Academic Teaching, by Maja Elmgren and Ann-Sofie Henriksson – Book Review

Lincoln Green

Image © Kobebigs

Elmgren and Henriksson’s book, translated from Swedish, provides the reader with an extremely broad overview of key concepts in the theory and practice of education.  Although directed towards teachers in Higher Education it will prove of great relevance to all those involved in post-compulsory education.  The rapid development of HE courses in Further Education colleges through a franchising arrangement or involvement in a Consortium, with new teachers required to develop higher level knowledge, skills and approaches in their students will make this book a particularly relevant vocational tool.

The broad sweep of the book’s content is for the most part rooted in research and the reader is directed towards original source material in texts and journals.  The authors acknowledge however that teachers often ignore evidence based practice, even in an environment where specialist research is a primary function of the organisation.  Those working in the sector would perhaps claim workload as a constraint against wider reading and extended professional development.  This is unfortunate as the book contains much inspirational material which the reader will wish to explore further.  Read more of this post

The Intellectual Life Of The British Working Classes by Jonathan Rose, Book Review

Left Central Book Review

Jonathan Rose has provided a service to the working class, an increasingly ignored and demonised section of UK society; clearly there is more to this maligned group than the sobriquet, Chav. Although such hostility is not new; as the working class portrayal by EM Foster in Howard`s End indicates, the caricature of Leonard Bast, soundly critiqued in this text. Rose compares Leonard Bast with Manchester clerk Neville Cardus, he and a companion we are informed, “talked and talked…not to air our economic grievances, not to spout politics and discontent, but to relieve the ferment of our minds, our emotions after the impact of Man and Superman, Elektra, Riders to the Sea, Pelleas and Melisande, Scheherazade, Prince Igor”. Cardus a brilliant autodidactic represents a highly prevalent though largely forgotten feature of our industrial past. Today readers assimilate classical literature by first buying a`Beginners Guide`, it can only be imagined what the Scottish weavers of the Industrial Revolution would have thought of this. Mill workers carrying out intricate and tough manual labour, while next to them perched on a reading stand was a copy of the Iliad or the Odyssey. They read an entire canon of classical literature this way, an army of working class autodidacts, learning at their work station. Jonathan Rose like the Scottish weavers he so eloquently describes has seamlessly woven a vast collection of working class memoirs into a compelling piece of prose with an essence of John Clare. Read more of this post