A Few Friday Thoughts

1.  Re the framework of Key Competencies in New Literary Practices by Marsh (2007), below, which I like very much: I believe they nicely complement Callow’s framework (2008), a very good, practical, everyday guide.

2. “There are key barriers to progress that need to be addressed, such as the use of Firewalls by Local Authortities” (Carrington and Marsh, 2008). There is an understandable fear of sensitive information getting into the wrong hands, but how far is it practical to go to stop this happening? At work, we have been instructed to send emails only to other local authority colleagues, not to any external organisations. Any externally-bound emails are to be sent via the office as a security measure. This could really hold up the organisation of community-wide events in the classroom. The barriers to “a participatory pedagogy that prioritises communities of practice” seem to be great and I wonder if fear is unnecessarily cutting off communication.

3.  “With the advent of democracy and modern industrial conditions, it is impossible to foretell definitely just what civilization will be twenty years from now. Hence it is impossible to prepare the child for any precise set of conditions. To prepare him for the future means to give him command of himself; it means so to train him that he will have the full and ready use of all his capacities.” (Dewey 1897). I have been reading Furedi again, where he talks of “the fetishization of change”. I felt quite relieved when I read it the first time, as if I wasn’t the only one who felt uncomfortable and unconvinced when watching another presentation about our impossibly fast-changing world. “The insistence that our current experience of global change is unprecedented is all the more surprising since literally the very same argument has been a recurrent theme in pedagogic debates for over a century.” It’s nice when someone has done some research.

Furedi, F. (2009), Wasted, Why Education Isn’t Educating, Continuum International Publishing Group, London.

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