[LINK] New Teaching Methods - Reversing Crime Starts At Kindy.

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Wed Mar 30 08:36:11 AEDT 2011

Now this would appear to have serious legs... Hopefully will have the
same long term beneficial effect as giving each kid a Cwlth Bank Savings

Four-year-old preschooler Lucy Coup has already earned her own gun

Like the other children at her Auckland kindergarten, and in childcare
centres around New Zealand, the youngster hangs the laminated licence
from a string around her neck when she plays with her toy gun - but she
must shoot at the target.

"We don't shoot people, because it might hurt them," Lucy says firmly.

Instead of banning gun play, many early education centres are adopting a
policy that sees children earn a "gun licence" once they brush up on the

In Wellington, Ngaio Kindergarten is among those who have adopted the

Lucy's grandmother, Dorothy Coup, was confused when she heard that her
grandchild was the bearer of a gun licence.

At first she thought Lucy must have picked up a discarded licence on the
street - but when she was told her granddaughter had been given it at
kindergarten, she thought it was a hoot.

"When she came home with her gun licence, I thought it was a very good

"If you've got little boys running around and shooting everyone and
disturbing people's play ... then what a good idea."

The licences were introduced at Te Atatu Village Kindergarten last
month, after a group of rowdy boys pretended to shoot all the other
children with their fingers.

Early childhood teacher Louise Samuels said teachers decided to contain
the gun play, making sure children understood the real-life implications
of guns and putting strict rules in place.

"What I noticed in my other workplace, when we banned it, was that the
children would hide and shoot you - they get sneaky about it. The play
would turn quite negative.

"We teach them you don't leave [guns] lying on the floor, you don't
shoot people, you make sure you ask to borrow someone else's gun."

If a child "pretend" shoots another child, they have their gun licence

All the guns are made by the children out of paper or cardboard, and
must be stored in a gun rack between play sessions.

Lucy's mum, Jules Coup, said it was good to teach children about the
rights and wrongs, especially young boys, who would "make a gun out of a
Marmite crust" if they could.

"It has not been a negative thing in any way. I think the teachers have
been incredibly clever in the way they have handled it. 

/Quote - Story Continues...

For the record, I am an old boy of the now famed Ngaio Kindy...

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