A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.
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Category archive: Links
I have been reading your blog (along with the hilarious fat man on a keyboard blog) which were pointed out to me by a friend. As yours is a libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners I wondered if you would be interested in linking to the AHEd wiki, action for home education: http://ahed.pbwiki.com/?
There you go.
Lots of food for thought here. My favourite (so to speak) snippet so far, which I encountered here, is this, from Joseph Stalin:
“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?”
What a charmer.
AHEd Aims here.
Anyway, to the point of this post. Mr Redden met us for the first time, and it was likely to have been more daunting for him than for us. And to break the ice for the first class of the first day, he asked a number of us what we did during the Christmas break. When it came to my turn, I told him I played games with the family, lazed a lot. And read comics. Lots of comics. Every day.
He went ballistic, and was more than just scathing about my reading habits. Made a big deal about how reading comics was a treasonable offence, how it spoilt a person’s grasp and command of the language and corrupted his writing ability. I was young enough to feel ashamed; red-faced, tears in my eyes, hot-flushed, that sort of thing. Still standing up, hoping the ground would open up and eat me alive. You know that feeling? Happened to me a lot when I was young, probably built character or something like that.
A few minutes later Mr Redden was done with the icebreaker Part 1, and went on to Part 2. Analysing his portfolio, looking at what he “knew” about the children in his care. Looks like we have a fine soccer team, can do better on the cricket, and so on. And then he said something like “I’m particularly delighted to know that we have at least one serious creative writer in the class, someone who won the school short story medal while still in Class 7, unheard of. Well done. Who is it?”
It was my turn to stand up, and yes, I was gracious in my victory. ...
It’s a quite long post with copious comic book illustrations, one of which I have copied and cropped in a way that makes sense to and fun for me, about how he grew up in a household that loved reading.
I will also, definitely, be reading this, from March 2006, and following the links in it. Who says blog postings are here to today and gone tomorrow? It takes very little tooking to find them here tomorrow.
The Fat Man on a Keyboard writes about outdated attitudes towards mature students:
Apparently, it “stands accused of neglecting undergraduates in favour of teams stacked with “ringers”, in the shape of mature and graduate students”.
I have news for them, most mature students are undergraduates and there are now more of them than the kids straight from school. ...
I was myself a sort-of mature student at my second university, Essex. What made me still immature was that I was still very immature, but what made me mature was that I had made a conscious decision, myself, to be there, and I had a pretty clear idea of what I was trying to accomplish. And I was busy accomplishing it. (What that was is beside my point here. Maybe later.) I met other mature students at Essex, and they all had this same quality, of self-directedness, of having decided to be there, of having a plan which they were following. The academics loved us, because we were making proper use of them and of their efforts and of their expertise. We aggressed on their various agendas, and they heaved sighs of relief, because it was no longer up to them to rouse us from apathy. Meanwhile the students who had simply idled into university like cargo wagons being shunted along rails by outside forces - their parents, “society”, and so on - were, as often as not, wasting their time and lots of other people’s money.
So, I wholly agree with the Fat Man’s take on this, and look forward to the day when all students at universities are mature. Not necessarily in the sense of being old, but in the sense of having decided to be there.
In the same spirit, the Fat Man is disgusted at how the government has been cutting back on adult education. Being a (free market, low/no taxes, etc.) libertarian, I am prejudiced in favour of public spending cuts, and I don’t regard cutting state funded adult education as an attack on adult education as such, especially not in the age of the internet. Likewise, I actually favour the recent increase in the cost to students of higher education, because I think it will cause students to ask themselves: Do I really want/need to be doing this? Prices do that, I think. I think making students feel the price of what they are doing and how they are living makes them more, in a word,
But, it is important to me not to link only to - and not to be read here only by - people with identical political prejudices to mine.
I don’t want to just feed off American stuff here. My slight bias, the English language blogosphere being what it is, will be towards Everywhere Else, as with yesterday’s Poland story or Monday’s one about India.
But, I won’t not mention America if America seems interesting. And here, if you crave big fixes of educational Americana, are two Carnivals (i.e. link collections), of Education and of Homsechooling (the latter via Joanne Jacobs, to whom thanks).