Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Tries hard. Can do better.


"Teachers using red pen to mark students' work could be harming their psyche as the colour is too aggressive, according to education strategies drafted by an Australian state government.

The "Good Mental Health Rocks" kit, which was distributed this month to about 30 schools in Queensland state, offers strategies such as "don't mark in red pen (which can be seen as aggressive) - use a different color."

Other tips include structuring time for peer tutoring every day, apologizing to students when necessary and asking students to conduct a "personal skills audit" where they focus on their individual strengths rather than their weaknesses.

The kit, designed to help Queensland teachers address mental health in the classroom, suggests social and emotional wellbeing has been linked to young people's schooling, among other things.

The education aid has sparked a row in parliament, with deputy opposition leader Mark McArdle calling it "kooky, loony, loopy lefty policies.""

- Reuters
Words fail me. The only thing that rocks is the filling of the head who thought up this rubbish.

I suppose under-lining and exclamations marks will be out of order, too.

And when these poor kids get out into the real world, who will hold their hand then?

Heads up: time to buy lavender, lime and teal coloured pens, while stocks last.


  1. Why, that's so much BS, I can't hardly start the rant!
    Best argument about it...
    Red isn't 'red' in the head.
    It's blue green.

    Perhaps it's up to you to go train your parliment, eh?
    Tell them to stare at some red lines for an hour (just like some poor student will do when he gets his paper back) after a few moments, look at a white wall....what color do you see?

    uh huh.
    That's the color your brain stores for it.
    Not near as aggressive , eh?


  2. ....well...I couldn't find red type for the last question....

  3. Nah. Me neither. But I sort of sense your colour.

  4. Why bother using a marking pen at all, regardless of its colour, when no student ever fails nowadays? I ask this question as one working at the chalkface (sorry, the electronic whiteboard interface)almost daily.

  5. Apologize to students?? What the heck? Marking in red ink is too aggressive??

    What a bunch of bull.

  6. I did a rant similar to this a while ago, about how we're wrapping kids in bubble wrap 'til they're 18 and then expecting to know (miraculously, I guess) how to act like adults and function in the real world. It's terrifying.

    As you know, I have a 9-year-old... and I absolutely believe in praise, in apologizing when I screw up, and in living by example. I also believe in never LETTING her win, in swift (and strict) punishment when she screws up, and that competition and the realization that life is NOT fair are good things. I can only hope that there are more people like me out there and fewer of the ones who don't like red ink... otherwise, I'm afraid we're screwed.

  7. Fact is nothing shows up as well as red against black and white anyway, and red's kind of cheery isn't it?

    Any kid worth their salt will perceive the bullshit and find a 'personal skills audit' totally laughable and an opportunity to take the piss. Didn't we all prefer the teachers who were no-shit? As opposed to the sadists, mind...

  8. Mum says "Oh dear - sounds like Australia is going down the same route as the UK. Be very afraid"....

    Move to France, Lee, we'd make you very welcome:)

  9. I echo Henry, above, about the way Oz is following the UK which followed the US of A.
    These poor kids will not know what has hit them when they get into the real world.
    I remember an English master we had at Grammar School - he was a right bastard, screaming at us, hitting us around the heads with books and throwing those large, heavy board rubbers at us. (We called him "Ozzy" after the poem "Ozymandias" - "whose sneer and wrinkled lip and frown of cold command...")
    And yet I learnt a lot from him and we all respected (read "feared") him.
    They would put him in chokey these days.

  10. I did get offended when I see red markings all over my work when I was a child.. but it made me grow up. That's how we learn not to make anymore mistake. Why do they want to change anything about that?

  11. Mark in pencil; the kids can erase your criticism if they don't like it.

  12. I guess caning is out of the question, too.

  13. i like purple pen :o) i wonder what's the effect of this color... :o)

  14. All of my papers were red-penned to death when I was a young scholar. No mistake was too small to go unnoticed. In an effort to dodge the "Dread Red," I learned to spell properly, write a coherent paper, and add, subtract, multiply, and divide with an acceptable degree of accuracy. I am appalled at the coddling in the school where I work that does no one any favors - not the children who must learn on their own how to discipline and correct themselves, not the adults who try to teach them without "damaging their little psyches," nor the greater world where those children will emerge ill-equipped to participate.

  15. Oh, I missed this post. I guess I wasn't paying attention!

    My report card said that alot - as well as "could try harder" .

  16. this is the first logical explanation of what happened to me in childhood. it was those damn red pens. who knew....

  17. In elementary school, I used purple or green. Today in high school, I use red.

  18. We were given a stroke or two on the palm of the hand with the edge of a ruler for misdemeanours in class. Never thought it agressive. Did it affect my mental health? Ah, that will be for others to judge.

  19. Oh no! You guys are getting as bad as parts of the U.S.

    Trophy's for every player! Especially the losers...ah, second place finishers?


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