Chauvinistic columnist: Letters, 26 January

By Readers write

The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.

'Chauvinistic' columnist's words fail to impress

Pardon my ignorance but I actually had no idea who Garth George was when I read "controversial columnist Garth George" (Bay of Plenty Times Weekend, Jan 21). Note to myself (no excuse, I have lived in New Zealand for eight years now).

Anyway, having read Monday Readers' Forum (Opinion, Jan 23) it sparked my interest and sent me rummaging through my recycling for Saturday's paper. Prior to that surge of interest, I spent all weekend at home mulching my much-needed garden, definitely no time for controversy.

Upon his conclusion to his article, George kindly offered readers an opportunity to call him a sexist pig. I actually feel that title does not suit and is actually somewhat overrated. "Ignorant", "illogical", "anti-choice", "chauvinistic", "behind in ideas" seem more fitting.

By the way, isn't George embracing liberalism by expressing his "lunatic" views in print?

I guess George is just doing his job to engage readers, may it be positive or negative, to react to his opinion. After all, that is what he gets paid for to do. Well, I actually don't know whether he gets paid or not. Maybe I should have googled his profile before writing this but, sorry, I cannot be bothered.


Learning concern

It will no doubt be seen as provocative to suggest that, as prospective teachers already hold in their heads a model of how to teach and what learning looks like before they enter any training required, it matters not a jot whether that training be six weeks, six months or six years (News, Jan 23).

For apart from adding some tutu-ing around the edges, none of the training involved alters one whit the notions of learning and teaching involved, long since acquired in an apprenticeship that's as long as has been the trainee's prior experience of education. So in that sense, it's really immaterial what length of training is required.

To cut costs, a return to something like the old pupil teacher arrangement might be contemplated.

Far from being facetious here, the serious side of this is that it's those previously acquired and well-learnt notions are what Nuthall has found are making the learning process the inherently ineffective thing it is.

It's this very inefficient way learning gets done that's at the heart of many of the troubles education experiences, both causing the disparities we hear so much about and hindering their proper remediation.

It is high time this training issue was examined by an independent commission that has access to efficacy research such as that produced by Nuthall and John Hattie.


Comply or move

So ex-councillor Mike Baker has jumped into the fray yet again, advocating a change of rules to the RMA consents for Baypark Speedway. Strangely enough, all the other major speedway venues in New Zealand seem to be able to comply with similar restrictions.

Just to reiterate, in 1998 and facing strong submissions against the speedway being located at Te Maunga, Bay of Plenty Speedway came up with its own specific rules to comply, the main two being strict noise levels and a firm finishing time of not later than 10pm.

The evidence currently shows TCVL don't want to comply as there have been at least three time overruns this season. If speedway can't comply then close it down, get out of Baypark and relocate somewhere else well away from the residential areas.

There is no reason why this activity should be sited anywhere near the adjoining residential developments that were all in place and completed well before Baypark Speedway opened in October 2001. No one should have to put up with this nuisance for the sake of a few petrol-heads every fortnight.

Speedway and TCVL know the RMA consent rules, so simply comply with them or ship out of the place.


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- Bay of Plenty Times

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