Education, creativity, life and death by Angela Caldin

I was sad to see that Sir Ken Robinson, educationalist, author and speaker, had died on 21 August 2020. One of his core beliefs was that education should encourage creativity rather than stifle it and his career was focussed on unlocking the creative energy of both people and organisations. I remember a few years ago watching his TED talk ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ and finding it both inspirational and funny. Apparently, Sir Ken was the most watched speaker in TED’s history and this talk was viewed online over 60 million times and… Read More

Varsity blues by Trevor Plumbly

On our annual visit to Auckland University’s Visual Science Faculty, five of us ‘blindies’ do a Q&A panel session with students as part of low vision day. I love these days; I can’t see the faces, but the energy in the theatre is contagious. However, the warm fuzzies cool down after a couple of days and I get whimsical. As a lad I never had a serious education; the income from a paper round was deemed more important to the family than a structured mind. So, ill-equipped and a little resentful, I… Read More

My kingdom for a moral compass or Will I ever stop being naughty? By Emily Smart

Crime and punishment My six year old son Rudy came home last night with a letter he had written at school that I had to sign. I didn’t know what he was talking about until he broke (it didn’t take much persuasion), confessing that he had been naughty in class and his teacher had made him write a letter as his punishment. I read the letter, the gist of which was that he had put pen on his friend Roman’s ‘teeshert’ and that he was sorry. The letter ended with, ‘Roman can… Read More

Fare Well on Welfare by Trevor Plumbly

Welfare State Systems – The Original Concept We don’t send young kids up chimneys anymore; the poorhouses are all gone along with the lunatic asylums and, to a large extent, hunger and extreme poverty have been eliminated. For all that progress, we owe an awful lot to the architects of the welfare state system, first put into practice in the UK and Germany, then copied in many other countries. Like Christianity and Communism, state welfare in its pure form made perfect sense, in both political and humanitarian terms. Improve the lot of… Read More