Thursday, January 31, 2013
comeuppance after all his recent meddling in the compulsory sector. The English Baccalaureate is one of his most reductive and divisive ideas - and the opposition is gathering strength. When it's compared with something more imaginative, like the International Baccalaureate, you see how we are hobbled by limited vision, a curriculum devoid of values, and an Education Secretary who is ideologically driven. Unfortunately we are currently in a position in which professional voices are ignored and political opposition fragmented. Is it too much to hope that the Labour Party can seize this opportunity to begin a movement that hands education back to educators?
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Batu caves illustrates.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Hand (watch him here), and later I read Raymond Tallis's book with the same title. An interest I never followed up. Now I'm reading Herbert Clark's chapter 'Pointing and Placing' which is in this collection which is a carefully-constructed scholarly exploration of the ways in which communicative attention incorporates gesture in 'directing to' and 'placing for'. At first it seemed to be very culturally specific, but as the chapter progresses Clark acknowledges that these are cultural conventions - his data being North American (presumably Caucasian). His use of the idea of vectors in nodding, sweeping hand movements, general and specific pointing to objects and sites is fascinating. One dimension that needs more exploration is how this articulates with social relationships. Is it an accident that the majority of Clark's examples are of men pointing things out to women? To extend this to toddlers on iPads it raises the question of adults' attempts to direct to and place for young children - and, of course, because toddlers are so delightfully agentive, the reverse. How do they manipulate adult attention through gesture? So all this folds into the ways in which the hands are also controlling, opening apps, turning pages and the rest. More to follow!
Friday, January 11, 2013
Gesture: Visible Action as Utterance' (2004) is a good start. You could also get quite absorbed in the deictic gesture and the segue between pointing and pressing with the first finger. In our video data you can see plenty of fingers poised in mid-air, children guiding adult fingers and vice versa....and then apparently, I'm not the only one who somehow imagines data stuck to my finger when I'm cutting and pasting! It's all fascinating stuff which will be written up in due course, but for moment the idea that iPads are tailor-made for young children has to join the list of myths.