Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

November 25, 2009

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I’ve had to place myself on a strict Bataille diet. I’ve had to limit the Monsieur to un chapitre per journee towards the end of the journee otherwise I spend the entire journee wandering in his words. And there are a couple of other pressing priorities such as feeding the chickens and learning to write Ruby computer code or shoes code (or building v simple graphic apps in Shoes with Ruby language), whichever it is the Puffin and I are learning, thanks to the mighty Sarah Mei and her inspired ideas and instructions.

March 9, 2007

Bush’s reading wars

Hmmm. Bush has quietly declared a war on reading. 2 million bucks? My own experience with this new emphasis on phonics is it’s a major pain in the arse for the children who were doing quite dandy on the whole language route because you’re now under pressure to sound everything out, despite it being an extremely tedious way of learning. It reduces language to a packet of tic-tacs.

 Besides it’s hard not to be deeply suspicious of something Bush supports — he’s hardly an example of fluency himself. I must dig out the nuclear example. (There’s a great gaff during a speech on literacy floating about, not on this link though) or http://www.dubyagump.com/ (This fella, of f. u. Cheney fame, has a follow up Dubya moment on youtube that’s very funny.

(From New York Times) 

Across the country — in Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine and New Jersey — schools and districts with programs that did not stress phonics were either rejected for grants or pressured to change their methods even though some argued, as Madison did, that their programs met the law’s standard.

You can see the future, school budgets will be based on how many copies of the bible in the school library …  a bonus for statues and religious iconography. Jesus Camp (clips can be found on youtube) is a great view for anyone interested in the indoctrination of children. It’s not just religious anymore, the documentary exposes the politicisation of these children, who were shown praying for the election of particular Judge (with an anti abortion position), praying intensely for a right wing government. It’s a fascinating documentary.

November 21, 2006

Mad Hot Ballroom

bogtrot rather than foxtrot…

This documentary Mad Hot Ballroom (see link below) is the most fun and engaging thing I’ve seen since my wisdom teeth were removed. Various groups of grade 5 children from public schools in New York have to take ballroom dancing classes, with a view to this competition. It’s very charming and funny and curiously gripping watching the children negotiating everything involved, including each other.  This link has a list of clips from the documentary.

I recommend “change partners” and “getting to know the kids.”  

http://www.paramountvantage.com/madhot/index-site.html