New ‘Alice in Wonderland’ manuscript discovered: ‘Alice in the House’. | (MichaelRosen)

Alice walked into the house and it was very noisy. People were standing up and sitting down and nearly everyone was shouting things like ‘Here!’ and ‘No!’. That’s funny, thought Alice, where I come from it’s ‘here and now’. Maybe they don’t know what they’re doing, she thought. 
Some people started talking about a motion. She had heard the doctor talking about that when her mother had had digestion difficulties and that’s what it seemed like when a lot of the people started shouting about passing the motion which was, sad to say, proving to be very difficult. Never put off till tomorrow, what…

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Leave, Remain, Bremain, Rexit – it’s not our battle. | (MichaelRosen)

1. I assume that groups of capitalists and their sponsors in public and in government try very hard to do things which they think are best for capitalism.
2. This often brings them into conflict or disagreement with each other. This is mostly because the whole point of capitalism is that capitalists are in competition with each other (for markets, for labour) but also because there are ‘sectional interests’ e.g. finance capital may not think in exactly the same way as manufacturing capital, agri-business may not think in the same way as say the drugs business and so on. Similarly the supply…

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Thoughts on education, the arts, assessment and schools | (MichaelRosen)

1. Spluttered coffee moment: heard people on radio saying that to get out of this Brexit impasse,  May and/govt need ‘imagination’ and ‘creativity’. What???!!! The govt (Gove and Gibb) abolished that stuff. We do eBacc, ‘rich knowledge’ with ‘right/wrong’ answers now.

2. When you squash and squeeze the arts out of schools, you not only deprive students of a chance to get arts qualifications, you deprive everyone in a school community of what the arts can offer as a way of interpreting the world – the mix of feeling and ideas.
3. People in power in education have prioritised ‘knowledge’ and…

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What does it mean to read and understand a text: short bibliography | (MichaelRosen)

Some Reader-Response titles especially in relation to education:

The Dynamics of Literary Response by Norman N. Holland

Where Texts and Children Meet, eds Eve Bearne and Victor Watson

The Social Construction of Meaning, reading literature in urban classrooms, by John Yandell [secondary]

The Reading Environment, Aidan Chambers

Reading and Response, eds Michael Hayhoe and Stephen Parker

Talking, Listening, Learning, effective talk in the Primary Classroom by Debra Myhill, Susan Jones, Rosemary Hopper

How texts teach what readers learn, Margaret Meek 
Creativity in Language and…

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What does it mean to read and understand a text? The ‘reader-response’ processes. | (MichaelRosen)

I think to get a handle on that question we have to go into the processes, (the ‘mind-games’ if you like) that we go through as we read, and after we have read.
One way to talk about this is to call it ‘comprehension’ and devise a set of right/wrong answer type questions which ‘prove’ that we have understood a text. These often revolve round ‘retrieval’, ‘inference’, getting the ‘chronology’ or ‘sequencing’ right and so on.
The problem with this model is precisely that there are only right/wrong answers. It treats a text as if it is an egg-box full of eggs and ‘comprehension’ is a matter of…

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How do we create a writing-friendly environment? | (MichaelRosen)

Writing will not flourish unless we create a writing-friendly environment. The main ways we can do this is through publication and performance. This makes it sounds grander than it is. What I mean by ‘publication’, is any means by which we can enable the pupils’ writing to be seen by other pupils, friends, family and the world at large. This might be through legible wall-displays, booklets, books, magazines, using the school bulletin, creating blogs, printing off writing ‘pamphlets’, creating ‘guides’ to places that the pupils have visited, and indeed any writing outlet at all. This involves…

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In support of today’s demonstration | (MichaelRosen)

We know that racism, fascism, antisemitism and islamophobia are on the move, gathering support. Even worse, there are people in positions of power and influence who have put in place discriminatory policies or nod towards key figures in these racist movements giving them at the very least verbal support. Two generations ago, in France and Poland my family was ripped apart by fascists and their collaborators, with lives ended in the orgy of hate and brutality that raged across Europe. When we say, things like ‘Never again’, or ‘No pasaran’ or ‘Souviens-toi’ we must make sure we mean it and do…

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