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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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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Fiction, Non-Fiction and Facts

  BBC Radio Four offers a number of fine programmes about books, writing and reading. I regularly enjoy A Good Read in which the host and two guests each specify a book that all three have to read and then comment on. It is a great antidote to anyone who doubts that literary taste is entirely subjective. […]

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Post Literacy Post-Haste

Anxiety sells! So says The Economist this week in an excellent piece showing just how long we have had to listen to the oft-heard announcements of the terminal decline of written English…..since at least 1387! In that year, Ranulph Higden, a Benedictine monk bemoaned the influx of words from Norman French, Anglo-Saxon and Danish. We know today that it […]

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