Civil disobedience begins

So it turned that the cops can be unleashed on beach-goers. Pubs can be closed and church-going banned. It’s not clear how this is going to be policed:

Forget calculus, if my children are forced to stay home amid the coronavirus outbreak they’ll be watching TV, playing games, and eating tin upon tin of creamed corn.

Now this may seem a bit frivolous, but there are two real issues here:

And even more worryingly, if I can’t even do basic percentages, how in Pythagoras’ name am I going to get them to calculate the amount of rectangles that fit within a 24-centimetre perimeter?

Unfortunately for the Davidson household offspring, I can (still) do maths – but I suspect for many parents specialist subjects can cause some difficulty.

Homeschooling my kids was something my wife and I never considered for one simple reason: we already have jobs of our own. We also trust teachers to do theirs, and so far they’ve been doing it incredibly.

All these years we’ve been hearing about only the best and brightest should become school teachers and you really so need a Masters of Education to do pre-school and all that.  But it turns out that Mum and Dad with a few worksheet will be fine.


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32 Responses to Civil disobedience begins

  1. Infidel Tiger

    The Teachers Unions have basically admitted Teachers are just child minders.

    Strange move.

  2. max

    Khan Academy is a non-profit[1] educational organization created in 2008 by Salman Khan with the goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students.[2] The organization produces short lessons in the form of videos.[3] Its website also includes supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators. All resources are available for free to users of the website and app.

  3. shatterzzz

    I have little doubt that home education for my numerous grandkids will, basically, amount to .. becoming more adept at the various online games platforms they frequent .. LOL!

  4. min

    I was just sent a video of Italian mayors sending out angry messages as the lockdown was not being observed so they were still out in parks etc playing ball on the beach. Now this is where, if they watch the news they would know current deaths , see the stress the hospital workers are under. Apparently stir crazy after a couple of weeks in lockdown. Civil disobedience everywhere , not in Japan but in China they had to nail up the doors.

  5. MACK

    I’m predicting more than civil disobedience over the AFL cancellation – the MP’s phones will be running hot and the decision will be reversed by Easter. Or Danny Andrews will be out at the next election.

  6. Judith Sloan

    School is also about socialisation, being with mates. Hard for only children.

  7. Michel Lasouris

    Please explain the last sentence

    [Fixed. Thanks. Sinc]

  8. OldOzzie

    No, CNN, ‘Humanity’ Is Not Responsible For Wuhan Virus. China Is

    The corporate news media is carrying communist China’s water by deflecting blame for the coronavirus,

  9. stackja

    Allow people to go anywhere and do anything, let the virus spread? Freedom above all?
    Most schools in Australia only since 1870s.

  10. stackja

    25 January 2020 first virus case recorded. Earlier attempts at isolation met with civil disobedience.

  11. Simple Simon


    Japan is not ‘locked down’. Life is continuing pretty much as normal. There was a bit of panic buying in February but that has died down.

    What is not said is often more important than what is. I have struggled to find reference to Japan in the breathless reports put about by Australian media. Perhaps that is because Japan is doing relatively well (so far) with a flat curve. In fact, things in Japan may be going a bit too well: because there seem to be no great issues school closures etc. may be ended earlier than they should be. (I am also concerned at what may happen if the Olympics go ahead, as is currently planned, bringing as it would a large number of people from all over the world some of whom will likely be infected and many who are likely to violate Japanese norms of behaviour.)

    Japan closed its schools early in the piece. I am not an epidemiologist, but this action may have been important. In an op-ed in the NYT by Howard Markel, a University of Michigan expert, wrote,

    My research on the long history of epidemics has taught me that when it comes to outbreaks of contagious respiratory infections, closing schools can help prevent many thousands of illnesses and deaths….School closing turned out to be one of the most effective firewalls against the spread of the pandemic; cities that acted fast, for lengthy periods, and including school closing and at least one other [non-pharmaceutical intervention] in their responses saw the lowest death rates.

    (I would include a link, but whenever I send posts with links they fail to appear.)

    There are other things as well, of course, like people wearing masks not only to avoid infecting others but to avoid being infected (unlike Australia where the authorities tell the populace that wearing masks is ineffective—notwithstanding the fact that Australian health care workers wear masks to avoid being infected). Far be it from me to suggest that Australians are being lied to by their leaders, however one might say that it is in those leaders’ interest to have the general population not wear masks in order not to run out so that health care workers can use them to protect themselves from infection (even though masks are ineffective, or so we are told……)

    In Japan, there are also high levels of hygiene and cleanliness. This starts very early in schools, with floors and surfaces being wiped down every day with a damp cloth soaked in bleach or something similar and continues on to wherever people gather and touch things: offices, restaurants, railway stations, airports etc.

    Finally, Japan does not embrace mass immigration or multiculturalism. It is ethnically and culturally almost as homogeneous as Australia was in 1945. (Again, I would provide links, but whenever I do so my posts do not appear.) In this case ethnic homogeneity is less relevant than cultural homogeneity. Culture is the system of cognitive concepts and categories that people use to understand and act in the world. It determines what is seen as acceptable/unacceptable, reasonable/unreasonable, appropriate/inappropriate etc. When those concepts are shared people are able to have a fair degree of confidence in their expectations of how others will act and this increases the willingness of the self to abide by those cultural expectations. When those concepts are not shared such confidence declines as does trust, and so compliance with those expectations. Multicultural societies find it much more difficult to manage situations such as the one we find ourselves in unless cultural differences are mitigated by a strong assimilationism.

    Australia, in contrast to Japan, seems to have hysterical media, floundering and emotion-led government, an ascendant far Left, and ‘multiculturalism’. Good luck with all that.

  12. rickw

    Homeschooling my kids was something my wife and I never considered for one simple reason: we already have jobs of our own. We also trust teachers to do theirs, and so far they’ve been doing it incredibly.

    Builder left his apprentice to work under the guidance of my dad for a day. Small framing and sheeting job. Dad showed him how to use pythagoras’s theorem in setting out. Had never heard of it before.

  13. Shy Ted

    If we’re homeschooling the kids can we use corporal punishment? Or worse.

  14. Entropy

    Miss entropy is in senior school studying specialist maths, engineering physics and chemistry. Yes I brag, but hell, , this week is her first exams. Very stressful time.

    And then her dance school emailed this morning they are shutting down. She is probably their oldest lead dancer. Will she ever go back?

  15. John A

    All these years we’ve been hearing about only the best and brightest should become school teachers and you really [d]o need a Masters of Education to do pre-school and all that. But it turns out that Mum and Dad with a few worksheet[s] will be fine.

    Mum and Dad just do what the teachers do – stay ahead of the students in the subject (partial joke!). What do teachers learn in their degree courses? The subjects they are going to teach.

    If the texts are decent, then senior students can almost teach themselves. The goals for primary schools are basically the 3Rs. Up to even recent times, all adults could manage that.

    When the late Joan Kirner was Education Minister in Victoria (whilst it was slowly becoming -stan) there was a study published under her imprimatur to the effect that the single most significant indicator of student success was the interest and involvement of their parents (out-weighing all other factors combined). This led to the development of an Education Dept campaign focusing on parental support for children reading, including having parents actually read to their children, and re-publishing the classic Victorian School Readers. IIRC it was called “Reading is Wizard”.

    The key is discipline: an undisciplined student, unwilling to knuckle down to the work, will never learn. So talking about watching telly and playing video games represents a failure of discipline (in the supervising parents as well as the students).

  16. Bruce of Newcastle

    Pubs can be closed and church-going banned. It’s not clear how this is going to be policed

    We may be considered naïve but we churchgoers are instructed in the Bible to honour the authorities. So I don’t think our church will be doing services next week, or for some time, in accordance with the ineffable will of Canberra. Of course Almighty God will ask for a please explain when they front up before him, but we’ll obediently do what our leaders want. Hell isn’t likely to be especially kind on pollies, is my suggestion.

  17. What is all the fuss about kids missing some schooling?

    When my parents moved onto the land the one teacher country school in our area was teacher-less. So for over a year, except of occasional lessons via “correspondence” schooling, I largely went without schooling in Year 3/4. My family subsequently moved to another area – & another one teacher school.

    Eventually, we moved back to Sydney & I was able to enjoy a more consistent education. In the course of these years I achieved an Honours degree at university and finally – a PhD in my chosen field.

    I can’t see that over a year’s absence from formal classes, and a very cursory early primary education, had any deleterious effect on my education.

    Of course, it differs from child to child. But really, as a former professional in the field, I refuse to accept that children would be irreparably affected by a transient gap in their class attendance.

  18. Should read “..except for…” – typo

  19. vlad

    I’ve heard it said that a key determinator of children’s educational outcomes is how many books there are in the parental home.

    I have no idea how many books there were in the vlad family home. It was beyond counting. Heaps.

  20. notafan


    Bet not as many as my house 🙂

  21. Jannie

    All these years we’ve been hearing about only the best and brightest should become school teachers and you really so need a Masters of Education to do pre-school and all that.

    Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

  22. notafan

    After observing children in a playground a couple of days ago after school are all in school uniform I have no concept a social distancing so would be impossible in the school environment to prevent the disease spreading.

  23. Squirrel

    In spite of the claims of confusion (frequently from people who seemingly need to be spoon-fed in slowly-delivered words of one syllable), the current position in some States of “the schools will remain open but parents won’t be pursued for keeping their children at home” is probably a decent compromise.

  24. mundi

    I hope this highlights to people how dumb it is not to have savings.

    If I had to – I could take 6 months without pay and be fine. I would rather be productive and keep generating income though.

    But its sad that I would guess 99% of people (or more) couldn’t even survive a fortnight.

  25. nb

    ‘amount of rectangles’
    A single amount I should imagine. Goodness knows, however, what number. That would be calculated by finding x where x2 = y2 + z2 where y = the length … (etc).

  26. DP

    Dear Mr Davidson

    ” We also trust teachers to do theirs, and so far they’ve been doing it incredibly.”

    Well? Or badly?


  27. nfw

    My wife works (worked now?) with a young woman who wants to be a history teacher. She wouldn’t believe my wife the other day when she was told China is a communist country. My wife is not technically wrong but it is a fascist government. Anyway, that young woman’s ignorance (she reads blogs apparently to obtain her information) is redolent of the peak stupidity with which we deal with teachers and the young in general. So much information easily obtained but they would rather use social media than learn.

  28. Quibbler

    My youngest is about to begin school led online learning. They are expected to dress in their sports uniform in an attempt to maintain a degree of routine and discipline. I’m heading off to work so God knows what attire she will be in.

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