Play, Neoteny & Convivial Learning

A number of years ago, I gave a talk entitled ‘The Joy of Learning’ to the Australian College of Educators in the impressive setting of Geelong College, a few miles south-west of Melbourne. In my presentation I spoke about Convivial Learning, an idea that I had derived from just a few short phrases offered by Ivan Illich in his […]

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The Guardian Takes Sugata Mitra to Task…

…..and gets it completely wrong! Peter Wilby, whose Guardian writings on education I usually have some respect for, seems to fall heavily into the trap of believing that right can only be distinguished from wrong in education through academic research. On Sugata Mitra and his work (the Hole in the Wall Project and now his School in […]

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Jerome Bruner on Pedagogy

Pedagogical theory is not only technical but cultural, ideological and political. If it is to have any impact, it must be self-consciously all of these. So wrote Jerome Bruner in his book, Relevance of Education. He died last weekend, on 5th June, aged 100, in the same city in which he was born: New York […]

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The Reflective Teacher as Reflective Learner

The teacher has a place of honour in human history; there is an inherent nobility in teaching that persists even today when perhaps the teacher’s true worth is not adequately acknowledged by some parts of modern society. The core purpose of teaching, at least in the Western democracies, should be to produce free and creative citizens capable of balancing the desire for personal independence with a recognition of […]

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Putting the Makar in the Maker Movement

The makar has been an exalted component of Scottish literature and culture for more than 600 years. The makars were the makers of poems, the ancient poets and bards of Scotland. It is a term still in use here today. Skilled poets, we know, do not simply write poetry: they build and shape and rebuild and reshape poems, carefully constructing every syllable, […]

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Mobile Learning: the state of play (part 2)

This is the second piece of a 2-part post. Part 1 can be found here. In my M-Learning post from August 2014, I wrote that: …providers of content, courses, and programmes of study, both free and paid-for, will increasingly customise and configure their products for the mobile learning market – many are already doing so, of […]

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Shifting the Old Order of Things in Education

Despite the seeming diversity of social, cultural and political influences on educational policies and practices across the globe, the received wisdom around what constitutes a sound education system is, I would suggest, pretty similar from one country to another. That is a pity. While the external superstructure of schooling can vary considerably from place to […]

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