I have just finished reading Brain Rule number three in John Medina's excellent researched based book, Brain Rules. The key point with this brain rule is that all brains are wired differently, develop in different ways and at different rates.
Taking school children into account, the idea of national standards does not fit comfortably with this rule. A stringent set of aged based standards assumes that we all develop brain wise in the same way. John Medina uses only scientific evidence based research in Brain Rules to negate this. The following statement from his website highlights the point I am trying to emphasise:
'Regions of the brain develop at different rates in different people. The brains of school children are just as unevenly developed as their bodies. Our school system ignores the fact that every brain is wired differently. We wrongly assume every brain is the same.'
I think it's time to look at the education of our children in a more scientific way. I strongly believe that this isn't the case with national standards, which to be seem to be little more that fear mongering that goes against PISA findings which rates New Zealand's education system as one of the very best in the world.