in knowing why it matters.

Geoff Lealand is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Screen & Media Studies, University of Waikato. Helen Martin is a Senior Lecturer at the Auckland campus of the New Zealand Broadcasting School. Soft cover, 283 pages. Published in 2001.

Learners with special needs in Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Deborah Fraser, Roger Moltzen and Ken Ryba. ISBN 0864693613. Published by Dunmore Press. Recommended retail price $X.

This second edition of Learners with special needs in Aotearoa New Zealand is a comprehensive text that emphasises inclusive, learner-centred, needs-based education. The authors are experts in their respective fields and they draw upon a range of sources to elucidate policies, principles and practices regarding the teaching of students with special needs.

The book provides an ideal resource for courses in special education and teachers in schools. A unique feature of the book is the pertinent emphasis on New Zealand research and perspectives alongside relevant and comprehenisve international material. Case studies are frequently incoprorated to provide examples for the theoretical constructs as valuable stories in their own right.

Learners with special needs in Aotearoa New Zealand is conveniently organised ito three main sections: The Development of Inclusion; Partnerships for Inclusion; and Including all Learners. This structure of the material enables readers to gain an overview of the current approaches and issues in special education. Soft cover, 536 pages. Published in 2000.

Learning to Read in Aotearoa New Zealand: a collaboration between early childhood educators, families and schools edited by Paul Adams and Heather Ryan. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864694024 $35.95

There have been many texts concerning learning to read in New Zealand. However, this is the first to have primarily focused on the critical interrelationship between what parents do, the literacy practices in early childhood settings, and the teaching of reading in schools. Each area in isolation plays an important role, but together they create a powerful mix for ensuring early reading success.

This book is organized into four key sections: the theoretical, social and policy contexts of reading; literacy practices in early childhood settings and homes; reading, and doing well at school; and helping children with reading difficulties.
This is essential reading for those wishing to know more about where reading is headed in the future, what early childhood settings can do to support literacy, how schools should teach reading, and what parents can do to ensure their child learns to read successfully. Soft cover, 350 pages. Published in 2002.

New Gobbledygook, The: a New Zealand dictionary and guidebook by Peter Isaac. Published by IPL Transpress. ISBN: 0908876157. Recommended retail price $15.95.

If you have ever read a government press release or report, management consultant’s report or a recruitment advertisement and been perplexed by bamboozling language, wondering what they are really saying, your are not alone!

The first part of this book is a dictionary of over 700 fashionable words, terms and phrases that now have new, often coded, meanings (plus some that are now passé); the second part of the book provides translations of actual documents, notices and proclamations! Simultaneously entertaining and scary, this book is a must-read for all New Zealanders who want to understand the language of government and those who cater to it.

Peter Isaac is president of the National Press Club. His previous book was a textbook on computing. Soft cover, 208 pages. Published in 2004.

New Zealand Education and Treatyism by Walter Christie.  ISBN 0473053918. Published by Wyvern Press. Recommended retail price $18.95.

New Zealand Education and Treatyism concerns the partisan role played in academia, in particular by revisionist university historians and lecturers in Maori Studies. We see how this affects students in teaching, journalism, law, police, nursing and elsewhere, how pupils in every kind of school are brainwashed, how the public are misled, and we also learn of the erosive role political parties continue to play in the support of treatyism in education.

Previous books by the same author: Treaty Issues (1997) concerns the actualities of the Treaty of Waitangi as distinct from what political parties in the twentieth century have made of it. A Race Apart (1998) looks at how treaty movements originated after 1940, grew and combined and became entrenched as a parliamentary phenomenon in modern times. Soft cover, 130 pages. Published in 1999.

Reading Race, The: how every child can learn to read by Donna Awatere Huata. Published by Huia Publishers. ISBN 1877283673. Recommended retail price $17.95.

At least one-fifth of New Zealand children are very poor readers – and that’s a conservative estimate. Compare that to the figures in the US. This result can be related directly to the ‘whole language’ approach to reading instruction, which has dominated in schools since the 1970s. Under this approach, it is assumed that children will pick up reading by being exposed to books, relying heavily on prediction and guessing strategies. Although the best readers can adapt to its questionable methods, this system disadvantages children from poor, uneducated and non-European homes.

In The Reading Race: How every child can learn to read Donna Awatere Huata exposes the inadequacy of the present system through both research evidence and people’s own agonizing experiences. Her compelling analysis shows how the system and its supporters have failed our most needy children. She also proposes a clear, effective solution: an approach which enables New Zealand to address the tragedy that has been inflicted on our youngest generations so they truly become a nation of readers.

The career of Donna Awatere Huata (MA Hons, Dip. Educationaly Psychology, Dip. Teaching, Dip. Film Production) spans a wide range of sectors and activities, including 10 years as an educational psychologist in Otara and work with her Hastings community in home-based remedial reading. She has also been active in Maori and feminist issues, film-making and running her own business. In 1996 she became a member of Parliament for ACT New Zealand. She initiated the Parliamentary Education and Science Select Committee Inquiry into Reading which highlighted many of the flaws in the present system of reading instruction. Soft cover, 118 pages. Published in 2002.

Right to Read: An Open Letter to Teachers by Harry Hood. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693788. Recommended retail price $18.

In this book Harry Hood explores some of the issues facing teachers as they endeavor to tackle the everyday problems encountered in teaching children to read. This is a practical guide on how best to use resources and other types of reading activity to provide interesting and effective classroom programs.

Harry Hood is a highly respected New Zealand educationist. He was an education adviser for many years and now teaches at the Dunedin College of Education. He has deep knowledge of the major reading resources used in New Zealand classrooms, such as Ready to Read, and how these can be used for optimum benefit to children. Soft cover, 103 pages, published in 2000.

Troubled Times: Academic Freedom in New Zealand edited by Rob Crozier. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693710. Recommended retail price $20.

University autonomy and academic freedom are becoming regulated by new priorities, principles and mechanisms as government regulates to cut costs and fosters “market” determination of what are relevant functions and outcomes of education. The ‘critic and conscience’ role of the university is under attack, and the vision of academic freedom as a vital investment in a democratic future is becoming blurred in a seemingly unending series of reviews, funding crises, structural upheaval and philosophical challenges.

This book arose from a report on academic freedom in New Zealand commissioned by the Association of University Staff in 1999. The AUS contracted Dr. Donald Savage, a Canadian higher education consultant who had previously worked with UNESCO on academic freedom, to carry out a survey on the situation in New Zealand universities. Dr. Savage’s analysis resulted in a number of recommendations that New Zealand universities and their staff must address.

Additional insightful contributions to the book are made by Jane Kelsey, Kathie Irwin and Sir Kenneth Keith.

Rob Crozier is the Executive Director of the Association of University Staff of New Zealand (inc.), a position he has held since 1979. From 1975-79 he was an Assistant Registrar in the Staffing Section of the University of Otago. His involvement with academic freedom issues in New Zealand’s universities began with the reform process that followed the election of the Labour Government in 1984. In a 1985 submission, the Association submitted that … Unless academics are free to publish the results of their research and make public comment their areas of expertise without fear of reprisal, the very essence of a university system is lost. Soft cover, 302 pages, published in 2000.

Vying for Our Children: the ideological struggle for hearts and minds by Paul Henderson. ISBN 0473095807. Published by the Maxim Institute. Recommended retail price $17.95

Vying For Our Children takes a timely and critical look at New Zealand’s school curricula and examines the very roots of the philosophies that underpin them. It shows how a number of ideologies compete to influence educational policy and curricular content, and clearly identifies the influence of each. Paul Henderson shows how traditional values have been largely swept aside in an unholy alliance between economic reductionism and neo-Marxism, and calls for a revised curriculum which panders less to transient fashions and social engineering. The book concludes with some thought-provoking recommendations and is essential reading for all who are seriously interested in today’s key issues in education.

“At last, a book on New Zealand education which does not shrink away from the hard questions… This book deserves serious consideration from all thinking New Zealander.” -- Allan Peachey, Principal, Rangitoto College

“It provides an incisive and invaluable critique of the strengths and weaknesses of our curricular documents. A ‘must read’ for educators.” – Neil Riley, HoD English at Southland Boys’ High School and Chairman of the New Zealand Foundation for Character Education

“Vying for our Children is challenging and provocative.” – Roger Moses, Headmaster, Wellington College

Paul Henderson is a writer and researcher for Maxim Institute. He was born in the UK, educated at Ampleforth College and is a graduate of Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities. He has lived and taught in Africa, Europe and Asia. Paul is a New Zealand citizen and married with three daughters.

Soft cover, 221 pages. Published in 2003.

What’s News? edited by Judy McGregor and Margie Comrie. ISBN 0864694067. Published by Dunmore Press. Recommended retail price $21.95.

Journalism in New Zealand is facing a rising tide of discontent. As never before, the public is questioning the function and integrity of a commercialized new media. In the scramble for readers, audiences and profits, sensational, scurrilous and downright sloppy journalism is growing. Yet young people entering the profession are better educated than ever and we see frequent examples of investigative and authentic journalism. The challenges are enormous, but journalism is not beyond reclaim.

In What’s News? Brian Edwards, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Ranginui Walker, Al Morrison, Michael Field and Jim Tully, along with other leading journalists and academics, debate the issues. Read them on politics and the media, ethics, checkbook journalism, infotainment and spin, ownership and control, the changes in crime and sports reporting, and the bad news about Maori and Pacific Island coverage. Soft cover, 284 pages. Published in 2002.


Click on links below for related books

Developing Scenario-Based Learning edited by Edward Errington

Early Childhood Literacy Handbook, The New Zealand: Practical Literacy Ideas for Early Childhood Centres by Judy Hamer and Paul Adams

Ethical Teacher, The by Ivan Snook

Learning through Storytelling: Using Reflection and Experience In Higher Education Contexts by Janice McDrury and Maxine Alterio

Observation: A Tool for Learning by Caryl Hamer

Professional Practice of Teaching, The (2nd edition) edited by Clive McGee and Deborah Fraser

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