Sunday, 26 October 2008

Qestionnaire for Local Primary School Research

This questionnaire was originally done by Hazel, so many thanks to her. But I edited the questions slightly with Hazel's permission and now I would like to share with everyone who is doing the same research project.

Local Primary School Research

My name is Mon-yun, Bourne. I am currently attending Warwick University and studying a Degree in Early Childhood Studies, one of my assignments involves research of a local Primary School. If you could answer these questions, it would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

1) What subjects are taught in your school?

2) For these subjects (for this term), what types of things will the children in your class be focusing on?

3) For the week 22nd -26th of October, what was taught? (If possible could you provide a lesson plan for this week?)

4) Please indicate how many - Teachers
Lunchtime Assistants
Are at the Primary School where you work.

5) What Religious Education does the school provide?

6) With each year, does the curriculum and subjects vary?

7) How is inclusion handled? May I have one or two cases for examples, please? Does school received any support from parents, outside agencies and LEAs?

8) What steps would be taken in ensuring all children reach their own full potential?

9) Would any outside agencies be involved? Ref question 8.

10) Does the school offer a breakfast and after school facility?

11) What extra curricular activities does your school provide? I.e. netball clubs, chess clubs etc.

Is there a charge for these services?

If there is, would any help be given for pupils whose families who are financially restricted?

12) For pupils’ whose family is restricted due to financial reasons, what would the school offer in order to help the child feel included? I.e. school trips.

Thank you for your time in completing this questionnaire
Please use the separate sheets for answers if you prefer.

Research on Donald Schon and Martin Buber (shared information with Hazel Armstrong)

Martin BuberMartin Mordechai Buber was born February 8, 1878 in Vienna. Sometime in late 1903, Martin Buber encountered the work of the Ba'al Shem Tov (1700-60), the founder of Hasidism. He began to engage with the religiousness of Judaism and the belief that man is made in the image of God (Vermes 1988: 8). There followed a period of intense study (five years). One result was a number of publications: The Tales of Rabbi Nachman (1906); The Legend of the Ba'al-Shem (1908); and Ecstatic Confessions (1909).
In 1909-11 in Prague, Martin Buber delivered what were to become famous lectures on Judaism to the Jewish student organization Bar Kochba. These lectures (published in 1911 as Three Addresses on Judaism) stand in contrast to Orthodox Judaism with their emphasis on essence rather than observance.
From 1916 to 1924 he edited Der Jude, an influential journal (and was working on his path breaking book I and Thou - published in 1923).
From 1924 to 1933, Martin Buber lectured in Jewish religion and philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. At this time he was also working with Franz Rosenzweig on a new German translation of the Hebrew Bible (Verdeutschung der Schrift).
Under Hitler, he had to curtail his university teaching (he resigned his professorship immediately after Hitler's seizure of power) - but he continued to organize adult bible courses. In 1938 he finally left Germany to join the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
He died at home on June 13, 1965 - and was buried in the cemetery Har-Hamenuchot in Jerusalem.
The idea's of martin Buber's workSilence, for Buber, plays a crucial part in dialogue. Indeed, it could be argued that 'attentive silence' is the basis of dialogue (Avnon 1998: 42-3). This is an idea that may seem strange at first sight, but is fundamental to the experience of groups such as the Quakers. But his method was not pedagogical in the narrow sense.
He was little concerned with the how of teaching, with such matters as syllabuses, methods and examinations. What concerned him was the why; how to give the pupil a sense of his identity, of his organic unity, how to show him the way to responsibility and love. This is what Buber looked for when judging the success of a teacher. And it was this emphasis which led teachers to come to him, slowly and then sometimes in groups, not to consult him about technical problems but to ask him what they should teach, how they should reconcile conscience and faith.

The importance of Martin Buber's work
He was basically a teacher - for me, the greatest teacher of our generation. He was an educator in the true sense of the word and within the limits of his own definition of it. He did not try to impose a self-evident formula upon his pupils, but posed questions which forced them to find their own answers. He did not want his pupils to follow him docilely, but to take their own individual paths, even if this meant rebelling against him. Because for him education meant freedom, a liberation of personality. Perhaps, too, it is as a great teacher, embracing a consideration of the whole of human existence in his approach to his pupils that his influence on our time will be most enduring.
The right way to teach, he said, was 'the personal example springing spontaneously and naturally from the whole man'. This meant that the teacher should constantly examine his conscience. Indeed, every man should do this; but a teacher most of all, as he could not teach others if his own example was flawed.
The purpose of education was to develop the character of the pupil, to show him how to live humanly in society. One of his basic principles was that 'genuine education of character is genuine education for community'….'For educating characters you do not need a moral genius,' Buber declared, 'but you do need a man who is wholly alive and able to communicate himself directly to his fellow beings.
His aliveness streams out to them and affects them most strongly and purely when he has no thought of affecting them.'The real teacher, he believed, teaches most successfully when he is not consciously trying to teach at all, but when he acts spontaneously out of his own life. Then he can gain the pupil's confidence; he can convince the adolescent that there is human truth, that existence has a meaning.
And when the pupil's confidence has been won, 'his resistance against being educated gives way to a singular happening: he accepts the educator as a person. He feels he may trust this man, that this man is taking part in his life, accepting him before desiring to influence him. And so he learns to ask….
But his method was not pedagogical in the narrow sense. He was little concerned with the how of teaching, with such matters as syllabuses, methods and examinations. What concerned him was the why; how to give the pupil a sense of his identity, of his organic unity, how to show him the way to responsibility and love.
This is what Buber looked for when judging the success of a teacher. And it was this emphasis which led teachers to come to him, slowly and then sometimes in groups, not to consult him about technical problems but to ask him what they should teach, how they should reconcile conscience and faith.

this information citied from:

Did Paulo Freire take Buber's methods and ideas eclectically?
Many people believe this to be the case - will continue at a later date. the findings of Paulo Freire is closely linked.

Donald Schon
Donald Alan Schon (1930-1997) trained as a philosopher, but it was his concern with the development of reflective practice and learning systems within organizations and communities for which he is remembered.
Significantly, he was also an accomplished pianist and clarinettist – playing in both jazz and chamber groups. This interest in improvisation and structure was mirrored in his academic writing, most notably in his exploration of professional’s ability to ‘think on their feet’. On this page we review his achievements and focus on three elements of his thinking: learning systems (and learning societies and institutions); double-loop and organizational learning (arising out of his collaboration with Chris Argyris); and the relationship of reflection-in-action to professional activity.
The ideas of Donald Schon (1973, first published 1971) takes as his starting point the loss of the stable state. Belief in the stable state, he suggests, is belief in ‘the unchangeability, the constancy of central aspects of our lives, or belief that we can attain such a constancy’ (Schon 1973: 9).
Such a belief is strong and deep, and provides a bulwark against uncertainty. Institutions are characterized by ‘dynamic conservatism’ – ‘a tendency to fight to remain the same’ (ibid.: 30). However, with technical change continuing exponentially its pervasiveness and frequency was ‘uniquely threatening to the stable state’ (ibid.: 26). He then proceeds to build the case for a concern with learning.

The importance of Schon's work
Public and private learning, and the learning society while it is Donald Schon’s work on organizational learning and reflective practice that tends to receive the most attention in the literature, his exploration of the nature of learning systems and the significance of learning in changing societies has helped to define debates around the so called ‘learning society’.
Indeed, Stewart Ranson (1998: 2) describes Donald Schon as ‘the great theorist of the learning society’. He was part of the first wave of thinkers around the notion (other key contributors include Robert M. Hutchins 1970; Amitai Etzioni 1968; and Torsten Husen 1974). Hutchins, in a book first published in 1968, had argued that a ‘learning society’ had become necessary. ‘The two essential facts are… the increasing proportion of free time and the rapidity of change. The latter requires continuous education; the former makes it possible (1970: 130).

this information is citied from:

Nice idea for people who is doing the primary school research project

I was looking for something which can help me to have a idea what's my document of the primary school research project like. Thanks to Hazel and Lin who were kindly gave me the advise on the questionnaires and the possible lay out of my paper work of my findings. Then I found this good article that I would like share with everyone. This article could also help you to have roughly idea or picture that your paper work could be if you are focus on how inclusion is handled in primary school.
The article shows the questionnaires that had been asked in school with heads and the teachers. Moreover the results of research and issues that been discussed after the observations.
However this is a big scale of research comparing with ours within the college, so you might not find it very easy to do but I believe this will be a example for us with later study or research in the university.

Presented at ISEC 2000
Creating the Conditions for Inclusion in Primary Schools in the UK
Richard Rose - University College Northampton, UK

Monday, 20 October 2008

About Dr. Margy Whalley

Childcare Lifetime Achievement Award 2005:
Margy WhalleyMargy

Whalley received the Childcare Lifetime Achievement Award, in honour of her outstanding contribution to the Childcare Development, over the past 35 years. Currently Margy is Director of Research, Training and Development at Pen Green Children’s Centre in Corby. The Pen Green Children’s Centre is based in Corby and houses under fives and their families, community education, research and development and a training base and leadership centre. It was one of the first Early Excellence Centres identified by the government in 1997. Margy has managed multi-disciplinary Early Years services in not only England but Brazil and Papua New Guinea. Anne Longfield, Chief Executive of 4Children said: “Margy Whalley is a pioneer, a leader, a published author, well respected in local as well as central Government and someone who has an incredible CV. She is also highly regarded by the children, family and colleagues she works with and we know from talking with them that Margy is a truly caring, dedicated and inspirational individual. I wish to say Congratulations Margy and thank you.” Margy has written Open University course materials for parents wanting to increase their knowledge and understanding of child development. She was invited to be part of the Labour Party enquiry team into Under 5s education and care and was the Association of County Council’s representative on the National Audit Commission concerned with children under 5. Most recently Margy has been involved in the Early Excellence Centre programme and is on the board of the National Early Excellence Centre programme. Margy is now evaluating the Corby Sure Start programme which is a Government initiative focusing on parents with children under four years.

this information citied from:

HW for Brian's lesson

Paulo Freire

Perhaps the most influential thinker about education in the late twentieth century, Paulo Freire has been particularly popular with informal educators with his emphasis on dialogue and his concern for the oppressed.
contents: introduction · contribution · critique · further reading and references · links
Paulo Freire (1921 - 1997), the Brazilian educationalist, has left a significant mark on thinking about progressive practice. His Pedagogy of the Oppressed is currently one of the most quoted educational texts (especially in Latin America, Africa and Asia). Freire was able to draw upon, and weave together, a number of strands of thinking about educational practice and liberation. Sometimes some rather excessive claims are made for his work e.g. 'the most significant educational thinker of the twentieth century'. He wasn't - John Dewey would probably take that honour - but Freire certainly made a number of important theoretical innovations that have had a considerable impact on the development of educational practice - and on informal education and popular education in particular. In this piece we assess these - and briefly examine some of the critiques that can be made of his work.
Five aspects of Paulo Freire's work have a particular significance for our purposes here. First, his emphasis on dialogue has struck a very strong chord with those concerned with popular and informal education. Given that informal education is a dialogical (or conversational) rather than a curricula form this is hardly surprising. However, Paulo Freire was able to take the discussion on several steps with his insistence that dialogue involves respect. It should not involve one person acting on another, but rather people working with each other. Too much education, Paulo Freire argues, involves 'banking' - the educator making 'deposits' in the educatee.
Second, Paulo Freire was concerned with praxis - action that is informed (and linked to certain values). Dialogue wasn't just about deepening understanding - but was part of making a difference in the world. Dialogue in itself is a co-operative activity involving respect. The process is important and can be seen as enhancing community and building social capital and to leading us to act in ways that make for justice and human flourishing. Informal and popular educators have had a long-standing orientation to action - so the emphasis on change in the world was welcome. But there was a sting in the tail. Paulo Freire argued for informed action and as such provided a useful counter-balance to those who want to diminish theory.
Third, Freire's attention to naming the world has been of great significance to those educators who have traditionally worked with those who do not have a voice, and who are oppressed. The idea of building a 'pedagogy of the oppressed' or a 'pedagogy of hope' and how this may be carried forward has formed a significant impetus to work. An important element of this was his concern with conscientization - developing consciousness, but consciousness that is understood to have the power to transform reality' (Taylor 1993: 52).
Fourth, Paulo Freire's insistence on situating educational activity in the lived experience of participants has opened up a series of possibilities for the way informal educators can approach practice. His concern to look for words that have the possibility of generating new ways of naming and acting in the world when working with people around literacies is a good example of this.
Fifth, a number of informal educators have connected with Paulo Freire's use of metaphors drawn from Christian sources. An example of this is the way in which the divide between teachers and learners can be transcended. In part this is to occur as learners develop their consciousness, but mainly it comes through the 'class suicide' or 'Easter experience' of the teacher.
The educator for liberation has to die as the unilateral educator of the educatees, in order to be born again as the educator-educatee of the educatees-educators. An educator is a person who has to live in the deep significance of Easter. Quoted by Paul Taylor (1993: 53)
Inevitably, there are various points of criticism. First, many are put off by Paulo Freire's language and his appeal to mystical concerns. The former was a concern of Freire himself in later life - and his work after Pedagogy of the Oppressed was usually written within a more conversational or accessible framework.
Second, Paulo Freire tends to argue in an either/or way. We are either with the oppressed or against them. This may be an interesting starting point for teaching, but taken too literally it can make for rather simplistic (political) analysis.
Third, there is an tendency in Freire to overturn everyday situations so that they become pedagogical. Freire's approach was largely constructed around structured educational situations. While his initial point of reference might be non-formal, the educational encounters he explores remain formal (Torres 1993: 127) In other words, his approach is still curriculum-based and entail transforming settings into a particular type of pedagogical space. This can rather work against the notion of dialogue (in that curriculum implies a predefined set of concerns and activities). Educators need to look for 'teachable moments' - but when we concentrate on this we can easily overlook simple power of being in conversation with others.
Fourth, what is claimed as liberatory practice may, on close inspection, be rather closer to banking than we would wish. In other words, the practice of Freirian education can involve smuggling in all sorts of ideas and values under the guise of problem-posing. Taylor's analysis of Freire's literacy programme shows that:
.. the rhetoric which announced the importance of dialogue, engagement, and equality, and denounced silence, massification and oppression, did not match in practice the subliminal messages and modes of a Banking System of education. Albeit benign, Freire's approach differs only in degree, but not in kind, from the system which he so eloquently criticizes. (Taylor 1993: 148)
Educators have to teach. They have to transform transfers of information into a 'real act of knowing' (op cit: 43).
Fifth, there are problems regarding Freire's model of literacy. While it may be taken as a challenge to the political projects of northern states, his analysis remains rooted in assumptions about cognitive development and the relation of literacy to rationality that are suspect (Street 1983: 14). His work has not 'entirely shrugged off the assumptions of the "autonomous model"' (ibid.: 14).
Last, there are questions concerning the originality of Freire's contribution. As Taylor has put it - to say that as many commentators do that Freire's thinking is 'eclectic', is 'to underestimate the degree to which he borrowed directly from other sources' (Taylor 1993: 34). Taylor (1993: 34-51) brings out a number of these influences and 'absorbtions' - perhaps most interestingly the extent to which the structure of Pedagogy of the Oppressed parallels Kosik's Dialectic of the Concrete (published in Spanish in the mid 1960s). Here we would simply invite you to compare Freire's interests with those of Martin Buber. His concern with conversation, encounter, being and ethical education have strong echoes in Freirian thought.

this information is citied from

Sunday, 19 October 2008

A perfect book to learn research project and interview

I got this book Doing your early years research project -a step by step guide by Guy Roberts-Holmes last year. I thought this book will be helpful for later of the course but I forgot all about it. It was on my bookcase and was forgotten by me until three days ago. I was so confused with all the new research projects what we are going to do this year but after read through this book, I found myself relieved from stress and starting to have a little idea that how I going to plan my research projects and interview.
Guy Roberts-Holmes is a senior lecturer in the childhood studies department at Canterbury Christ Church University College. With all the help from the students who are studying Early Childhood Studies that he wrote this guide book specially design for ECS students.
This step-by-step guide will talk you through your Early Years research project form start to finish. Drawing on the work of practitioners within the sector to illustrate concepts and methods, it brings the entire research process to life. Packed with research summaries, key points checklists and discussion topics, the book features guidance on selecting a topic, organising and structuring your project etc.

Friday, 17 October 2008

A new face for my blog

The main purpose of setting up this blog was my tutor told us to. Personally I am not a technology fan, well not just the computer or Internet, it's anything to do with technology that I don't normally do well. But I am a good student and a very behaved student so I started this blog about one week ago. I were thinking that's it, I've done it and didn't bother to really make it looks good and maybe useful. However I do have a high standard for myself whatever I do, so I spent two, three days tried to figure out how to manage my blog and make it good plus useful for me and anyone who goes on my blog. I also changed my name of the blog, I couldn't think of any words or anything to describe what I am doing on this blog. So I call it my diary of studying early childhood studies that means this is a recording of everything happening during my studies. As English isn't my first language so I am worry that people will judge me on not writing a perfect English. Well, I have to say that I am enjoying writing and goodness sake, who cares!!! I will just try my best then my chin will be up and feel proud of myself, because most importantly that I am doing it!!!!!!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Toilet restaurant in Taiwan

This is the most disgusting and interesting thing that I've ever seen. Taiwan's business competition culture extending to the highest point. Using toilets and baths to create the lay out of restaurant even us 'poo poo' as deserts!! There are the links that you can have a look what's looks like. this is from my friend Anita's blog (In Chinese but she got some really 'nice' photos for you to see!! there are the restaurants (In English)

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Personal view on Connectivism

Other people's comment on children's learning from each other in the classroom isn't a new theory. In fact, it is existing learning theory which now using in the school already. To me, connectivism is about internet, learners learn through the internet and use it as tools to gain or discuss the information. For children who are in the early years shouldn't get involve too much with internet or the soical networking on the internet. Maybe educational websites or school websites will benefit the young children but certainly not the blogs, facebook etc.

Connectivism is not just like some people said that you learn from other learner or from other different countries and cultures. you need tools such as computer, internet, social networking and most importantly the ability to fillter the information what you getting from. I am studying children in early years which I can't really see how this connectivism is going to work in early years settings unless internet is under control by the government or education department, and we know that is mission impossible!!

Respect other people's view and express your own view after you did read through the article

Today's lesson was the most stressful and irritating lesson since this degree course started. Of course I was stressed with my personal life and overloaded with the information of this course. I know I am on the higher education here and not to depend on the tutor, but when the tutor gave us the assissment to do which she definate got her reason for it. She already told us it's up to us how we represent the information of our research, all we need to do is to listen to her. I was so confussed with everyone talking so I shouted out loud to ask everyone to listen to the tutor which wasn't a nice way to do but I left with no choice.
Some people have really good view after read through the article which talk about 'connectivism' which I respect. But someone in the class argued with other people's views with no respect also base on no knowledge about what she was talking about, simply only for arguing and not express the view after acturlly read the article. And that is most irritating thing for me to happen in the class. Some people worked really hard and willing to share the finding of information with us, we shall respect it.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Under pressure

New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning.
This is our mind mapping of the article

I've been really stressed for the last two weeks and when we were told how much work that we will need to do and prepare, how much reading we will need to do in such short time. This academic year, our tutors changed the way that they had taught us last year. To give us a such short time to do lots of reading and to have our comments on it, it's very difficult for me. I do need to read the articles over and over again enable to understand what's mean.

I am always give myself a high standard and not allowing myself to skip the lesson and the homework but I do found it really hard for me at the moment.

Me and Georgina had worked really hard for the last two days just tried to mind map the article that we've been given last week. With John's help (my dear and lazy husband), we finally finished the work today. I want to read this article again when I got the time then I will able to give my comment on it. I found it interesting and wondering that how will the future education become. Will every learner become a connectivism? What child's age will be allow to go on the soical networking? I believe I will have more to find out.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Talking Taiwanese: Taiwan's Low Quality and Elitist Education System

Talking Taiwanese: Taiwan's Low Quality and Elitist Education System

Talking Taiwanese: Taiwan's Low Quality and Elitist Education System

This is a great post that I found on the net, so I would like to share with everyone. I came from Taiwan ten years ago, married, become mother of two breautifl daughters and now become a full time degree student,studying Early Child Studies in Warwick. However I was born and educated in Taiwan, so I would like to show my background of education to everyone. This is also a warm up information for my country project that I am going to do for my course.

Just a recommendation!!

I found this book - 'The Sociology of Childhood' Second edition by William A. Corsaro. which maybe is helpful for the second year of our degree course(Early Childhood Studies).

This year we basically focus on children's education and sociology at the present or the furure, locally or around world. (Well if I didn't misunderstand it). It covers the social theories of childhood, the consideratrion of children and childhood in historical and cultural perspective, children's peer cultures from preschool through preadolescence, and social problems of children.

At the moment I am still reading through the book (the effects of recent socioeconomic changes on children and childhood in developing societies and western societies). And (children, soical problems, and the future of childhood). There are some interest statistics in those chapters!!

If anyone had ever across this book, please do give me some advise and comments of this book, thanks.
P.S. When I got the books I don't read from the first page to the last page because I havn't got the patience and the time. It's very tire reading for me as second language reader. Normally I got the headache after one chapter of the book. (by the way who would read through whole those academic book as a student?!) I never finish reading them, so forgive me if you found the book useless!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Writing my GCSE English couse work

I started my GCSE English course two weeks ago and trying to write a personal biography for someone that I known well. At first I choosed my younger daughter, Lucy but I changed my mind because my older daughter, Jessica who found out that I weren't writing about her and she wasn't happy about it. She thought I love Lucy more then love her, so I changed the person who I writing about just to make her happy.
I just got my written skill test result back which I took at the first week of the GCSE English course. Saddly and disappointedly, I only got E for my grade which I feel shame myself. As second year degree student, to get such grade for my English it is like the world is falling on me.
I've been trying to improve my English for last 9 years but seems never good enough. Everyone around me keep telling me that how good my English is for a person who speak Enlgish as second language. But nobody can understand and knowing how I am straggling in the "Enlgish" world. It's like it doesn't matter how hard I try, it will never good enough to achieve the level that I want. Maybe you need a talent to study a second or third language which I havn't got it.
Well, I will still carry on study and try much harder even I am not sure that I got the ability to do so.

Friday, 10 October 2008

new to a big technology world

This is the first time for me to use blog and express my feeling and opinion on the net. To me, I still not sure about how I am going to do this. I did it in one of the chinese website which you can make new friends and write your dairy. However I didn't enjoy it in the end, simplily because the people who are on the net aren't who they really are. I mean that I found out some people pretend someone that they are not.
Well, if this is the furture education going to be, then I will be in it.