Literary or scientific, liberal or specialist, all our education is predominantly verbal and therefore fails to accomplish what it is supposed to do… it turns out students of the natural sciences who are completely unaware of Nature as the primary fact of experience, and it inflicts upon the world students of the humanities who know nothing of humanity, their own or anyone else’s…
In a world where education has become primarily verbal, highly educated people find it difficult to pay attention to anything other than words and notions.
UNESCO launched a new version of OpenEMIS, a generic and open source Education Management Information System software package issued without conditions or restrictions for use by countries. Able to run offline on desktop computers or on the web and on mobile devises, OpenEMIS facilitates the collection, processing, analysis and supports the dissemination of data on education systems. It is a tool conceived to be easily and quickly adapted to the needs of information producers and users at national and sub-national levels. It manages a broad range of information: data on student enrolment, teachers, non-teaching staff, classes, textbooks, infrastructure, finances and learning outcomes. In order to meet country requirements, OpenEMIS can handle both individual and aggregated (census) datasets for pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff.
A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
- Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
- Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
- Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
- When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
- Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
- Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
- Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
- Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
A long train of failures has brought us to this unfortunate pass. In their pursuit of Federal tax dollars, our legislators have failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education. The New York State United Teachers union has let down its membership by failing to mount a much more effective and vigorous campaign against this same costly and dangerous debacle. Finally, it is with sad reluctance that I say our own administration has been both uncommunicative and unresponsive to the concerns and needs of our staff and students by establishing testing and evaluation systems that are Byzantine at best and at worst, draconian. This situation has been exacerbated by other actions of the administration, in either refusing to call open forum meetings to discuss these pressing issues, or by so constraining the time limits of such meetings that little more than a conveying of information could take place. This lack of leadership at every level has only served to produce confusion, a loss of confidence and a dramatic and rapid decaying of morale. The repercussions of these ill-conceived policies will be telling and shall resound to the detriment of education for years to come. The analogy that this process is like building the airplane while we are flying would strike terror in the heart of anyone should it be applied to an actual airplane flight, a medical procedure, or even a home repair. Why should it be acceptable in our careers and in the education of our children?
Q:Hello, and thanks for the compliments on my GitHub post. I looked around to find out about about the "GitHub for Composition Learning and Instruction guide" you mention, and failed =) Could you provide some info?
It’s something I’ve been wanting to put together. Been putting the word out on twitter to see if anyone has experience, but no luck. I know it’s been done, but I need better luck to find out how it’s carried out methodically and built in to curriculum. What do you think?
Sometimes, let go of the lesson plans. I made a spur of the moment decision to have advanced tech II students access, read, vote on top innovations. Particularly compelling way to connect technology to culture, values, politics and policy, economies (several standards accomplished). A lot more successful than I could have hoped for.
And I know this because they were still talking about British innovations and how to evaluate them appropriately once the period ended.
Also: Vote Raspberry Pi. Here’s the polling place: http://www.topbritishinnovations.org/FutureInnovations/RaspberryPi.aspx
If the student’s going to work independently on fluency, that’s fantastic - especially if they ken their goals and can evaluate progress and reflect well. But there are limitless ways to do this.
Evernote is, no contention, a very powerful and compelling tool for many things, including study skills and executive function stuff. There’s no reason it would fail as a fluency tool. Is it substantively better than a voice recorder and annotations/logging?
It’s strange to me that there’s probably more access to devices capable of running Evernote than to a voice/tape recorder.
What a wonderful student.
(On linux? NixNote provides Evernote compatibility for those who prefer transparency and hate vendor lock - support Open.)
TedEd Talk on Verbal Irony. Posted as an example; some of these are really fantastic tools. Others are trivial.
Things teachers should be compellingly introducing: http://ed.ted.com/lessons - talks and lessons across the curriculum.