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Brian Boyd, The Learning Journey

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by CanuckGrrl, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. And as a post-script---


    "Postscript - During his talk, Brian also mentioned that an attempt by him to have ?fun? added as a core aim to the original review-group papers on Curriculum for Excellence was voted down by the group on the grounds that ?it would give the wrong message.? As Brian noted, thus spake three centuries of Scottish Calvinism! Isn?t it about time for teachers to tell the asylum keepers where to get off and find ways once more to bring some fun, joy and creativity back into teaching and learning?"

    Yes, indeed. High time.
  2. Not hugely impressed with this stuff. All this "how we learn not what we learn", "deep learning", "soft skills" jargon.

    What is learning if we don't have additional knowledge at the end of the process? The only problem is that we have become obsessed with measuring this in recent years at the expense of other outcomes such as personal enjoyment and reflection.

    Who is this John Connel guy anyway? I note he quotes Marx on the header of his blog!
  3. "Who is this John Connel guy anyway?"

    He was a teacher then worked for LTS before appointing himself a guru.
  4. Boyd is a chancer of the first water and he knows he is.
  5. I have absolutely no idea if Prof Boyd is right or wrong. I suspect I'd have to do a bit of research and then form a proper opinion (thought: how many of us do form strong opinions, eg, on items of news when we have very little information to go on?).

    How do we guage if attainment is being raised? This is the be-all for most things education.

    I see many pretty phrases in the Prof's article, but what do these mean in the cold light of day?

    "School exams are not particularly good predictors of success at final degree level": that's because education is a multi-variable system. Eg if a 16-yo girl with eights 1s at Standard Grade and six As at Higher has a baby during her degree course then she will probably not get the first-class she should have.

    What exactly is 'a courteous translation'? Does this mean that I can do brain surgery if Mr Consultant courteously translates how to do it? A bit flippant I know, but is this not a logical conclusion? Is a child's intelligence really 'lying dormant' when he flatly refuses to write a few words in his jotter?

    As I said, I just don't know. I don't dismiss this stuff out of hand. My priority here would be to understand what this means for me five days a week.
  6. Isn't anonymity a wonderful thing? You can write any old **** you like and no one can tell who you are. Brave indeed.
    John Connell
  7. I've neither seen nor heard John Connell in person so can't comment either way but I have been impressed by Brian Boyd each time I've heard him as a speaker.
  8. I am bored of reading essays( and talks about the Scottish Education System), which mainly serve the ones who are just starting out in these fields or the ones who are just catching up.

    ?For the first time in 25 years, the teaching profession, it seems, is to be trusted?. Yeah Right!

    ?We know more about the ways in which human beings learn today than at any other time in the past?. Do you really?

    WOW. What a deduction!

    I agree with most of the jargonistic(made-up word) stuff, it makes good reading for the educational press but it doesn?t mean anything to me as a teacher. These are just words that do not convey much. It?s an essay for student teachers to follow.
  9. I heard Brian Boyd recently at the Tapestry conference and he gives the impression of a)knowing what he's talking about, b)being unafraid to speak the truth and c)caring passionately about opportunities for learners.
  10. Yes, I've found BB quite entertaining too, if a little short on real answers to real problem situations. But I have also pointed out that he can afford to criticise the SQA, and to advocate the woolly approach to education that has 'fun' at its centre. We cannot. Every May tells us that.

    But he does not have a queue of parents who want to know if Jimmy will get enough Highers to get to uni. He'll certainly not, if we just say: never mind what you know, it's how you know it that counts. Sorry, but it is not.

    Oh, to be able to tell other people what they should do, without having to face the real world yourself.
  11. xmal

    xmal Established commenter

    How long before this topic gets chopped?
  12. It's not every day one reads such excellent commonsense responses to an OP as here, especially wissta, bigjimmy and susan.

    I am sure Brian Boyd is very able and no doubt an excellent speaker. Trouble is when he talks about the lack of "deep learning". classroom "flow", and learning "in the moment" and the lack of pupil motivation that these engender, you know whose fault all this will end up being.

    Yep, it's down to tedious lessons with unimaginative rote learning. Of course, that has nothing to do with the target culture which the educational establishment (of which Brian is an illustrious member) gave us a few years back. Just as improperly resourced inclusion will have nothing to do with the scholarly papers penned on that topic by the professor - of course he might have been arguing against inclusion, but I suspect not.

    Cynical - moi?? I do remain, however, a Scottish Calvinist ...

  13. In the dim and distant future, when I am long deid, the latest educational theory will be that pupils need to know that they have to work their backsides off if they've to get on in life. What happened to the work ethic that's supposed to have made this country so great?

    And, by "getting on" I don't mean a poky council hoose in a ghetto with a Sky satellite dish, a plasma TV and the latest trainers.

    Society won't accept the vast wad of cash being wasted in education (or health as well, for that matter) as people demand for value for their hard-earned taxes, both income and council.

    Until we are rid of the disruptive pupils enforced on schools by the joke that is inclusion, we will be p!ssing against the wind wrt the wee pretendy goal of "raising attainment". We will see the widespread return of "special schools", or, more accurately, schools for kids whose parent (parents if they're "lucky") don't give a flying **** about them (sad, but undeniably true for far to many kids today).

    A bit of a rant, I'm sure!
  14. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    "21st century education is about how children learn, not what they learn"
    Wrong! It is all to do with what children learn. The problem is that the content of many courses is not fit for the 21st Century. New developments in the real world are not filtering down into schools fast enough, or in some cases even at all.
    In Computing for example, the biggest revolution arguably is in Open Source software, Linux etc. Schools, Local Authorities and national organisations are consistently ignoring this and the resulting financial and educational costs are huge. They are so locked into MicroSoft everything that unless classroom teachers go out of their way to inform pupils about such technologies they (pupils) will leave school ignorant of the possibilities, and ignorant of what is happening elsewhere in the technological world.
    The thinking that it is all down to how children learn is no doubt also responsible for the huge amount of money being spent/wasted on Interactive White Boards. Clearly, individualised learning is out and teacher centred delivery is in. When did that happen???
    The sad fact is that Interactive White Boards are being bought often on the back of money earmarked for A Curriculum for Excellence while their use has very little to do with that.
    To what extent is Glow compatible with Open Source Software?
  15. I agree 100 percent with Brian Boyd here. If we don't know about or value 'soft skills' and 'deep learning' then our pupils will have to - the world is changing rapidly and and the kids in school today need to be as flexible, as capable of making changes and of being critical thinkers and problem solvers as they can be.
  16. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Having read Brian Boyds' article ... were teachers really trusted to innovate 25 years ago? - I don't think so. The last time that happened was in the 1960's - I know because I was a pupil at that time and experienced what went on in e.g. Maths and Science at first hand.
    Also, 'School exams are not particularly good predictors of success at final degree level,' - I don't recall anyone suggesting that they were. Exam results are just a snapshot of the moment and cannot be taken as guaranteed predictors of anything.
    Although there are elements of truth in what he writes, much of it is fairly woolly-minded stuff.
  17. post 14 big jimmy totally agree

    However as regards Boyd a a man I trust told me 15 years ago that Boyd was a total chancer. I have come to agree with that sentiment.

    btw Big jimmy I was in Glasgow last week, we should have met for a beer.
  18. Post 15:

    "To what extent is Glow compatible with Open Source Software?"

    As it is entirely web based GLOW will work quite happily with Linux and Firefox. The Maratech software used for the video conferencing will also work with Linux - the only problem might be finding drivers for your webcam. The video conferencing will only share Office products - but that is not an issue, just save in MS format when you create anything in Open Office. The document stores will accept any sort of file. As long as your Linux PC has the correct versions of Java installed then all the other features will work as well.
  19. I too was in Glasgow last week and had a beer . . .

    Next time?
  20. Re post 15 - what has GLOW got to do with being compatible with open-source software ?

    Of course, it's built on microsoft sharepoint but it's a VLE - it will all depend upon the operating system you are using to run it.

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