Pedagogy is not about directing children. Nor is it, in Brennan's terms 'concerned with the work or art of being a teacher.' Those are mere glimpses of the reality, and only a part of a larger equation. In its absolute form, pedagogy is not just about teaching. It does not simply concern itself with the 'delivery' of education or content. In the truest sense, teaching is just one element of pedagogy and not the entire story. Pedagogy focuses on the learner and what they are capable of achieving. Previously I wrote about the origins of the word pedagogy, and how it can be appropriated into current practice. Pedagogy is about leading learners to the place of education.
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It is said that Robert the Bruce once sat in a cave watching a spider as it attempted to spin its web. While in exile and hiding after a defeat at the hands of the English, he was inspired by the small arachnid as it tried time and time again, and never gave up. Whether Robert the Bruce was actually inspired by watching a spider spinning its web I know not.  But I can see how such a spectacle could be turned into inspiration.

Inspiration to try again comes from many sources.

There seems to be a growing divide between teachers who share their content, and teachers who don't. In a previous blog post, I gave seven reasons why teachers should blog. It was subsequently expanded to 10 good reasons by the contributions from readers - which is actually an eleventh reason why teachers should blog - you get back such great comments, suggestions, arguments and advice, it would be crazy not to share your content.
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I presented a keynote at the Curriculum Enhancement Day for Portsmouth Business School recently, and chose this bright coloured image as one of my opening slides. It is as beautiful as it is intriguing, and it's known as the Mandelbrot Set. I didn't choose it solely for its visual impact, although as you can see, it certainly is quite a stunning image, and there are many variations. I chose it because I wanted to use it to make a point about what education is, and what education can become.
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All good things come to an end.

This term I say farewell to not one, but two groups of my student teachers. It has been quite a journey for all of us.

The third year B.Ed (Hons) education students are leaving, and so are our fourth year students - the last cohort of an older 4 year programme. In September I will see them all together one last time when they return to the university to receive their degree awards in a ceremony on Plymouth Hoe.

It was a lot of fun to be in Barcelona at the same time as Doug Belshaw, Martin Weller, Audrey Watters and several other members of my PLN. We were there for two different, overlapping conferences and it was too good a chance to miss. So, one evening as the sun was setting, a whole bunch of us ended up  down a side street in a tapas bar enjoying the culinary delights of the Catalan capital.

After a few glasses of sangria we began regaling each other with our stories.
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Why is it that we find it difficult to step outside out mindsets? It seems very difficult to change a pattern of thinking once it has been established. We seem rooted in the thinking of the age in which we exist, and this constrains our creativity. This was why Voltaire declared that

'Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time'.

We need creative thinkers.
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