Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bilingually Dyslexic

In an interesting follow up to an announcement I touched upon in my post yesterday my MP asked a pertinent question about dyslexia and compulsary foriegn languages.

There is research claiming that people can be dyslexic in one language but not in another, although the evidence has criticised.

I would argue that this is not an argument against the teaching of foreign languages, properly supported pupils with dyslexia will achieve, on average, just as well as any other pupil. The problem, as Mr Gove appears to have correct, is identifying the dyslexia early.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

"Sir, Yes Sir!" or Old soldiers never die they just get a little teacher-training

So Michael Gove has announced his education reforms, which the BBC are calling "the most radical in a generation". The White Paper called "The Importance of Teaching" sets out a range of reforms some good, some bad, some ugly.

The best idea, in my personal view, is making foreign languages compulsory to 16. Languages are about more than just language, learning them helps students understand other cultures and creates "global citizens".

Among the bad ideas is the proposal to cut the funding for school sports collaborations, which the Grauniad reckons will require a U-turn and lead to much too-ing and fro-ing in Westminster.

And then there is an ugly duckling, nestling in section 2.15, the government will be developing a "Troops to Teachers" programme. This aims to encourage ex-members of the Armed Forces to retrain as teachers by sponsoring their PGCEs.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Why do giant squid have blue blood?

 A few weeks ago I attended at cinema showing of Inside Nature's Giants: The Giant Squid. In the series a team of experts dissect and examine some of the World's largest animals.

The giant squid (ref)
The Giant Squid is a little understood member of the class Cephalopoda, the cephalopods, known as Architeuthis dex (among other names). They are truly amazing animals, growing up to 20 meters long without a bone in their body (only a beak formed of protein and chitin).

Among the mysteries which were discussed in the programme and the Q&A session with some of the cast afterwards was the question;

"Why do giant squid have blue blood?"