Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I have now closed this blog and transferred everything to Wordpress .

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Changes in Education

New technology is in danger of swamping education in Scotland. There is no shortage of imaginative ideas for using this technology. Where are the people discussing and planning the strategy of its use across education?

Unless the pedagogy or methodology changes the new technology will become as boring as the old chalk and talk. And to change the pedagogy we must re-examine the goals. Our present system is based on the goals our Victorian forefathers saw as useful outcomes for educating the nineteenth century worker. We need to be certain that we have goals fit for purpose in the twenty first century.

Unfortunately unlike our predecessors we have a massive educational bureaucracy which is as difficult to shift as a supertanker and probably with about the same vision and imagination as the supertanker.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

ID Cards are creating more heat than light at the moment.

However, there was a throwaway mention on Radio 4 that when Napoleon III was exiled to the UK he was amazed at how easily people moved around the country. In France at that time you needed permission to visit a neigbouring town

A national database of the people could lead to electronic surveillance and hence to restrictions on the movement of non-convicted persons.

Or am I being paranoid?

I have always believed that a government should test any law by imagining the powers conferred to be used by their political opponents or political extremists. This government has never even thought about doing this for the last eight years.

A question has been posed elsewhere. What will education in Scotland be like in the short, medium and long terms?

It's easy to be flippant or pessimistic or optimistic, but not to be serious and realistic. Time frames are difficult in education. Looking back five, ten or twenty years may give some clue. But the fundamentals in those time frames have not changed greatly. Syllabuses have changed; some exams have changed or been introduced; technology has changed. Methods have not changed. The classroom is based on the teacher imparting knowledge and teaching skills. Pupils absorb the information for exams and use some of the skills to do it.

The model of universal literacy and numeracy is based on a nineteenth century requirement and vision. Can we agree on a new vision based on the requirements of modern twenty first century life or should it be the same as the past, because life for the majority has not changed?

Too many questions!

Friday, March 31, 2006

I am on holiday now for a fortnight so I hope I will get back to my GTD way of life. I have lots to do in the time and I wonder whether GTD will get me nearer to completing the list than is the usual case.

I heard James Lovelock (Gaia) this morning saying that it is now too late to halt climate change due to CO2, but that we should be looking to mitigate the effects. Is he right?

He certainly appears to sense the mood of fatalism in the general public. It's going to happen anyway and there is nothing much we as individuals can do about it.

At 66 I will probably be not greatly affected, but my grandsons should be alive at the end of this century if a little aged. Will they make it and will life be worth living?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I have slipped up and GTD has fallen by the wayside this week. Why I don't know. But unlike any other system of organising my life, I am suffering withdrawal symptoms. Tomorrow must be GTD restart day.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Again today there has been an announcement of personnel cuts in an NHS hospital. Over the last few years, more money than ever before has been poured into the NHS. There have been considerable increases in salaries but even so, what has happened to bring about this state of affairs?

It is not that long ago that Gordon Brown was proposing to cut civil service jobs. Instead we have had increases in administrative staff in Whitehall and the NHS, and now we are going to lose productive hospital staff. All this is against a background of massive tax increases.

Why do we swallow the idea propogated by Gordon himself that he is a prudent iron chancellor?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The more I read about Gordon Brown, the more I ask myself why have we all be lulled into such a false sense of security.

Take pensions. By altering the tax regime, he has effecively wiped out the company final salary pension scheme as we know it. With ever increasing numbers of people dependent on the state, either through salaries or benefits, our Gordon is leaving a debt which future generations may refuse to honour.

Is it really just his longwindedness, his pose of gravitas, his convoluted sentences that have allowed him to get away with this increasing mess over nearly ten years?

Blair's spinning is like a child's top compared to what Gordon has achieved.