The excellent Enquiring Minds project goes from strength to strength and has produced a set of development materials which interested teachers and teacher librarians can use to try to bring about some change in the curriculum and in particular, to encourage more dialogue between teachers and school students in relation to the design of assignments. I’ve noted before that this project has shown that when students are more motivated to do assignments i.e. assignments of which they feel some ownership, then they put more work into these assignments and can be more confident in their approach. My own recent research shows that if students are more interested in the assignments they are doing then they are more likely to be amenable to suggestions that they use information literacy techniques, such as concept mapping and skills, such effective information retrieval. These materials look very promising indeed.
Across parts of the world, you may have seen reports of snow in the UK. Well, yes, it did snow in London and the airports were closed and the buses didn’t even run and the underground came to a halt and there were huge traffic jams – because – shock horror – there was about an inch (25cm) or 2 (50cm) of snow. Now before you start sending food parcels to whom you might consider poor, cold, deprived and demented people in London, you might want to consider that when it snows only in other parts of Britain like this, not an eyebrow is raised, not a news report appears and people just get on with it. In today’s Guardian, which as every morning I got from the letterbox, had 2 very sensible articles from people in Moscow and Toronto, wondering what all the fuss was about. Exactly.