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Showing posts from December, 2012

Maps and stereotypes: Geography lesson idea.

Most geography teachers are aware of the stereotype reinforcement that is encouraged by most published Atlases.  Being the owner of a three year old whose curiosity about the world is growing, I’ve noticed this more and more.  You could say that it’s in danger of becoming an obsession.The image above is of a large, plastic map that came along with an atlas.  There are reusable stickers that we could stick all over the globe.  New Zealand and Sheep, Tasmanian Devil etc.  The problem isn’t limited to traditional paper based maps.  The image below is from a recently published iPad App.  At least they’re animated I suppose.The point?  As geography teachers, we have a responsibility to make young people aware of the limitations and bias that sources of information contain.   This is a germ of an idea, I’m putting it here to revisit after the New Year Madness.  Similar to a previous stereotype mapping activity, young people would be presented with a map of their local area.  In groups, com…

‘I am not afraid of storms as I am learning how to sail my ship.’ That was 2012. 2013? #bringiton

While I am yet to meet the day in which I do not look forward to going to work, 2012 has been a tough, bittersweet year professionally speaking.  I truly love my job, but the challenge of motivating a high performing, dedicated and inspirational team in the context of working within a school deemed to ‘require improvement’ has been an interesting (and on-going) challenge as increased monitoring has forced some difficult decisions.  As one 15 week term ended and 2013 approaches I am reminded that Ofsted is due to pop in again.  The outcome will put the whole school and Priory Geography under a microscope.  The result will either be a ‘Good’ or ‘Special Measures.’  Still, I am reminded that I wouldn’t be doing anything else.  I am reminded that I couldn’t work with a better team.  I am reminded that I do truly love this job.  I am reminded of the futility and danger that focusing on the narrow accountability agenda brings: you forget about all the wonderful happenings that occur right u…

Running Boy.

I’m sitting down to ponder and produce the final posts of 2012.  One change this year saw me take up running.  I aimed to complete the Great South Run (which I did in 1hr 24mins) and run a total of 500 miles during the year.  I ended up running 600. I’m quite pleased with this achievement and have set my sights on completing the Brighton Marathon in 2012 as well as some other events (feel free to post / tweet your recommendations).  I even went running on Christmas Day.  The benefits of running, other than weight loss ( around 2.5 stone at the moment, while keeping up my intake of quality ale and fitness) to me are: - Being outside more and seeing more of my local area in different seasons.  I’ve always enjoyed the invigorating feeling of being on mountains ad wild places in horrendous conditions, and the post run sugary treat and tea almost equals the post walk / climb ale.Having my 3 year old son say he want to run with me.  I didn’t expect the motivational feeling of being a role …

Jo Debens featured on Daily Edventures

Daily Edventures is a blog put together by Microsoft’s Vice President for education, Anthony SalcitoIts ambitious aim is to feature an educator every day.  I was lucky enough to be featured back in August but I’m very happy that colleague Jo Debens has been featured this week.  Jo is a key member of Priory Geography, and has been there almost from the beginning of the department’s  transformation.  Well deserved recognition for someone who is modest and has the habit of underselling herself I’, sure that you’ll agree with me that her piece is far more interesting than my own.  I’ll also flag up Jo’s long overdue personal blog.  Rest assured that one of my missions will be to nag her to keep it up to date…

Drip feed CPD from Partners in Learning

As we come to the end of another term, it’s been time to reflect on fourteen weeks in my new role as Professional Tutor.  One thing I have learned is that we never stop learning.  Well, I knew that already.  More specifically, I know that no one learns within set periods of time.  One frustration this term is the reliance on CPD ‘time.’  Often at the end of the school day or within INSET days.  This is clearly bonkers.  I’m notorious for not being able to focus during such training sessions.  Add to this that, as a profession, many agree that educators should be modelling ‘any-time-anywhere’ learning with young people and encouraging lifelong learning.Personally, I prefer to dip in and out of training when I get the chance, or when the mood takes me.  This is where I’d like to use Partners in Learning as an example of a setup where this can be achieved.  I’m planning to use their materials in order to develop a whole school approach to up skill teachers at my institution.  There are t…

Branding thanks to @geoDebs

One of the constants in our department is our use of the term ‘Priory Geography.’  That’s our department, and the branding is used throughout our work.  For example, learning resources, our Twitter feed and on internal posters and communications.It’s nice to be part of a team.  This latest logo was knocked up by Jo. Nice work.