Measure this

Normally I wouldn’t bother with stuff like this… usually when somebody goes out of their way purely to be antagonistic the best thing to do is to leave them alone. But heck, I’m in a bad mood today (don’t ask!) and given that:

all these self-congratulatory, mutual back-slapping blogs, apart … [make] me want to reach for the nearest bucket

It seems quite appropriate, wouldntyasay?

Indeed, as it’s evidently quite possible to present:

a well-argued case, backed by facts and figures, which, broadly speaking amounted to…

[after three other fairly obvious points] …… Much of the software we laud is actually anti-educational: it institutionalises short attention span, and provides a raucous, cacophonous environment which is anything but conducive to learning.

I think it only fair to ask a similar question to Stephen, specifically, what ‘evidence’ and what ‘measurement’ is there is any way to support this tripe? I mean, come on, I’ll accept that funding has been misplaced and to a degree wasted across the globe on ICTs – in EVERY industry I might add (education is not alone here) – but what’s this ‘raucous, cacophonous environment which is anything but conducive to learning.’ How exactly did you come to that conclusion?

Now it does seem a little unfair for me to get too into Clare here as this is no direct citation but rather Terry Freedman’s non-present summary but what the heck.

I’m guessing that this sort of crap has much more to do with Clare’s own experience of education, his own understanding of what is and is not ‘educational’ or ‘conducive to learning’. I’m just guessing here (and do correct me if I’m wrong) but I’d imagine that this is harking back to Clare’s own formative ‘educational’ experiences of quiet study, extensive conjugation and, you never know, a fair bit of back-slapping too. In short I’d say that this sort of reactionary comment not only highlights Clare’s utter lack of understanding of what ‘learning’ is but also demonstrates his utter disregard for who it is who is doing this ‘learning’ thing. It’s the worst kind of teacher that teaches the way they were taught because it’s the way they were taught, and the best who unlearns how they were taught and makes decisions based around who their students are as well as who they are as a person.

Funny really, I would have thought that Terry Freedman would have a better understanding of the ‘raucous, cacophonous’ learners that are increasingly swamping out institutions and organisations. Strange too that these kinds of unqualified criticisms can be levelled at tools which are, to be frank, much less cacophonous than the grating of a pile of exercise books ready to be hauled home on a Friday. Odd that anyone would consider this a challenge… but there you go.

4 replies on “Measure this”

  1. Thank you for sharing your views on this.
    When I try to share the idea of a blog as being possibly “as academic” as a journal at my uni, my profs inevitably point out that all they ever see are online journals of personal beliefs (much like a newspaper editorial).
    I have cut back on a lot of my own personal opinion-sharing and have tried to make my blog somewhat of an academic enterprise, if you will. This is a bit frustrating as well. Do I get another blog to “vent-only?” If I do so, am I only supporting their narrow belief of the use of blogs?
    As far as the cacophony goes… hey, to some it’s needless noise, to others, it’s music. Each side may be right. As for me, BRING THE NOISE.


  2. James

    Thanks for commenting on my blog entry.

    1. Sorry if I appeared to be being deliberately antagonistic (unless you meant John Clare, of course). My comment about reaching for a bucket was intended to be humorous — I went on to talk about having to be nice to serial killers! But anyway, it was not my intention to insult anybody, so I apologise of that’s how it appeared.

    2. I take your point about having to rely on my reporting of what John Clare said, but unfortunately I can’t make the podcast or video available to the public at large because that has to be a corporate decision of the Naace Executive. We are going to discuss it, but obviously there could be (unwelcome) ramifications from doing so! However, apart from using different words (I don’t think he actually saud raucous or caphonous), my summary was pretty accurate. In any case, if anyone is so inclined, they can look up J Clare’s past articles in the Daily TElegraph online, an activity which would confirm the accuracy of my statements.

    3. I agree with your comment about teachers teaching the way they were taught.

    4. I’m not sure why you said: “I would have thought that Terry Freedman would have a better understanding of the ‘raucous, cacophonous’ learners that are increasingly swamping out institutions and organisations.” Firstly, I was relating what John Clare had said, not my own views. Secondly, the terms “raucous” and “cacophonous” were used to describe some software, not the learners.

    5. Although I understand the desire to ignore views such as those of John Clare, for reasons I stated in my post “What is the purpose of education?” ( I don’t think we should. In any event, there are plenty of bteachers who may be reluctant to use blogs etc in the classroom because they are so worried about league tables etc. If research shows the benefits of blogging etc in terms like “contributed half a grade to CGSE scores” (something I have pretty robust views on myself), perhaps that would at least give some reluctant teachers the evidence they personally need to feel confident in trying something different.

  3. Hi Christopher… all I think you need to do is to point to Terry Anderson!

    Terry, I was referring more to Clare than to you (perhaps to you as a conduit ;) and definitely no insult taken. Serious sham that they won’t release the podcast. Wil have to ask my dad what he said.

    Point 4 was just a (disguised) complement… I guess I was expecting some critical commentary from ya. And as for 5, I’m all for antagonism really, was just having a bad day… give me a blazing row rather than patting on the back any day!

    Thanx for the comments.

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