democracy, English-language posts

Do the Left need to listen to the Right?

Earlier this week Jonathon Pie shared this video, which I agree with, so I shared on Facebook:

It’s a bit of a rant, but I think he makes some very valid points, notwithstanding his style.

I do need to point out that when he says “if you feel my mansplaining is triggering you can fuck off” he is falling into the very trap – insulting people – that he urges the Left to avoid. I wonder if that is why some people are rejecting his message -this morning my Facebook feed told me that one of my friends had liked this post:

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I think this tweet/share is a mis-comprehension of what Pie is saying. He’s not saying respect other people’s opinions, he’s saying: respect their right to hold those opinions. Because at the moment those opinions, those voices, are being SILENCED: removed from the forum of public debate.  This is particularly true in the media: Pie is spot-on that the Left-leaning media has demonized the expression of Right-leaning sentiment, to the extent that people have stopped saying it…. but then vote the way they really feel. 続きを読む

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Education and childhood, English-language posts, learning

Experimenting with talking to cameras…

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I’m experimenting with making videos as an addition to writing posts. Here’s a couple on Periscope. The first one was my first experiment – fellow Okinawa Sudbury School staffmember MrD got a notification I was broadcasting, and tuned in to ask some questions, which I attempted to answer. I’m not particularly smooth as yet, hopefully I’ll get better at it with a bit of practice…. 続きを読む

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Education and childhood, English-language posts

Children’s independence

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Summerhill School is a democratically-run boarding school in England for children aged six to eighteen. Founded by A.S. Neill in 1921 it is sometimes called “the oldest children’s democracy in the world,” and when I visited for a week in 2005 I loved it – I said to my mother “That’s the first school I’ve visited that I actually like!” The kids had so much freedom – some of them went to lessons but many of them simply spent the day climbing trees and messing around on bicycles. I also got to witness the school meeting, which was wonderfully egalitarian, with teachers and students on a completely equal footing, able to speak their minds honestly and without 続きを読む

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Education and childhood, English-language posts

APDEC 2016 – initial thoughts

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2016-07-19 09.30.40

I just got back last night from APDEC 2016 in Taiwan. I’m pretty tired but I want to get some initial thoughts down – hopefully I’ll write more about these topics in the coming weeks (once I recover).

About childhood:

  • Play is really, really, really important for children’s development. It’s important for cognitive learning, and also equally important for emotional health (Peter Gray).
  • Children spending time away from their parents is really important, and they cope with it very well – they’re not nearly as dependent on us as we (like to?) think they are (Henry Readhead).
  • Children need other children to play with – there’s nothing wrong with also playing with adults, but playing with other children is vital.
  • Play is also vital for adults – ideally you’ll experience your work as play .
  • Parents need help to be the best parents they can be – without training they’ll tend to copy their own parents.
  • Educators, parents, and children (and indeed, probably everybody in the world) would all do well to learn Non-Violent Communication. This is something I feel I might be able to help people learn, though I also need to learn a lot more about it too.

続きを読む

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democracy, English-language posts

the one thing both sides can agree on

In the UK (if it’s still appropriate to call it that…..) there’s an incredible amount of bad feeling, division, distrust, resentment and anger going on right now, and when people are this angry at each other they tend to focus on their differences (which they use as insults to yell at each other).  I’d like to suggest that, understandable though this anger and shouting is, it would be more useful to try to find something that both Leavers and Remainers can agree on.
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democracy, English-language posts

The Brexit debate is no longer democratic

A simplistic view of democratic process is that it is about voting for what you want, but in reality democratic decision-making is far more complex: it’s about dialogue, and negotiation, and compromises both sides can live with. This is because democracy is founded on the idea that everybody has a valid perspective and therefore should have the right to contribute to decision-making – the aim then becomes a solution or compromise that satisfies as many of the interested parties as is realistically possible without compromising the central principle of mutual respect. 続きを読む

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Education and childhood, English-language posts

Real learning comes from curiosity

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It’s my belief that we should leave children’s learning up to their own curiosity, because learning that comes from curiosity is true learning that they will remember throughout their life, whereas learning that they have forced upon them is shallow and soon forgotten. As an example, I want to reflect on my school-based maths learning.

At 16 years old I got an “A” in my maths GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education, a national exam in England), an exam that involved extensive algebra and trigonometry. Getting an “A” means that at the time I really must have learned the material, and yet now I can hardly do algebra at all. I can’t solve any but the most rudimentary of problems. 続きを読む

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