Sunday, February 27, 2005

via via

I've think I've said it before, and I'll no doubt say it again, but Lectrice's 'The Blackboard Jungle' has got to be one of the best written teacher/ed blogs around.

Will someone give that woman a publishing deal - please ... Have a read of her post for 'Wed 23rd Feb' and all the other ones.

You can find 'The Blackboard Jungle' at

(my linking icons/buttons in my blogger post-screen don't seem to be working at present - sorry)


Thursday, February 24, 2005

a different world

Well academia is certainly a different kind of world. In some ways things are moving VERY slowly - the paperwork is frustrating and is taking time to work out. So I'm still not even officially enrolled as a PhD student even though I am an employee at Monash! If the difficulty of this process is to deter would be travelers from venturing this way, then I'm sure it would do the job well.

So the last week or so I have been doing preliminary work on a chapter for a 'Handbook of Research on New Literacies' that Ilana has been asked to write. If things go well I will probably coauthor the chapter with her. It has been interesting looking through tonnes of old journals and getting a sense of some areas in the field. There is so much I would like to delve into and that in someways I must resist. The sense one gets of developing ideas and trends in particular research communities or within certain discourses is interesting. This has certainly been the case in reviewing plenty of issues of 'Computers and Composition' (I stopped in the late 80s).

This has also been a valuable process in terms of my own work. I am beginning (only beginning mind you) to get some inklings of issues that might provide some steam for the PhD. Of course I know the area that I'm looking at, and I've written a proposal for my enrollment - but I'm talking about the heavily theoretical stuff that really gets the mind going - the stuff that links everything together and makes the work something significant.

I popped into ex-school today and spent a few hours wondering around chatting to students and colleagues. I miss this place, but it was funny going back - almost like my first day again - a delightful nervy feeling driving back in. Didn't get much of a chance to chat with KB, CJ or CP (!!!) but would have liked to - I was getting roped in from all angles. I did ask for some CRT (emergency or relief teaching) here and there (got home later to find that they want me next Tuesday already - sorry CP!) I did get my old favorites/bookmarks folder off the school server too!

Anyway, I'm at a VATE Conference tomorrow - helping out on the desk - my community service for the week! But I'm actually more looking forward to the train ride in - just sitting and looking out the window with ipod.

Austen is so cute.

Monday, February 21, 2005

it is finished ...

Well at least I think so. This recent chapter has taken me along time, but I think it has been worth it. I can now really concentrate on beginning the PhD and getting some work done for Ilana. Next writing project is a chapter on 'Writing with new technologies in the secondary English classroom'.

Ilana is on leave for a couple more weeks and so I hope to be able to give her something when she gets back - at least a whole bunch of decent references and maybe some kind of sketching of sections we might include in the writing. I have already spent a couple of days reviewing back issues of various journals and have found some interesting stuff - more for my own work than this chapter.

Found Nick Burbules' blog - but can't do any hyperlinks the blogger interface is not loading properly and I can't be bothered remembering how to do it in html (how lazy I have become).

Anyway, if I had my own domain I'd upload the chapter - but alas ...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The school I'd like

With apologies to Lectrice who has posted a message with this title in the past (which was excellent, as all her writing is!) but Emma sent me this article (The school I'd like) which is interesting but painfully simplistic (of course). So my advice is ignore the old binaries (innovative, committed and busy teacher-bad, lazy and awful teacher; bad, old pedagogy-new, good, innovative pedagogy, etc.) and have a read about South Australia's new 'university school' ("Jointly funded by the South Australian Government and Flinders University, it is the first school in Australia to be located within a university."). Article claims it's the first in Australia, but I know it wont be the last, as Monash are planning to build at least one down in Gippsland (south-eastern Victoria).

Who will be allowed entrance? (rich (oh, and smart) white kids)
Why? (so universities can wrest more control over schools and curriculum)
Money from the government? (THis will be tightened over time and end up being 1/2 of what is is and then some big coporation will buy in a rebadge the place)

Plenty more questions ...