17 February 2014

Items to Share: 9, 16 February 2014

Sorry for missing last week!

Education Focus
  • The Cult of Variety: Where Phil Beadle Goes Wrong | Pragmatic Education ''The theory is hogwash. [] Not only that, but its effects are pernicious. Fun and variety are distracting from focusing our pupils on thinking about subject content so that they remember it. Teachers are spending huge amounts of time resourcing marketplaces and attitude cards when they’d be better off thinking up subject-specific tasks than fun, generic activities.' 
  • To be determined: An East End school visits the Holy Land – Day 2 - Tom Bennett - Blog - Tom Bennett - TES Community 'And that's one thing that we – the teachers and students on this journey – took from the day: what it meant to be alive in conditions that would be considered unbearable; what iron you need to turn up to school every day and study and learn with barely enough seats in a classroom even though there may not be a job at the end of it for you; to love learning, and language, and art and science for its own sake because it makes us human.' and Going home: A school trip to the Holy Land – Part five - Tom Bennett - Blog - Tom Bennett - TES Community 'Yad Vashem is the Holocaust Memorial of Israel, West Jerusalem. We took our school party from Raine's Foundation to visit on the last day of our pilgrimage, because any journey to Israel that ducked a consideration of the Shoah would be a crime against history. Zionism stretches back far before the Second World War, but the Final Solution acted as a grotesque catalyst to the invention of the Israeli state. The Holocaust and Israel are as intrinsic to each other as the double helix of DNA.' 
  • Can an Islamic education produce critical thinking? (Dennis Hayes, U of Derby) 'Cultural trends in the West adopted by Islamic, and many other, educationalists, such as well-meaning policies emphasising diversity and multiculturalism, and the adoption of the politics of identity, may reinforce a closing of Islamic thought and of critical thinking. They celebrate what you are, rather than what you can become.' 
  • Great Teachers in Schools Infographic | e-Learning Infographics Note (20 February): These "infographics" are ingenious ways of presenting ideas and information—but that doesn't mean they necessarily make sense. David Stone has pointed out that the statistics under "Great teachers are made, not born" are nonsense; they compare percentages of first-year teachers who do not see themselves as competent with fifth-year teachers who do. I ran the source material to earth. It's quite respectable: Feistritzer, C. E. (2011). Profile of Teachers in the US 2011. National Center for Education Information.  http://www.ncei.com/Profile_Teachers_US_2011.pdf  The relevant discussion starts on p.33. So the authors of the poster messed with the material purely for their own reasons... Weird.
Other Business
  • AT-ATs versus the Olympics - Boing Boing 'This is the only footage from Sochi that you really need to watch: when the AT-ATs of Russia attacked the skiers, it was sheer, Olympian magic. Watch it now before the IOC exercises its right to humorlessly obliterate anything that interferes with the corporate integrity of its celebration of human potential and indifference to human rights.'
  • Language Log » Whom loves ya? 'So listen, what I'm saying is screw the rules: evolution cares only about whether you get laid. And (admit it) so do you. I've been throwing my life away trying to catalog the entire set of grammatical principles that characterize Standard English; but those days are gone. My eyes have been opened to what's really important: attracting women through writing woman-pleasing prose with plenty of whoms in it.'

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