Friday, 23 October 2015

drama on radio 4

John Finnemore has written some brilliant pieces for Radio 4:

Cabin Pressure

BBC Radio 4 - Cabin Pressure
cabin pressure - YouTube

John Finnemore

John Finnemore | Cabin Pressure Fans

Cabin Pressure writer John Finnemore on the joy of radio, crafting comedy - and Benedict Cumberbatch | Radio Times
John Finnemore destroys News International and News of the World. From BBC Radio 4's Now Show. - YouTube
John Finnemore - YouTube

This is his latest series:

BBC Radio 4 - John Finnemore's Double Acts, A Flock of Tigers

BBC Radio 4 - John Finnemore's Double Acts, Wysinnwyg

learn english through dance

D' y' wanna dance - and learn some English?

Learning English Through Dance - YouTube

"Boots" Kids learning English through dance - YouTube

Here are a couple of presentations:
Dancing - Teaching English through Body Movement by Ninel Gasparyan on Prezi
Dance in the ESL Classroom

Here's a school which offers English Immersion Through Dance!!
Dance Another World

Here's an interview with a committed teacher:
Dance: An Inspiration for Language in the ESL Classroom

And here's a piece from a 'kinesthetic' teacher:
Dancing English Teacher | Kinesthetic learning and embodied knowledge

This is a British Council guide to dance:
LearnEnglish | British Council | A Quick Guide to Dance

There are some very interesting contemporary dance companies out there.

Here is one:
Home | New DV8

But is it dance?

"John" Lloyd Newson (UK/AU) /DV8 Physical Theatre (UK) - YouTube

This is now playing:
DV8 Physical Theatre's show at West Yorkshire Playhouse asks frank questions about sex and love (From York Press)
"John", de la compañía británica DV8, abre en Madrid el 38 Festival de Otoño - - Noticias Agencias

Here are another couple of pieces:

The Cost of Living DVD 180 - YouTube

DV8 - Can We Talk About This trailer - YouTube

Enter Achilles - YouTube

This is another innovative group:

But not everyone likes them:
Ballet Boyz, Sadler’s Well, review: 'hellishly tedious' - Telegraph
BalletBoyz: Young Men review – far too many sorrowful cradlings | Stage | The Guardian

BalletBoys - ‘The Murmering’ by Alexander Whitley - photo Tristram Kenton

BalletBoys - ‘The Murmering’ by Alexander Whitley - photo Tristram Kenton

This is what they're doing now:
BalletBoyz theTALENT — Productions — Royal Opera House

What does this say?

Akram Khan - Abide With Me (2012 London Olympics) from CAP UCLA on Vimeo.

Here is a documentary on Akram Khan - showing his work with flamenco dancer Israel Galvan

1/2 Akram Khan - What Do Artists Do All Day ? - YouTube

This is not the Boshoi:

Matthew Bourne in his original ‘Swan Lake’

Matthew Bourne in his original ‘Swan Lake’
It has been an incredible hit:
Swan Lake (Bourne) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Swan Lake [DVD] [2012]: Matthew Bourne: DVD & Blu-ray
How we made Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake | Stage | The Guardian
Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, review: 'witty, menacing, lyrical and wild' - Telegraph
Review: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake at Birmingham Hippodrome - Richard Edmonds - Birmingham Post

Classical Ballet - Matthew Bourne - Swan Lake (1996) - part I - YouTube
Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake 2010 (Official Show Footage and interviews) - YouTube

This Romeo and Juliette was not 'traditionally Russian' either:

Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet -- Tybalt-Mercutio-Romeo fight scene (Macmillan) - YouTube
Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Balcony Scene" from Act II of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn) - YouTube

But the Americans probably do it the best.

Plus some great dialogue:

West Side Story-America - YouTube

There are plenty of 'issues' around dance:
Jay Doubleyou: racial issues

Friday, 9 October 2015

what is british history?

British identity:
Jay Doubleyou: identity

British monarchy:
Jay Doubleyou: the monarchy
Jay Doubleyou: royals

British icons:
Jay Doubleyou: english icons

British poetry:
national poetry day 2015 bbc - Google Search
Jay Doubleyou: the british - a poem
Jay Doubleyou: rhyme in english

British literature:
Jay Doubleyou: english literature
Jay Doubleyou: english literature - simple version
Jay Doubleyou: oxford graded reader and bbc film: hard times by charles dickens

British history:
Jay Doubleyou: remember, remember the fifth of november...

British and slavery:
Jay Doubleyou: every town and city in britain profited from the slave trade

British and tea:
Jay Doubleyou: a history of the world in 100 objects
Jay Doubleyou: history from objects: the british musem, radio 4 and neil macgregor

British Empire:
Jay Doubleyou: british commonwealth ... british empire

British and WWI
Jay Doubleyou: how is world war one seen in different 
Doubleyou: the first world war: triumph and pride ... or ... tragedy and sorrow?
Jay Doubleyou: blackadder and world war one

British recent history:
Jay Doubleyou: the miners' strike 30 years on

British landscape:
Jay Doubleyou: landscape archaeology: an overview
Jay Doubleyou: stone circles in the west country

ESOL history:
Jay Doubleyou: history lessons for learners of english
Jay Doubleyou: how different countries see the same bit of history... differently

what is british humour?

Who are the British? According to Monty Python:
Jay Doubleyou: identity

The Olympics to the Beatles:
Jay Doubleyou: british humour

Fawlty Towers - Un toque de clase (A Touch of Class) Subtitled on Vimeo
Jay Doubleyou: got a room

Jay Doubleyou: a history of irony

Jay Doubleyou: eccentric english

The Brits are different:
Jay Doubleyou: british vs german humour
Jay Doubleyou: how others see us...

Jay Doubleyou: ambiguity: an overview

Yesterday was Poetry Day:
Jay Doubleyou: limericks

To finish:
Jay Doubleyou: very british problems...

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

taylorism >>> and education

The whole behaviourist approach to learning is very much with us today, despite behaviourism being discredited by psychology:
Jay Doubleyou: behaviourism >>> and learning objectives >>> and the common european framework

The learning by objectives movement has other roots:

Learning by Objectives, Clarity and the Cult of Measurement

Preoccupation with “action verbs” is indicative of a commitment to what can usefully be called “behavioural education.” It is rooted in an insidious combination of Frederick Taylor's theory of scientific management in industry and B. F. Skinner's psychological theory of operant conditioning. As my colleague Ralph Barrett and I wrote some time ago (1977, August, 7):

… underpaid workers, starving rats and students are expected to become … conspicuous consumers of observable rewards. Such mindless competition is reproduced throughout our society; its educational variant simply involves students pressing appropriate behaviour levers (learning modules) in order to achieve the academic food pellet (the diploma). It is no accident that a society obsessed with “efficiency, “ with “getting results, “ with “learning and earning“ would emphasize externally observable and specifically measurable behaviours; in our system, behavioural education seems to work, but so [did] electric shock!

The kind of homogenized curriculum that is the stuff and substance of pre-packaged learning modules and that can be measured by quantitative assessments of student performance on evaluations of what students do destroys authentic educational opportunity by undermining curiosity, imagination, reflection and criticism. This is so obvious that it is barely worth breath or a line of type.

College Quarterly - Articles - Blooming Idiots: Educational Objectives, Learning Taxonomies and the Pedagogy of Benjamin Bloom

A Radical Critique of the Learning Outcomes Assessment Movement
The Learning Outcomes Assessment (LOA) movement seems rather innocuous. Teachers and administrators at colleges and universities are asked to articulate the goals, objectives, measures, and outcomes of the educational process at every level: from the classroom to the department to the institution as a whole. 

In the United States, the roots of the LOA movement, as opposed to engaged learning practices, can be traced back to Taylorism and theories of scientific management. LOA is really another manifestation of the standards movement, which emerged alongside the efficiency movement at the turn of the 20thcentury. By the first decade of the last century, business models, rhetoric, and ideology had so saturated the field of K-12 education that educators themselves began proposing that schools should run as efficiently as factories. 

A social efficiency movement in education took firm hold, with influential proponents such as William C. Bagley; Bagley wrote the textbook Classroom Management in 1907 so that teachers, educators, and professionals in the field might better apply the principles of scientific management to their workspaces. His book was followed by Franklin Bobbit’s The Curriculum, in 1918. Drawing his influence from business and economic sectors, Bobbit—the inventor of Curriculum Theory—argued that schools, like businesses, should be efficient, eliminate waste, and focus on outcomes to the degree that the curriculum must be useful in shaping students into adult workers. 

Along with Frederick Winslow Taylor, Bobbit believed that efficient outcomes depended on centralized authority and precise, top down instruction for all tasks performed. Teachers were expected to acquiesce in the outside knowledge of efficiency experts—administrators and professors of education. Thus, curriculum was conceived of as a normalizing device and instrument of social regulation, one that would help control the working class so that the United States could better compete with German production.

Project MUSE - A Radical Critique of the Learning Outcomes Assessment Movement
A Radical Critique of the Learning Outcomes Assessment Movement | Bennett | Radical Teacher

FW Taylor is in fact everywhere and very influential when it comes to education:
Jay Doubleyou: dumbing us down
Jay Doubleyou: john taylor gatto: on video
Jay Doubleyou: education issues
Jay Doubleyou: social engineering

It seems to be about the 'engineering of people':
Jay Doubleyou: social engineering
HUMAN RESOURCES: Social Engineering In The 20th Century -- by Scott Noble - YouTube
The Scientific Management of America (Part 1), by John Taylor Gatto - YouTube
The Scientific Management of America (Part 2), by John Taylor Gatto - YouTube

John Taylor Gatto is a relative of the inventor of Taylorism or 'Scientific Managment':
Taylorism on ABC World Report - YouTube
Frederick Taylor- the biggest bastard ever 1 of 2 - YouTube

This is scientific engineering:

Human Resources: Gatto explains the seedy origin of public education-indoctrination - YouTube
Jay Doubleyou: education: dumbing us down

See also:
Jay Doubleyou: education
Jay Doubleyou: the purpose of education: from china to prussia to the united states

behaviourism >>> and learning objectives >>> and the common european framework

Behaviourism is everywhere:
Jay Doubleyou: behaviourism >>> krashen... pinker... skinner...

Behaviorism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is indeed everywhere:

Is it time to bring behaviourism back into strategies? | Brandmaster

It's also in the classroom:

Educational Psychology in the Classroom

Acknowledgement: The picture - server farm - is by sugree and is reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence. /sugree/3024637789/.

The behaviourist orientation to learning. The behaviourist movement in psychology has looked to the use of experimental procedures to study behaviour in relation to the environment.

John B. Watson, who is generally credited as the first behaviourist, argued that the inner experiences that were the focus of psychology could not be properly studied as they were not observable. Instead he turned to laboratory experimentation. The result was the generation of the stimulus-response model. In this the environment is seen as providing stimuli to which individuals develop responses.
In essence three key assumptions underpin this view:
  • Observable behaviour rather than internal thought processes are the focus of study. In particular, learning is manifested by a change in behaviour.
  • The environment shapes one’s behaviour; what one learns is determined by the elements in the environment, not by the individual learner.
  • The principles of contiguity (how close in time two events must be for a bond to be formed) and reinforcement (any means of increasing the likelihood that an event will be repeated) are central to explaining the learning process. (Merriam and Caffarella 1991: 126)
Researchers like Edward L. Thorndike build upon these foundations and, in particular, developed a S-R (stimulus-response) theory of learning. He noted that that responses (or behaviours) were strengthened or weakened by the consequences of behaviour. This notion was refined by Skinner and is perhaps better known as operant conditioning – reinforcing what you want people to do again; ignoring or punish what you want people to stop doing.
In terms of learning, according to James Hartley (1998) four key principles come to the fore:
  • Activity is important. Learning is better when the learner is active rather than passive. (‘Learning by doing’ is to be applauded).
  • Repetition, generalization and discrimination are important notions. Frequent practice – and practice in varied contexts – is necessary for learning to take place. Skills are not acquired without frequent practice.
  • Reinforcement is the cardinal motivator. Positive reinforcers like rewards and successes are preferable to negative events like punishments and failures.
  • Learning is helped when objectives are clear. Those who look to behaviourism in teaching will generally frame their activities by behavioural objectives e.g. ‘By the end of this session participants will be able to…’. With this comes a concern with competencies and product approaches to curriculum. | The behaviourist orientation to learning
Bad News: Noam Chomsky

Behaviourism has given us learning outcomes/objectives:

A learning outcome is a description of what a learner will have learnt at the end of a period of study. Learning outcomes in theory can encapsulate a wide range of knowledge types skills and behaviours. We can thus have learning outcomes that describe: particular skills, such as operating a microscope, ways of thinking, such as analyzing, ways of behaving, such as respecting clients and the possession (de novo) of good old fashioned declarative knowledge. 

The Learning Outcome in Higher Education: Time to think again?

A Critique of Instructional Objectives 

James McKernan* 

Education Inquiry Vol. 1, No. 1, March 2010, pp.57–67 


The ‘objectives model’ of curriculum planning, predicated upon behavioural performances, has become the dominant form of curriculum planning in Europe and elsewhere in the world. This paper argues that the objectives model is satisfactory for training or instruction, but falls down when applied to a true sense of ‘education’. The paper outlines 13 limitations on the use of educational objectives. It is argued that those interested in using objectives are guided by evaluation as assessment rather than principles of procedure for education. Education is about the process of ‘travelling’ on an educational journey – not about ‘arriving’ at a destination. 

The idea of planning a curriculum with objectives has been prominent since the time of Franklin Bobbitt (Bobbitt, 1918; 1924) in American education. Indeed, Educational Psychology defines learning as demonstrable changes in human behaviour, and a whole host of writers have championed the use of behavioural/instructional objectives as performance targets as evidence for learning (Gronlund, 1970; Mager, 1962; Popham, 1968; Popham and Baker, 1970). 

Benjamin Bloom suggested objectives to be “explicit formulations of ways in which students are expected to be changed by the educative process”(Bloom, 1956).

Mager, a leading advocate of behavioural objectives, argued: “an objective is a description of a performance you want learners to be able to exhibit before you consider them competent. An objective describes an intended result of instruction, rather than the process of instruction itself” (Mager, 1962). The Mager model recommended that objectives should be specific and measurable. Mager specified the three parts of an objective as follows: (1) it should have a measurable verb (an action verb); (2) it should include a specification of what the learner is given; and (3) it should contain a specification of criteria for success or competency.

The position adopted here is that instructional/behavioural objectives may be useful when working with the concepts of training or instruction but are unacceptable when dealing with the concept of education.

3. Objectives reduce education to an instrumental-utilitarian activity: taking a means to an end 

Since the time of Frankin Bobbitt (1918; 1924) the idea of planning by objectives has been popular reaching a sort of zenith in the work of Ralph Tyler (1949) with his behavioural ‘objectives model’ that is seen as a teacher taking a means to a specified end. The idea behind this model is seen as changing the behaviour of the student – therefore any statement of purpose (objectives) is seen as changes taking place in the behaviour of students (Tyler, 1949:44). The most useful way of doing this is to select learning experiences and guiding teaching to achieve the objectives. This notion of Behaviourism as a guiding theoretical model has been the dominant force in curriculum-making, despite recent attacks discrediting Behaviorism as a sufficient theory of behaviour and of a model for curriculum (Sockett, 1973).

The objectives model seeks to provide the clarity of ends and is seemingly suitable for both training and instruction where skills and performances are paramount. However, the objectives model’s great problem lies in the area of induction into knowledge. From a moral point of view, the objectives model is arrogant and undemocratic in attempting to specify the behaviour of students in advance of instruction. Professor Herbert Kliebard (Kliebard, 1968:246) suggested that pre-specifying objectives amounts to indoctrination in the sense that it purports to stipulate how a person is to behave and then by attempting to control the environments so as to manipulate students into behaving as the teacher wishes them to.

See also:
The unhappiness principle | Times Higher Education
The Learning Outcome in Higher Education: Time to Think Again?
College Quarterly - Articles - Blooming Idiots: Educational Objectives, Learning Taxonomies and the Pedagogy of Benjamin Bloom

This is also the basis of the Common European Framework:
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The CEFR was developed to provide a common basis for the explicit description of objectives, content and methods in second/foreign language education.
  • adopts an action-oriented approach, describing language learning outcomes in terms of language use;
  • has three principal dimensions: language activities, the domains in which they occur, and the competences on which we draw when we engage in them;
  • divides language activities into four kinds: reception (listening and reading), production (spoken and written), interaction (spoken and written), and mediation (translating and interpreting);
  • provides a taxonomic description of four domains of language use – public, personal, educational, professional – for each of which it specifies locations, institutions, persons, objects, events, operations, and texts.
For reception, production, interaction, and some competences the CEFR defines six common reference levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), using “can do” descriptors to define the learner/user’s proficiency at each level.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The publishing industry is getting in on the act:

There isn't much criticism of it out there:

During the years since the CEFR was developed and published, criticism has arisen concerning the aims of the framework, its accessibility, description and classification of language competences, the number of competence levels, and application of the CEFR in language tests. Almost every aspect of the CEFR is vulnerable to serious criticism and yet, bearing in mind the extent of its reach, those language professionals who have criticised it in writing are relatively few in number.


Some criticism is addressed:
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages:Insights for language testing
Cambridge ESOL exams and the Common European Frameworkof Reference (CEFR)

behaviourism >>> krashen... pinker... skinner... chomsky

We have looked at what Steven Pinker has to say about languages:
Jay Doubleyou: steven pinker - and language
Jay Doubleyou: pragmatics: it ain't what you say it's the way that you say it

We have already considered the work of Stephen Krashen:

Second language learning
Krashen believes that there is no fundamental difference between the way we acquire our first language and our subsequent languages. He claims that humans have aninnate ability that guides the language learning process. Infants learn their mother tongue simply by listening attentively to spoken language that is (made) meaningful to them. Foreign languages are acquired in the same way.

More on innate language learning
The claim that humans possess an innate language learning ability stems from Chomsky (1965), who rejected Skinner's (1957) behaviourist theory that language learning is habit formation through stimulus and response. Chomsky called the special inborn language capability the Language Acquisition Device (LAD). From this he developed the theory that all languages share an underlying system named Universal Grammar. The hypothesis that the ability to learn language is innate has been restated more recently by linguist Steven Pinker who claims that this ability is "hard-wired in the genes".
Chomsky and Pinker are nativists. Their theories are opposed by contemporary empiricists such as Sampson (2005), who reiterate Skinner's claim that language develops in response to environmental influences. Other linguists and cognitive scientists, such as O'Grady (2005), agree that humans possess significant innate capabilities. However, they suggest that language learning depends on general cognitive faculties rather than on a specific language acquisition mechanism.

The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
There are two ways of developing language ability: by acquisition and by learning. Acquisition is a sub-conscious process, as in the case of a child learning its own language or an adult 'picking up' a second language simply by living and working in a foreign country. Learning is the conscious process of developing a foreign language through language lessons and a focus on the grammatical features of that language.

More on the Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
According to Krashen learned language cannot be turned into acquisition. It is pointless spending a lot of time learning grammar rules, since this will not help us become better users of the language in authentic situations. At most, the knowledge we gain about the language will help us in direct tests of that knowledge or in situations when we have time to self-correct, as in the editing of a piece of writing.

The Input Hypothesis
We acquire language in one way only: when we are exposed to input (written or spoken language) that is comprehensible to us. Comprehensible input is the necessary but also sufficient condition for language acquisition to take place. It requires no effort on the part of the learner.

An introduction to the work of Stephen Krashen
Jay Doubleyou: theories of language learning and teaching: behaviourism vs nativism
Jay Doubleyou: theories of language learning and teaching: input part two
Jay Doubleyou: antimoon

Are we all 'tabula rasa'?

Important evidence against the tabula rasa model of the mind comes from behavioural genetics, especially twin and adoption studies. These indicate strong genetic influences on personal characteristics such as IQalcoholismgender identity, and other traits.[11] 
Tabula rasa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Or are we born with distinct personalities and the ability to do things, including how to use language?
The Language Instinct - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jay Doubleyou: what makes us human: noam chomsky and human languages
BBC Radio 4 - A History of Ideas, Barry Smith on Noam Chomsky and Human Language, Noam Chomsky on Language Aquisition

But isn't it dangerous to think that we are all born 'unequal'?
Jay Doubleyou: in/equality - the pay gap - part 3

Noam Chomsky doesn't think so:
Jay Doubleyou: chomsky and language acquisition
Jay Doubleyou: propaganda, public relations and manufacturing consent

Nor does Steven Pinker:

On the other hand, if some people have less innate ability through no fault of their own, then this can be taken as support for redistribution policies to those with less innate ability.
The Blank Slate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jay Doubleyou: the fall and rise of social democracy?

But let's go back to the beginning:

A June 2002 survey listed Skinner as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century.[17]
B. F. Skinner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is quite a positive view of BF Skinner:

Social Engineering 101 - Skinner's Work - YouTube

This is not quite so positive:

HUMAN RESOURCES Social Engineering In The 20th Century HQ FULL - YouTube

And this is Chomsky on Skinner:
Noam Chomsky Vs. B. F. Skinner - YouTube

Skinner is considered rather creepy:

5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted |

See also:
Jay Doubleyou: cognitive science and developmental neuroscience

Monday, 5 October 2015

teacher burnout

Teachers really have had enough:

More than 50% of teachers in England 'plan to quit in next two years'

Stressed teacherImage copyrightThinkstock
Image captionTeachers often complain about their workload

More than half of teachers in England (53%) are thinking of quitting in the next two years, a survey has suggested.
The survey, conducted by the National Union of Teachers, found 61% of those wanting to leave blamed workload and 57% desired a better work/life balance.
Two thirds of the 1,020 primary and secondary school teachers questioned felt morale in the profession had declined over the past five years.
Schools minister Nick Gibb pledged to tackle excessive workloads.
The findings of the survey are timely, because last month the five main teaching unions warned of a crisis in recruitment and retention, although the government maintains the vacancy rate has stayed stable at about 1%.
The survey, undertaken with a representative sample of teachers, also suggested many were unhappy with some of the government's plans.
  • 76% said forcing schools that require improvement to become academies would damage education
  • 62% said the plans for 500 new free schools would also damage education
  • 54% were not confident the new baseline test for four-year-olds would provide valid information about a child's ability
General secretary of the NUT, Christine Blower, said: "This survey demonstrates the combined, negative impact of the accountability agenda on teacher workload and morale.
"Teachers feel that the Department for Education's work thus far to tackle workload has been totally inadequate.
"Meanwhile, nearly one million more pupils are coming into the system over the next decade. The government's solution so far has been to build free schools, often where there are surplus places, and to allow class sizes to grow.
"Add to this a situation where teachers are leaving in droves and teacher recruitment remains low. We now have a perfect storm of crisis upon crisis in the schools system."
She added that many teachers felt their pay had been eroded over a long period of time, and that many were missing out on the 1% pay rise because of the tightness of school budgets.
Mr Gibb said teaching remained "a hugely popular profession with the highest numbers of people joining since 2008.
"The latest figures show the number of former teachers coming back to the classroom has continued to rise year after year - from 14,720 in 2011 to 17,350 in 2014.
"While the vast majority of teachers stay in their roles for more than five years, we know unnecessary workload can detract from what matters most - teaching.
"That's why we launched the Workload Challenge and are working with the profession to understand and tackle the top issues that teachers said caused the most bureaucracy, with leading education experts taking action on key areas such as marking and lesson planning."

More on this story

More than 50% of teachers in England 'plan to quit in next two years' - BBC News

What can we do about it?
Teacher Burnout: 4 Warning Signs | Edutopia
10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout | Edutopia
How can teachers avoid burnout? | British Council

Preventing Teacher Burnout? - YouTube