For teachers: how to assess and analyse ways in which pupils respond to stories, poems and plays | (MichaelRosen)

(This is an update of a previous post.You can copy it, use it, circulate it, adapt it, select parts of it etc etc. It would be nice if you acknowledged that I wrote it!)

Over the last 5 years, I’ve been involved in supervising students doing a single term’s module on an MA, in which some have chosen to analyse their pupils’ responses to literature. Frequently, the issue that has arisen: exactly how do we as teachers evaluate what the pupils are saying or writing? We can of course accept the criteria required by the test and exam systems. Or we can draw on reader-response theory and a…

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Hot cross buns? Or not hot cross buns? | (MichaelRosen)

When I was growing up my father and mother were in the Communist Party. One result of this was that they tended to mark everything as OK or not-OK. They were also Jewish – lapsed – or collapsed – not sure which – and this also had some OK or not-OK things about it too. As a kid, I didn’t always know whether the OK or not-OK thing being talked about was OK or not-OK because they were Communists or because they were Jewish or both. Liking pickled herring was, I figured, not a Communist thing. But what about Jesus? My dad said that there was nothing wrong with Jesus but ‘You don’t have to be…

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“Boss Baby” – Karl Marx, spaghetti coming out of your nose, and commodity fetishism | (MichaelRosen)

One thing that we marxists have bang on about is how capitalism is not just an economic system but how it reaches into all parts of society and life. So, the word ‘love’ is not really some kind of abstract, constant, universal but is expressed through specific ways depending on its time and place. Under capitalism (as we say), there’s no part of love that is fully free of how we earn and spend money, how beauty is commodified, (ie bought and sold) and so on and so on. (I’m sure i don’t need to go on.)

My cinema-going habits are partly determined by our son (12) who said he wanted to see…

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Eleven grammar school myths and the actual facts | (MichaelRosen)

Eleven grammar school myths, and the actual facts by Henry StewartPosted: 16 Mar, 2015  43 Contact for press enquires: Henry Stewart (07870 682442) 

Many claims are made by the proponents of grammar schools, with their rose-tinted view of a bygone era. How well do they stand up to a bit of analysis? The information here is taken from my contribution to the Civitas publication “The Ins and Outs of Selective Secondary Schools: A Debate”, published today.
Myth 1: Comprehensives have failedComprehensive schools come in for frequent criticism in Parliament and the press. However the comprehensive…

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3 education ‘stories’ not covered by the mass media | (MichaelRosen)

The three ‘stories’ that we hear of very little in the mainstream media are:

a) the experience of people who went to Secondary Modern Schools
b) the experience of working class kids who went to grammar schools and got chucked out before doing O-levels (we keep hearing about the ones who succeeded) and
c) kids from poor backgrounds who went (or go) to comps and who succeed.
(If you want to contribute to a  blog about a) the people who went to Secondary Modern Schools, please go to:

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Grammars: they’re not coming back because they’re ‘good’. It’s ‘social engineering’. | (MichaelRosen)

The statistical argument for bringing back grammar schools has been exploded by left, right and centre, by Newsnight, by universities, by everyone.

So why would the Tories insist on bringing them back?

Because they don’t care about the statistics or the evidence. This is about social engineering – the very crime that they accused Labour of and which the media lapped up.

This is about changing people’s mentality. Exactly as honest Tories say that they destroyed social housing because in their terms it ‘bred socialism’, they want to complete the job of destroying comprehensive or…

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Poem: Citizens of Nowhere | (MichaelRosen)

We may not have an anthem

we may not have a flag
we are the world of
people who move,
people who move on

we are called migrants
immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers,
stateless, no papers,
on the run…
we are, they say, a diaspora
we are, they say, between cultures
or a mosaic of cultures
sometimes we are, they say,
rootless cosmopolitans
or citizens of nowhere

sometimes they say
or we say
we are in exile
but that asks us to imagine we are spending all our time
looking back over our shoulder

we are
supposedly in a limbo
lacking something
that everyone else has got
and the only…

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