Sunday, September 2, 2012

spring has sprung - art and music news

Spring time in the studio - with some art works started  - I am looking forward to getting into a bit more painting as the study eases up. In particular some of the drawings of the bush scapes, trees that I started on the trip inland to the salmon gum area of WA, with the Great Western woodlands group. 

study of trees with morning colours of the salt lake in back ground

Music news - Lammas Tide - who I have blogged about before have there new single launch at the Rosemount Hotel on the 9th September  - Partridge Farm! the video clip has been locally made by a friend's son and his mate who are on their gap year. Lead singer, Em, keeps and interesting blog on tumblr and runs an awesome music teaching business  - Rock Scholars.

Hope to see some faces that I know at Rosemount Hotel on the 9th  

'Daisy' at Botanic Gardens Sydney 2012 

I will be the one on the dance floor  - having a psychedelic folk rock jig or two!  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Post-thesis break!

Yes, I have completed the thesis part of my Masters in Education - whew!
Really pleased that the results from the examiner panel has meant that I don't have to revisit it again -so in keeping with the theme of not revisiting things I decided on a holiday to Sydney to celebrate!

We found a cool house in Balmain -really great architect designed place - we are loving it!

The house was in Balmain (near Darling Street see above pic) - very handy to two ferries to Circular Quay, buses and the place was full of local dress and gift shops, bakeries, bars and restaurants - fantastic!
However, the surrounding street and laneway near the house was noisy and a bus stop was just out the front of the place so I was told that in the front rooms ear plugs were needed!

Great weather, very easy to get around - considering we travelled on public transport for most of the time and were a party of 7 - we found it not too difficult to get out and about every day.
We also saw some fantastic public art too.

This installation in a CBD laneway in Sydney is called "Birdsong"  and as you walk underneath the suspended cages a recording of an endangered bird are played......just so inspiring!

After  10 days in Balmain and the central Sydney area, our USA friends left us for home and we continued on to Manly to visit friends there. It was, yet again, great weather and we enjoyed several coastal walks which included great coffee stops midway. One walk featured some some really interesting sculptural art.

It was a great holiday in Sydney - made all the better by sharing it with some local friends and our USA ones too. I would recommend it! 



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Masters Dissertation has been handed to the examiner panel......

What an experience this has been  -  the process from the idea to the establishment of a study and then the writing up of an original research project! Well, it has been nothing short of a supreme challenge.

I think I understand why people climb mountains now .....perhaps even why Bear Grylls is driven to survive when faced with inhospitable and hostile environments. ......and why he can only do so with a vast, talented and patient support crew....and studying at this level is a bit the same - it an only be survived with a vast and supportive loving support crew! So thank you to mine, you are all so very, very loved and appreciated. Also thanks to the teachers and the school for their participation in the study - without which there would be nothing to say. It has been very special to sit and reflect with the teachers who shared of their time so generously and honestly. As the saying goes -'if you want something done -ask a busy person!'.

Sadly, for me I continue to find the experience of isolated writing just too much. I hate the isolation that was my current experience of  post grad study in education - the not talking through ideas, sharing viewpoints and coming to agreements and understandings about the new the unexpected, the contested and just occasionally .....the extraordinary. Next time I will know what questions to ask a lot earlier and how to structure and find supportive 'sounding boards' into the process a lot more - however, it has been about my learning too, so it is good that I understand these things now.


 Anyway.......the next step in the process is to pass the dissertation, and complete two professional studies units and then I can graduate.....wee-hoo! Meanwhile I continue to look at what teachers do and the good ones remain inspirational to me and the poor ones are thankfully still there at least and probably doing only what they know how ....with increased time and proper funding and some support from mentors in schools they have could have an opportunity to become better teachers. No teacher starts out wanting to be bad at what they do ....that is just silly.  

Removing the entire responsibility for teacher training from those who don't teach/ can't teach in schools,  would be a good place to start professional reforms.  I remember reading a book on teaching strategic  reading by Jeffrey Wilhelm - a professor from the University of Maine, USA  who still taught at the local high school a few classes a week. I thought then what a great thing for him to do - how revolutionary is that professor! To continue to work in a school with the very students he was teaching others to teach and read... he was walking the talk. Systems that remove the professional reformers from the very place they are trying to improve I have decided are not so helpful.

I hope I can make a difference to our current school system without ever losing touch with what a school currently has to do and what it feels like for our teachers who continue to do fantastic work at times, working within the constraints than are so limiting.

Finally a podcast treat about the Finnish Education system that exposes some of the gaps and gaping silences is our current schooling system in Australia!