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RE: [xmca] new national curriculum in Australia

Interesting about the grammar. 
I had a father who was fanatical, so I think that lay the foundation for
me... he was always studying his German (later his Russian) and took
language study, and grammar especially, quite seriously. One of my
favorite books of his was (and still is) the Loom of Language... I
became fascinated by the similarities. 
At any rate, when we moved to Germany (I was 9) I encountered grammar in
an upfront way and it was really through the study of foreign language
that I began to learn about grammar in a deep way. Now it is forever
visible... :-)
NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) members have some
disagreement as to whether it should be taught explicitly or absorbed in
context. ATEG, the Assembly for Teaching of English Grammar has a brief
monograph on the topic.   http://www.ateg.org/monographs/mulroy.php  If
you go to the home page and play around you will find more links than
you ever imagined on grammar.... :-)

That said... for my money, grammar is best taught in short bursts when
it is needed. Assess the individual's development... look at what they
are closest to and work on that area... don't tackle what is "missing",
but what is developing. A little formal, explicit teaching can really
support what we have already acquired. 


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 6:21 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [xmca] new national curriculum in Australia

Our immensely incompetent Labor Government yesterday 
announced their new national curriculum for schools 
(formerly this was a state responsibility).

It features the teaching of history from the very beginning, 
including indigenous history (this is an unambiguous good) 
and emphasises the 3 Rs, including grammar. No curriculum 
has been set yet in Geography and other subjects.


Helen raised with me off-line this problem of reintroducing 
the teaching of grammar: who is going to educate the 
educators? Anyone under 55 today did not learn grammar at 
school or until they did a foreign language, when they 
learnt the grammar of the other language. (Grammar means 
"Which icon do I click now?")

What do xmca-ers think about teaching grammar? (I am in favour.)

Also, many progressive educators here are opposed to 
curricula in toto: education should be about learning not 
content. Do xmca-ers agree?

Given the disastrous implementation of policies by this 
government over the past 2 years, I fear for our education 
system. What do people think?


Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, 
Ilyenkov $20 ea

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