Oct. 30th, 2003

jason: jason (Default)
I've been having some interesting thoughts while reading through the journals... I'm enjoying them a lot,though I'm shocked at how few students bothered to correct their writing problems in the selections handed in. I did deduct for spelling and grammar. But almost nothing at all.

Many students have made wonderful points and insights. That said, some have disturbed me. Some folks are upset by the idea of being creative online, writing online and communicating online. Everyone always agrees that doing things face to face is usually preferable. But most people are passive in the 'real world'. What is better: passive in the real world or creative online? Yes, perhaps creative in the real world is best, but that's not the question. Many people do not have creative opportunities in the physical world. Many people's creativity cannot be supported in the real world. Many people don't have friends withwhom they can share their creativity in the real world. Should they be left out? Personally, I write fiction in the real world, but I share it online. MY online friends are my 'real world' friends who are too far away at the moment.

My second point builds on this... why do you assume that there is one 'real world'? There is nothing in human experience that assumes this. And why do you assume that there is only one you? Experience is multiple. People change. The adult is: parent, child, worker, caregiver, lover, puritan, epicurian. The real world is: work, home, spiritual place, play space...

And much of the real world and real person is virtual... it is imaginary... what's wrong with this?

The question is, then, what does technology add or remove from all this?

Of course, diapers and cars and chairs are all technology. And you like them... so what's the problem?

Just my thoughts while reading...

And if you are reading this, why not comment... then I know you're being a good student :)

Further thoughts:
Every*thing* use in modern society were *new* technologies once. Why are they ok now? Will computers become an old technology that you don't think about any more? Like diapers?
jason: jason (Default)
To all the Ryerson ECE folks reading this LJ, I thought you might find this interesting. The article: "Telling Tales Over Time: Constructing and Deconstructing the School Calendar" was written by Joel Weiss, my dissertation supervisor. It just came out today in TCrecord. J


TCrecord is the journal of Columbia Teacher's College.


The September-to-June school calendar has been a fixture of North America for almost a century. Its origins have usually been told as an unexamined tale attributed to features of nineteenth century rural society. We challenge this interpretation by suggesting that multiple pressures arising from increasing urbanization influenced its roots. We present information on the importance of the summer holiday in the development of compulsory schooling in several North American jurisdictions, with the main evidence from Ontario, the most populous province in Canada. We suggest, along with Gold (2002), that this development had wider applicability in several Northeastern and Midwestern American states. Beyond the issue of having an accurate story line, we examine why there has been such resistance in recent times to changing the school year. The school calendar may be another example of an enduring institutional form referred to by Tyack and Tobin as a “grammar of schooling” that resisted fundamental change in the twentieth century. Viewing the school calendar’s ties with changes over time in the construction of other clocks of society may enable us to rethink the format of the contemporary school calendar. Finally, we consider the school calendar as part of a larger, ongoing discussion of what constitutes effectiveness of schools.

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