Posts by HORansome

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided,

    Enjoyed the show. It really has come together, hasn't it? Is it me, though, but in each iteration the theme tune for "Media " seems to be getting slightly more ominous and darker...

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Big Chill,

    I should like to point out that if anyone thinks you write books for profit, then they haven't a) tried to negotiate a book contract, b) looked just how little money the majority of authors might make from writing a book and c) written a book, which is a costly process of both time and money.

    My, book, for example, will sell for £60 a pop and I'm getting the magnificent sum of £1.50 a copy (which is quite a generous royalty rate for a first time academic author, I might add). The book took almost a year to write with no advance: I wrote it to contribute to the current state of knowledge in my particular field, not to make money. Most authors won't make money on their books and saying that is our primary motivation is just rubbish.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The People's Poet is dead!,

    For me Rick Mayall and Ad Edmondson's greatest achievement was "Mr Jolly Lives Next Door", which is what I'm about to watch in remembrance. Everything about it is fried gold, from Nicholas Parsons to Peter Cook.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Which, in part, proves my claim at KiwiFoo about the whole "Investigate Him/Her" format Ian Wishart has gone for.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully,

    As someone who, as a university lecturer, has taught people who went through the old system and through NCEA, I have to say I was more impressed by the NCEA students than I was of students who came to uni from the old system. NCEA students tended to be more versatile in their thinking. Anecdotal data, I realise (spanning several years, mind), but sometimes changes to the nature of our schooling system are beneficial.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully, in reply to BenWilson,

    As one of my teacher teachers told me, teaching is the profession where everyone has an opinion as to how it’s done because everyone has been to school and is thus an expert. Or, at the very least, thinks they are.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully,

    For some more words of wisdom about performance-based pay for teachers, my friend wrote this some two years ago.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah, it is, as I believe the youth might have once said, a bit "suckful".

    However, there is hope. Whilst there's a temptation to teach to the test at the moment, particularly given National Standards, many teachers are embracing integrated curriculums where you make the English and Math parts of what you teach parts of a larger module. So, for example, you do Social Sciences module on Archaeology and in that you can easily do a bit of math ("If we know that the other artifacts were found 3 metres beneath the surface level and the mound we are excavating is 2 metres high, how deep do we need to dig?"), a bit of English ("So, we have what appears to be a bit newspaper. Can you work out what words are missing along the edge?"), a bit of Science ("So, archaeological sites are often divided into layers…"), some ICT ("Let's make a map of the site using this piece of software!") and so forth.

    There are ways to teach material in a way which will raise standards. What we need to stop doing is teaching children according to a system codified by the Victorians, where the only permitted changes is to do more of the things which didn't really work in the first place. National Standards didn't help. Performance pay won't help. Funding schools and solving social inequalities probably will, but those are long term fixes which don't sell well electorally (it seems; I'd vote for them, meself).

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully,

    What makes this all the more depressing to me is that I'm a) training to be a primary school teacher at the moment and b) already pretty disappointed by how National Standards have led to only two parts of the curriculum (English and Mathematics) being taught (the other six parts tend to be taught in the spare hour teachers manage to find in a week; not joking). So, now I'm thinking "Is this really the profession for me?" and if I'm thinking that, an awful lot of registered teachers must be thinking that to. If I were a conspiracy theorist (as opposed to a conspiracy theory theorist), I'd think this was part of a plan to rid the world of our existing teachers and bring in a new class of people who ready students for their weekly pieces of assessment.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: One picture of you, and no more,

    Attachment

    This is my photo, taken last year I think. It kind of captures the image of me I have in my head, which most photos of me don't, I find.

    And yes, I do have an arm lodged in the back of my head. It's a long story and I have to hide it carefully whenever I leave the house.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 400 posts Report Reply

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