So, should I go?
You really should. Pick a ripe question or two from those raised in this discussion, and sock it to her!
"Brevity is ... wit"
Brevity is ... wot?
Thinking of the riches of language, James Joyce was never short of a word nor hesitant about inventing a new one. I sure would hate to read the short word version of Ulysses. I once read what I thought was Moby Dick until I realised it was the abridged version (the tuna version?). Then I found the giant, complete version.
We really need the Hon Dr Hayward to be part of this conversation. Where is he these days??
got through school without learning to read or write and didn't see what the problem was
Depressing but all too frequent. There has always been an anti-intellectual/anti-education strain in New Zealand life. Recall, for example, the mana bestowed on Norm Kirk for his lack of education.
What would a good idea would be to get parents to sit the same tests as their children, and see how many of them fail.
The proposed GST increase is witless but another thing to worry about is Key going on about unidentified 'lazy students' who need to be turfed out of tertiary institutions. This is another case of chasing phantoms? Or code for closing down transition education, or wananga and other initiatives which attempt to increase education opportunities?
if the Montessori method is so good, why isn't everyone using it?
Because you have to pay extra for it? As with Steiner, I am rather hesitant about basing an entire educational philosophy on one perception (or the ideas of one guru) about learning. For example, I can't fathom the Steiner prohibition of primary colours, in favour of pastel version of the world. Or their attitude to children playing with toy guns, whilst they are happy to let them wave swords around, in some kind of cod-Middle Ages fantasy. I think it is more about adult fantasies, than what children should be allowed.
Assessment and evaluation is not such a problem in the primary and secondary sectors; I reckon it is more of a problem in the tertiary sector. When I first turned up at my university, I asked 'what are your processes for assessment?' and was handed a one page scale of numerical marks/letter grades. To this day, despite years of marking and assessment, I couldn't honestly adequately to a challenge from a student who might ask "what is the difference between an A- and B+ grade?". I might be able to, in a very subjective fashion, but not in the same way Excellence/Merit/Achieved is explained and defined in NCEA, for example. Or in the feedback that primary students get.
Of course, at university, we do have the freedom to develop more sophisticated assessment and we do so in Screen & Media Studies eg visual essays, group presentations, peer assessment, self-assessment, external moderation but this does require extra work. Last week we had a e-Learning day at the uni and it was a rare (too rare) opportunity to talk about assessment and learning styles.
Good to have Gordon join our discussion. I have said it before--PAS is the very best place for informed opinion and enlightened discussion to be found in this country.
literacy at Level 2 being assessed by 'language rich' subjects such as History and Media Studies etc,
Level 1 Media Studies willl be introduced in 2011. The AS have been developed and are being trialled this year. I would argue (with great vigour) that Media Studies is very much about literacy. Most specifically, 'literacies' of the kind which equip students for the C21st--as well as accessing all the best of the C20th.
seeing thousands of people move like that in unison. ... somewhere someone has a sexual fetish about it.
I guess old Adolf got off on it in a big way.
Talking of insect life, we have a Monarch chrysalis that has turned black and gold but remained that way for two days. As it was one I rescued from where it had fallen and taped to the swan plant from whence it had been feeding, I guess it is a not-to-be-a-butterfly
Yikes! Have you chose your music-to-give-birth-by or will the circling hordes hum loudly? :-)