Saturday, 17 February 2018

How to blame the victim by Daniel Hannan MP

MP Daniel Hannan on Radio 4's Any Questions, r
esponded to homeless man who died near parliament, 
with a string of possible *individual* reasons, 
none social, or structural. 
Poverty/homelessness apparently mostly caused by divorce and drugs!
Blame the Victim!
Vote Torillion!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Times tables testing


Some people who are good at reciting tables are no good at maths.

Some people who don’t know their tables are good at maths.

Some people are good st both.

Testing recitation of tables tells us nothing about all this.

It will hand more money to the corporations who devise the tests.

They impose a time factor on answering, which will increase stress.

No proper discussion was had about assessment as help to children and teachers, or what’s appropriate.

It will demand of teachers, children and parents more hours in order to get every multiple exactly right rather than time spent on concepts and problem solving. 

It is yet another way for the govt to impose their single view of education on schools and teaching.

How education is getting 'better'



There is a sealed system: 

politicians impose testing; 
force teachers to teach to the test; 
teachers and students become familiar with the test; 
results go up; 
politicians say it’s education that is getting better.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

It's for real: 'improving sentences' by making them worse, the GPS/SPaG way.


How to open conversations about books



Ask: 

is there any thing in the book (play/poem etc) that reminds you of anything that happened in your life or of someone you know? How? Why?

Is there anything from any other 'text' (book/song/film etc) that you are reminded of? How? Why?

What questions would you like to ask anyone in the book? Or the author? Can we answer any ourselves? If not, where shall we go to find out?

Best if these questions are answered first by children/students in pairs by themselves rather than being quizzed by an adult. Then, bring some of these to the whole class. Particularly the questions that we would like to ask anyone in the book. We can collect the questions and choose which ones we can have a go at answering. 


Books, reading out loud, browsing, choosing, talking...



Virtuous circle:

Making a wide range of books available...reading books out loud...children browse...children choose...talk...make a wide range of books available...read books out loud...children browse...children choose...talk...make a wide range of books available...read books...

Literature is about ideas and feelings.



Literature is about ideas intermingled with feelings; 
these are attached to beings we come to care about. 
Most writers write so that readers have conversations 
about the ideas and feelings they’ve put in their writing.

It’s possible and sometimes interesting 
to talk at great length about HOW 
the writing gets us to have these ideas and feelings 
(or the ideas and feelings we are supposed to have!)

but if we do the HOW 
and leave out the ideas and feelings themselves, 
we can end up saying, in effect, 
that ‘technique’ is more important than values.