Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Close Encounter

Well, I’ve just finished revising the Sci-Fi materials for Scholastic and by far the most eye-opening thing has been re-jigging the activities to fit the new Primary Strategy objectives for writing. With 12 strands to look at and as many as 5 objectives per strand in each year, it’s a fairly complex task. I also felt that some of the objectives needed re-wording or else are just too general to make sense. Then, of course, some of the objectives are broken down into 3 steps for learning. To make matters worse the QCA assessment focuses for writing complicate rather than simplify the endeavour, often referring to concepts that you might find in Grammar for Writing. This is of course exactly what we mean by schooled literacy (coined by Cook-Gumperz, 1986). It’s all very worthy, but at the end of the day it seems rather like an atomised description of skills that get orchestrated (a favourite Strategy word) to produce texts that conform. Progression is sequenced in a rather arbitrary way. One can’t help thinking of the whole exercise as one of control....over on Planet Foucault.

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