Whose book is it anyway?

by | Dec 22, 2018 | Books, Classroom Practice, Teenagers | 0 comments

A mainstream memory.

The year 10 books have gone missing.
I taught a double research lesson with no books.
How has this happened?
Someone at the top of the hierarchy decided that new books were needed. New shiny books where no doodling or multi-coloured pens are allowed. Out with the old in with the new – where more generic, identical boxes can be ticked for each pupil and fed into a data machine. But hang on, Someone has also decided that the old books need to stay at school – WE NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR THE INSPECTORS.

Start composing the world you want to live in:
The world I want to live in has space and time.
Time to breathe, space to see.

The year 10 books have a box all of their own.
The year 10 books have a box all of their own, or better still, the students are so integrated into their work and their thought processes that these books (whether real or virtual) are an extension of themselves. Subjects are not divided in an arbitrary fashion left over from the Victorians – unless that works for the student. They choose.
Doodling, multi-coloured pens, apps, phones and glitter are all readily available and encouraged – if that helps the individual student.
I teach a small group of students at any one time. An amount I can know and love and care for.
I have time to help a student look for the odd book that goes missing. It is the student’s responsibility firstly.

One day the students could make their own books. Cut down a tree, forge the paper, bind the spine, decorate the cover. Re-plant a tree.
Others might want to visit a book making factory: examine how the orders are created, materials resourced, how the staff organise the infrastructure .
That may take a while.
They might learn not to waste their book.

Another project could include finding a way for our learning community to help provide books for those students in the world without books.
That might take a while too.
Students might have to link with people outside of the education environment: people in the real world.


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