Thursday, 1 October 2009

Evolution rising

Good evening and welcome to another week. Unfortunately this week I have had little time to read or see TV programmes, however, I do have a few things to say.

Firstly, Richard Dawkins' show "The Genius of Charles Darwin" is being broadcast on Channel 4 again for UK viewers. The show was in celebration of Darwin's birthday and book this year and I highly recommend it as an interesting review of how people still cannot believe Evolution works.

Tonight David Attenborough's show on Charles Darwin also starts on BBC4. I saw this just before I started writing this blog and again I recommend seeing a great British naturalist present a magnificent show on Evolution.

This week's blog post is a blatantly stolen idea from Ben Goldacre's Bad Science on the Brain Gym. In his review of the pseudoscientific babble that Paul Dennison spouts, Ben Goldacre suggests that waggling his ears could be included into this programme. The other suggestion however, was my own work, building on that. For more information, I recommend Bad Science.

During the past two weeks I have spent my time observing in a local primary school. Coming back into Primary School approximately 11 years after I left the place I was pleasantly surprised to find that this Primary School was a well-run and friendly place with extremely hard-working teachers, a real contrast to my time at Woodley Primary School in Stockport. From my experience I've learnt just how much time teachers have to teach vital subjects and from this I can conclude it isn't enough. This afternoon I spent a session assisting the Year 5 teacher (9-10 year olds) teach about the heart and the circulatory system. Whilst I'm satisfied with the job we did, this took up the entire afternoon, meaning that other subjects which we planned to cover had to be postponed for another day. All the teachers in the school constantly complain of too many government objectives to reach even in reception class (4-5 year olds). I remember (very vaguely) that most of my time spent in reception involved a lot of playing and much less work than the current batch are doing. On the other hand, I have noticed that Phonics (teaching the sounds of the English language to assist reading) and foreign languages have made their appearance in these schools. I personally think this is a good idea, especially when teaching children to learn how to pronounce new words. The foreign languages also helps correct a long term problem with the image of the monolingual English man.

Finally, a little chuckle at Dinosaurs in the nativity!


Had to be done.....

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