As teachers, most of us are happy to spend hours giving out about all that’s wrong with our education system and what should change. All too few of us however are prepared to put our head above the parapet and take the time to make our opinions public (with the obvious exception of salary talks). It doesn’t help that the main teacher organisations are reluctant to set up discussion forums – possibly for fear of legal repercussions should the wrong thing be said.
Which is why we are delighted to welcome morestresslesssuccess to the blogosphere. The blogger in question is Humphrey Jones (pictured above) of thefrogblog fame. It’s best described by himself:
More Stress, Less Success is a blog about being a teacher – a busy one. But more specifically it is about recognising the work that teachers do in a society where they are rarely valued. It’s also about exploring new ways to teach and learn, specifically using technology.
I don’t know if I would say that teachers are rarely valued – personally I believe that as a profession we could be doing so much better and so much more to help ourselves (and yes of course I include myself in that). Our teaching styles (at secondary level at least) are still very much ‘chalk and talk’ together with ‘the sage on the stage’ when that whole approach has been lambasted by educationalists for decades if not centuries.
Nevertheless it’s great to have the opportunity to ‘converse’ with a fellow teacher in this fashion – I suspect we have a lot more in common than not, and I luck forward to changing my own opinion when needbe.
With a bit of luck it may just prompt some more ‘lurkers’ out into the open.
A body continues to maintain its state of rest or of uniform motion unless acted on by an unbalanced external force.
Thanks to Mr Mont’s physic blog for the heads up on this one.
One more for the Youtube files.
Awarding-winning journalist and author Mary Mulvihill has been keeping us up to date for years on all sorts of news and events relating to Science and/or Culture. She has just launched a new blog so it is now even easier to keep up with the latest developments.
This month Science@Culture has links to, among others:
A BBC Radio4 documentary on the science and history of the placebo effect, and;
A public lecture in Dublin this Wednesday on why so many in America deny Global Warming.
Visit her blog here and be sure to subscribe.
There are a whole lot of education blogs out there, but one of the very best has to be Joe Dale’s “Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom“. He gave a presentation at the CESI conference this year and people had to be turned away at the door.
Every subject needs to have a Joe Dale; someone to keep us up to date on best practice in relation to ICT issues, and who you know is a full-time teacher who practices what he preaches.
Here’s my contibution to the ‘Modern Language’ database:
Eddie Izzard – Learning French
‘Course you can’t show this wonderful clip unless you have Youtube.
Don’t mention the war
Is there an equivalent Science / Physics Teacher blog out there?
Patricia Donaghy has done her part; http://edubloggerdir.blogspot.com/ is a registration page for educational blogs where you can go and search by topic.
I guess over time more teachers will get the hang of this sharing lark.
The January edition of Science Spin included a supplement on choosing science as a career. I was asked to contribute my thru’penny bit as a science teacher. Most of the other contributors included their opinion of what science is, but either I wasn’t asked or, more likely, my reply was too boring to print. So here’s what I should have written:
Science is many things, but the more I find out the more I believe that Science is a tool used to maintain the inequality that exists between the First and Third world. It is an instrument used to develop the military technology which enforces this inequality, and which in turn is fed by the unequal distribution of the world’s resources.
One of its strengths lies in its refusal to acknowledge its role in this. Indeed the mere questioning of this can label the critic as an ‘outsider’ and consequently negate the message or its potential validity.
For an example of this look no further than the manner in which the role played by war has influenced so many developments in Science, and how this is conveniently ignored for the sake of a more sanitised and noble picture which is what you will find in your school science text-book.
Now why couldn’t I think of that at the time?
It’s also only fair to acknowledge that the article was both interesting and very well written by Marie-Catherine Mousseau. It described very well the wide spectrum of careers available for graduates in Science. The magazine itself is also very impressive. I genuinely hadn’t read it in years but its production is top quality and I will certainly be checking it out again. See for yourself if you get a chance. In all good bookshops, as they say.
I was talking recently about setting up a group blog for students doing Scifest 2008.
John Hegarty suggested Google Groups might be a good way to go, and also mentioned that Tom Kendall gives talks on blogging in schools and he suggests the following site as a platform to work on http://www.21classes.com/
Tom has set up two of these in his own school: http://msmccarthy.21classes.com/ and http://crazy.21classes.com/.
Mags Amond however has suggested another alternative, which she mentioned on the DICTAT forum
“Also, nearer home, TeachNet / Digital Hub people are piloting a space for Irish Second Level students called Project Blogger (building with WordPress). The TY science students in 15 schools are being introduced to it over these few weeks, so Blogs being what they are there hopefully should be something to see very soon.”
All of these are involved with CESI, which is holding its conference on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th February, so maybe I’ll delay things a little and hopefully talk to them there.
Taken from the postings of physics teacher Mr Reid.
“The Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) lives deep under the sea where pressure is much higher. The pressure is so high that a swim bladder wouldn’t work, so the blobfish is basically a bag of jelly with some organs in.”