Ever since the OECD began testing the educational performance of 15-year olds in the early 2000s, New Zealand has performed progressively worse in all three assessed areas of reading, maths and science. The troubling trajectory was confirmed again with the release of the results of the OECD's 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) testing round. Read more
Briar is a Research Fellow specialising in education. Before joining the Initiative she was a Maths teacher and Assistant Principal in London, where she also co-founded the Floreat family of primary schools. Briar has worked for International Education consultancy CfBT, and the Westminster think tank Policy Exchange. She holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Edinburgh.
New Zealand’s Education Delusion: How bad ideas ruined a once world-leading school system (2020)
Research Note: Ignorance is not bliss: Why knowledge matters (and why we may not have enough of it) (2019)
Spoiled by Choice: How NCEA hampers education, and what it needs to succeed (2018)
Phone: +64 4 499 0790
Imagine putting $100 in a bank account that earned 2% annual interest but being unable to calculate how much would be there at the end of one year? ($102) As an NBR reader, that question was probably easy to answer. Read more
“For a child in Bluff who might be interested in muttonbirds, they are not going to be interested in the fact that there are seven continents in the world." This statement, made by the elected President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, Whetu Cormick, perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with education in New Zealand. Reported in the Herald in response to a question about our national curriculum, Cormick’s example was prompted by our latest research note Ignorance is not bliss. Read more
Following the release of our latest research note, Ignorance is not bliss: Why knowledge matters (and why we may not have enough of it), research fellow Briar Lipson spoke on Newstalk ZB to discuss the state of general knowledge in New Zealand and why a knowledge-rich curriculum is so important.
On The AM Show, Briar Lipson discusses her new research, Ignorance is not bliss: Why knowledge matters (and why we may not have enough of it), and highlights the serious gaps in Kiwis' knowledge, Briar explains why a knowledge-rich curriculum is so important and says while it is exciting the Government has announced that New Zealand history will be a required subject in schools from 2022, why does it just stop there - what about teaching world history?
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We all assume we've got a handle on basic knowledge, but a new survey has found New Zealanders have some serious gaps when it comes to basic maths, geography and history facts. Briar Lipson spoke to Jesse Mulligan on Radio New Zealand about the finding from her new report, Ignorance is not bliss: why knowledge matters (and why we might not have enough of it). Read more
Research Note - Ignorance is not bliss: Why knowledge matters (and why we may not have enough of it)
For most of history, only the wealthiest in society had the time and resources to pursue disciplinary knowledge. For everyone else, knowledge beyond daily experience was an unaffordable luxury. Read more
On Q+A, Briar Lipson discusses our survey that tested 1,000 voting-aged New Zealanders on the state of their general knowledge. The (surprising) findings formed the basis for her latest research note, Ignorance is not bliss: Why knowledge matters (and why we may not have enough of it). Read more
If someone threatened to burn down your house but instead left an unsavoury on your lawn, you might well find yourself feeling grateful. You might even feel more empathy towards your assailant’s complaint. Read more
Too many children pass NCEA without being functionally literate. Minister Hipkins committed, in his 2019 NCEA change package, to address this by raising the bar. Read more
This week, the church of climate change was consecrated in New Zealand. Through widespread face-painting, chanting and dressing-up our newest saviour was born. Read more
In his speech last week at the NZEI conference, Education Minister Hipkins reminded the audience of primary school teachers that he had scrapped national standards because he was listening, and because the standards were neither national nor standard. It was catchy rhetoric that, if we follow his logic, has implications for our national curriculum, too. Read more
Monday saw Wellington’s Lambton Quay come alive with a joyful parade celebrating Māori Language Week. Yet, when asked whether her government would make te Reo compulsory in schools Prime Minister Ardern dodged the question, explaining instead that even if the government wanted to do this, New Zealand lacks the necessary teaching workforce. Read more
During a visit to a new London charter school in 2015, then-Mayor Boris Johnson sparred with a 12-year-old over the year the Roman Empire converted to Christianity (313 AD). Johnson was wrong (by a year) and dumbstruck by the knowledge of the inner-city children. Read more
Few parents would give their child a cough medicine that had not been trialled. The potential risks of doing so are endless. Read more