Saturday, August 01, 2009

I am still here, sort of. Here's an update to prove it.

Blimey, where to start? I've spent a few days mostly AFK, as we parents have to sometimes, and come back to find I've missed quite a lot. The main things, as far as I can tell, have been Simon Webb's spitefully demonic little flourishes in the Independent (the comments are the best part, especially M FW's near the bottom of page 3) and also in the TES, although fortunately his piece was expertly rebutted there by Jeremy Yallop. I've read quite a few of Simon Webb's posts to various HE lists, which also consisted mainly of attacks on the autonomous learning method, and various other elaborate but dogmatic justifications (to himself?) of his own decisions. My position is the same as many I've read on the issue: I wouldn't seek to restrict his family's choices, so why would he seek to restrict those of mine? I think he's been removed from all of the HE lists now.

In other [shocking] news, the DCSF has published a review into 'self-regulated learning' [opens pdf] - which looks something like autonomous to me. Oh, apparently:

Autonomy is an important dimension of self regulation. Students who own their goals – because they enjoy the activity or because it fits with their values - devote more time to their tasks, show greater concentration, process information more deeply, and show greater levels of persistence (Ryan and Deci, 2002). On the other hand, when individuals feel coerced to achieve a goal they do less well, scoring lower on a number of academic outcome measures (Lemos, 2002; Nolen, 2003).

- and so on, although it's still very much set in terms of 'teaching' and 'classrooms'.

I found this excerpt quite funny:

Studies of interventions designed to increase self-regulation..

! Um.. doesn't self-regulation require an absence of interventions? And can this government conceive of anything at all that doesn't involve some kind of an intervention? Evidently not.

Also, just in case you haven't been reading Carlotta recently (of course you have!) we now have a Home Educated Youth Council, with a very snazzy website. I am impressed.

Is that everything? I think that's just about everything. As for my plans here, well I've nearly finished the excruciating grind that is critiquing the Badman report [opens pdf]. For some reason it's got increasingly more difficult, which is perhaps why jobs like cleaning the kitchen floor have suddenly looked quite attractive. But I will get to the end of it one day, and then be free to move onto other things.


Anonymous Renegade Parent said...

Hello! [waves]. Glad you're still here and pacing yourself with the report. Looking forward (in a manner of speaking) to reading your thoughts as and when you finish your analysis. Lisa :-)

5:41 pm, August 01, 2009  
Blogger Louise said...

I saw on Facebook about the home-ed youth council and quite rightly some people expressed concerns about the fact they state :
"We seek to represent the views of home educated children and young adults in the UK".
How are they going to do this? Surley they represent the views of those speaking at the time. There was a mention of this being a younger version of EO that assumes representation of a community but can't actually do it.

7:40 pm, August 01, 2009  
Blogger Louise said...

Gah!! and I don't mean to be a youth basher either. Obviously we need home-ed youths to speak out about their education and lives :-)

7:41 pm, August 01, 2009  
Blogger Maire said...

Glad to see you back, was on here yesterday looking to see if for some reason I was missing updates. I too am looking forward to your dissection of our version of 'Tom Riddle's Diary'.

8:07 pm, August 01, 2009  
Blogger Raquel said...

I am going to put my head on the block here. I think adult organisations are fair game..we either love them, or hate them or are indifferent. But when young people get up and make a stand about the very thing that affects them, it would be very harsh to not support them. I am putting myself into the position of the members of HEYC and if i were them I would feel really pissed off that the adults were making this political. The students at Summerhill made a very big difference to the outcome. Our children could do the same. My daughter wants to join HEYC but I'm worried about it because of the crap she might get from adults. That is so wrong IMO. As an autonomous home educator, I will support her in whatever she decides. This may mean I will upset friends. But my daughter comes first. I guess this is the dilemma of true freedom. What do you do when your children take paths that are controversial?

12:11 am, August 02, 2009  
Blogger Allie said...

Go HEYC! I wish them every success and will be ready to support their efforts.

Glad you're still here, Gill.

10:09 am, August 02, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Raquel.

The youngsters deserve our support and help in any way to facilitate what they want to do, and it seems a good thing to me. After all, it is their lives that the government want to interfere with. They will be the losers if home education gets outlawed.
(autonomous mongooses - last entry)

12:16 pm, August 02, 2009  
Blogger cosmic seed said...

Actually it's not *just* adults that are making comments about HEYC. I know of a few HE children who aren't happy about the idea of being *represented* by any one but themselves. I have no problem with HEYC IF they make it clear that they are only speaking for themselves, if they do that then I wish them all the very best, and say *good on them*.

1:32 pm, August 02, 2009  
Blogger Raquel said...

ok...then maybe someone could ask them to change this bit:
"We seek to represent the views of home educated children and young adults in the UK."

Maybe they don't realise it is controversial?

1:43 pm, August 02, 2009  
Blogger Barry said...

That passage on autonomous learning, I know they *actually* mean it in reference to school-based education, and ways of coercing children to be intrinsically motivated to learn the things the DCSF deem correct (no laughing at the back), but I am relishing the prospect of defending autonomous HE and being able to quote their own research at them!

2:44 pm, August 03, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to follow the link to the TES article and vote on "should home educators face greater security?" on the right hand side. I've watched the vote slip from 20% yes and 79% no a few days ago to 44% yes and 55% no now. It's a petty and trivial thing but it's irritating that it's swinging away from us. It's possible to vote more than once, perhaps by doing so on different days - not that home edders would stoop to such tactics, of course.
I was surprised that a newspaper aimed at teachers should be against greater scrutiny of home ed. It would be nice to keep it that way!

4:46 pm, August 04, 2009  

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