My comments

4 12 2008

I could only locate 9 of my comments. Im fairly certain I made another one or two but they seem to be lost.


Closing Statement – a hodgepodge learning experience

1 12 2008

My topic as a whole, never came together for me into a particularly unified idea.  It started off meandering in areas like shakespeare and poetry, then it veered off into critical pedagogy and teaching practice and thats where it pretty much remains.  Despite this lack of focus, I learned quite a bit about the educational process.  By that I mean that education can be a controversial process, one that is argued and debated over all throughout the world.  It is not as cut and dry as I had previously believed.  People argue, debate, and criticize ideas about education.  Practices are always changing and I showed my interest in this by making many of my blog posts on topics like education in Rawanda, Vietnam, and other areas outside the U.S.  It was very valuable for me to weigh in on my own ideas about education and really look and see what people are currently debating and arguing about within the field.  Public discourse over a topic is always a good thing because it educates everyone involved.  It was this reading and weighing of different viewpoints that I truly valued and learned from. Read the rest of this entry »

Personalized Learning

30 11 2008

Personalized Learning.    It was a technique popularized by Tony Blair during his 2004 makeover of the public educaiton system in the UK.  this idea helped transition between the strict curriculum that had previously been institutued to a more creative teacher led classroom.  However, this idea itself had little meaning.  It couldnt even really be defined that well.  It did give teachers a sort of mission statement to follow.  In, Lets Not Get Personal, written by Mike Baker, he defines personal learning as: Read the rest of this entry »

Religion in the Classroom

30 11 2008

A few days ago I was having dinner with a couple of friends that happen to be opposites in every way.  I usually hesitate getting them together, but it couldn’t be avoided.  One of them purposely antagonizes the other and likes to watch as I try and diffuse the situation and make everything “all better” as he likes to say.  Well, today we started talking about religious instruction within schools and the topic itself “lit the fuse” for an explosion. My one friend said he wouldn’t mind seeing certain aspects of religion being taught, like a unit on religious belief of creation in a science class.  He also mentioned a religion or christian class as an elective.  These statements proceeded the explosion, which came from my other friend screaming about how religion doesn’t have a place in schools.  All of this seemed pretty convenient because as I was browsing my Google reader I came across a variety of articles dealing with religious instruction in schools.  Recently both Texas and Alabama have approved the creation of a elective Bible class as well as integrating christian elements into other classes in school.  This idea has long been a controversial topic but some states are beginning to take steps in this direction. Ann Work, in her article Let it be Done, states: Read the rest of this entry »

Education and Economy

30 11 2008

Related to my last post of Rwanda abandoning French being taught in schools for economic reasons (although angering the French was an added bonus) I started thinking about how economy can dictate and control the flow of education.  I started looking for articles that spoke to this change.  For a while now countries have been deeply connected economically.  Economies have become interconnected, and reliant on one another.  Competition and pressure to succeed is incredibly high for individuals throughout the world.  Much of this pressure is placed on educators.  It is schools duties to ensure that their young people are prepared to be successful in the world market.  This pressure is being placed upon educators all the time and it creates a difficult situation for many to teach under.  Because of this pressure, education becomes less about critical thinking and more about canned standards and lessons that are geared toward getting students ready to become productive members of the economic process.  Many of these changes are very apparent in countries struggling to catch up or progress economically, and many governments see that the key way to close this gap is education.  Teachers in Vietnam are protesting the reliance on canned lessons and teaching from the textbook.  They champion relying on teacher ingenuity but the government believes that teaching uniformly from the textbook is the best road to success.  Huong Lee, in the article Teachers Slam Teaching Methodology a teacher in Vietnam argues against government mandated tests: Read the rest of this entry »

Language in Rwanda

21 10 2008

My last post was on the controversy that English education is causing in Australia. It started to get me thinking about how an “English” education is approached in other countries. Then I discovered this article, written by Gwynne Dyer, titled The Unstoppable Rise of the English Language. Dyer writes about how Rwanda is forgoing French language education within the classroom and now opting for complete English immersion. This touches on a couple fascinating issues. One is that the Rwandan government is expelling a colonist language. In essence, this is the language of the oppressor, those who colonized their land, and much more recently, those who were partly responsible for the massacre of the Tutsi’s by the Hutus. Dyer states: Read the rest of this entry »

Critical Literacy- Australian Controversy

20 10 2008

Something very interesting is happening in Australia. Educators are debating how to most effectively revise their national English curriculum. Australian English curriculum is currently centered around the idea of critical literacy, but this may soon change. Many are pushing for modifications in English curriculum, and the topic has received a lot of attention in the Australian media. It is a complex issue, and a variety of experts have weighed in and given their opinion on what the new curriculum should look like. Luke Slattery, in his article Free Literary Criticism of Old Theories, written for the Australian, states the problem:

Read the rest of this entry »