Group of children listening to the teacher.
Group of children listening to the teacher.

‘Bizarre’ reason kids are now on report

TEACHERS have been set quotas to praise students for good behaviour, in a move mocked as "crazy political correctness''.

Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said yesterday some schools were making teachers use the OneSchool database - which records cases of injury, bullying or truancy - to report students for good behaviour.

"We have schools now that are wanting teachers to record a minimum of 20 positive behaviour reports a week, and to record it in OneSchool as well,'' he said.

Mr Bates said the switch was part of Education Queensland's "positive behaviour for learning" policy.

"The concept is we should spend an equal amount of time noting and rewarding positive behaviour as we do noting and correcting negative behaviours,'' he said.

"The notion is you get better behaviour from rewarding children for good behaviour than constantly focusing on the negatives.''

Mr Bates said it was a "ridiculous expectation'' in terms of teachers' workloads.

"Teachers can't do that during the day when they're in the classroom, so they have to spend time at home, weekends and school holidays catching up on that sort of thing,'' he said.

 

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg

 

Kevin Bates
Kevin Bates

 

Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg criticised the move as "political correctness gone crazy''.

"It's quite Orwellian, noting every time kids do something wrong or right,'' he said yesterday.

"We're putting an unnecessary administrative load on teachers who are already struggling with disrespect from kids, parents and in some cases their colleagues''.

Dr Carr-Gregg said singling children out for good behaviour that should be considered normal was creating a generation of "wusses''.

"It is a reward for behaving like a decent human being, and that is bizarre,'' he said.

The Independent Education Union, which represents teachers at private schools, has told the Fair Work Commission that teachers are being smothered in paperwork.

Catholic school teacher Philip Margerison told the commission "students these days are less resilient''.

"The number of students who are seeing psychologists is the highest in my 20-year career,'' Mr Margerison, who works at St John XXIII primary school in Stanhope Gardens, Sydney, says in the union's closing submission to the commission's wage case for early childhood teachers.

"Students after receiving the almost inevitable nasty word from another student, can create a substantial amount of drama which to me 20 years ago I could simply have ignored.''

Mr Bates said state school teachers in Queensland were required to report even minor incidents through OneSchool.

"Bullying clearly is a pervasive issue, but by the same token one incident of someone behaving badly does not bullying make,'' he said.

"People are very quick to put a label on it sometimes.

"The level of very close monitoring and support from parents certainly has had an impact on the resilience and ability of young people to go with the flow.''

An Education Queensland spokesman said a "wide range of information'' was entered into the OneSchool database.