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<< 11 / 2007 1 / 2008 >>

Speaking of educators...

2007-12-11 20:17:00

As you can imagine, this whole deal about the New Learning has the whole country in uproar. Teachers, educators, students, parents, scientists, educationists and simple bystanders: everyone has an opinion, well-informed or otherwise.

And of course, as things go with conflict, most of the people are only willing to see things black or white. "You're with us, or against us!" Stuff like that. To aid each party in their cause, public fora have appeared on the Internet: the opponents seem to gather at Beter Onderwijs Nederland, while the proponents assemble at Natuurlijk Leren.

So far I haven't joined any discussions at the latter, opting instead to visit the BON site. This is in part due to the fact that I like their website design a lot better (it's more transparent). BON's opponents typecast them as grouchy, old men who are completely stuck in their ways and who disparage any ideas that are not their own. And unfortunately they're not doing much to break down those stereotypes.

So far the questions and opinions I have voiced (which partially contradict their own) have been met with derision and hidden insults. Which is a shame, because I think there's a lot to learn from healthy discussions. I'm still studying to become a teacher, so I'll grasp any straw that may include some new information.

Of course, I have no desire whatsoever to have my ambitions quashed by snide remarks. I'll try and maintain a level head in my forum discussions. Developing a thicker skin may actually help protect me from students later on. ^_^ Of course, if things keep going like they are I'll just leave BON again. Practicing my debating skills is one thing, letting people sap at my enthusiasm is something else entirely.


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A day off? Schoolwork it is!

2007-12-11 20:05:00

I'd taken the day off from work today, in order to work on a school project. This project has each group looking into the so-called New Learning (which really isn't new, but just different), in hopes that we learn something about recent education reforms.

You see, over the past few years the Netherlands have seen quite a few changes to their educational system. One of the big-ass ones, is the move from class-based education, towards a more individual approach. If you're interested, we're discussing the matter over here, at Ars Technica.

Among other tasks, each group member is expected to pay a visit to a New Learning school. I decided to be a little off-beat and opted for a democratic school (which are actually quite rare in the NL): De Kampanje.

The talk I had with one of their staff members was rather educational. I will probably never see eye to eye with them on schooling, but it -is- always interesting to hear new ideas. Such talks allow me to take a step back and take another look at the work I'm doing myself.

De Kampanje bases most of their work on steps that have already been taken by the Sudbury Valley School in the US. Most of their ideas really are quite daring and I'm sure that 95% of today's educators would be infuriated even thinking of them.

For now I will refrain from fully forming an opinion on their methods. I still have to write an objective paper in the issue ~_^


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My strategy for this semester and the next

2007-12-08 12:21:00

I'm going to have to fit in various "unwieldy" tasks, that will not fit properly into my normal agenda. Among others, I'm expected to make multiple visits to schools: to talk to students, to teach classes, etc. Given my normal day job this is simply impossible. I've also fallen slightly behind in a few areas, so I'm going to have to shuffle things around to make it all work.

This semester:

* I have to finish last semester's General didactics, or I'm going to fail it completely. That would mean I'd have to completely redo the course next year.

* I've already dropped the maths part of Analysis 1 in order to make room for other stuff.

* I'm going to postpone my work for SLB and WER, after conferring with my teacher. She understood my need to make room in my schedule.

* I will finish both Kijk op leerlingen and Analysis 1 - Didactics on time.

Next semester:

* I'll drop the second year's Counseling and mentoring project, so I can take it next year. That ought to free up enough time to finish this semester's SLB and WER and to tie up any loose ends.


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That's one big feather up my ass!

2007-12-03 22:07:00

Awesome! One of my teacher just gave me a big-ass compliment!

In the first three weeks of the Analysis 1 Didactics course, I'd turned in my first four reports. So far Theo's graded three of them, giving each a 90%.

Today he came up to me to tell me that he thought my work was extraordinary, because of all the extra research I put in. He also wanted to know whether I'd allow him to distribute my reports among his colleagues. He thought they'd be useful, to set an example of what they'd expect of their students.

Hot diggity! ^_^;;


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