Review #GeorgeOrwellOnScreen

My positive disposition towards George Orwell On Screen (Adaptations, Documentaries and Docudramas on Film and Television) – before ever getting to read it – was due to David Ryan‘s generous assistance. The author provided sage advice on where I could view Orwellian material for free while living in London. Many pleasant hours…um…days were spent at BFI Southbank in their […]

Collecting Orwell: A Kind of Compulsion*

*Originally published in George Orwell Studies There are few 20th century writers as collectable as George Orwell. Rare book auctions regularly fetch extraordinary prices, especially for his works published in the 1930s. Even secondhand bookshops have a paucity of battered paperbacks on display. Orwell sells and readers hold on to their copies. Darcy Moore reflects on what […]

Skara Brae and V. Gordon Childe

Tourists strolling the ancient, Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae will note the site owes its “current presentation” to the Australian archaeologist who excavated it between 1928 and 1931. Vernon Gordon Childe (1892 – 1957) was never well-known in the country of his birth and has mostly been lost to history. However, Childe is well-worth exhuming […]

A Wider World View: India-Australia Exchange

Cultural exchange is a very important value for our school. “A Wider World View @DHS” is a broad program encouraging and nurturing intercultural understanding, school exchanges and online connectivity, using tools like Adobe Connect. Our most recent guests from India – Raghav, Parth, Aryan, Vasudha, Anjali, Vritika, Aishwarya, Miss Tanu and Miss Kajal – greatly […]

The Diaries of Henry Osborne (Part 2)

Reading Henry’s diaries is taking longer than expected. Tumbling down the research rabbit hole every few pages is a time-consuming pleasure. Is that book Henry mentioned available readily online? How well did British officials understand Bengali and other local languages? Who were these linguists serving the civil service? What is a Gomashtah? How did the British rule and run their empire and what […]

Building the Windmill (or knocking it down again?)

“…the animals toiled harder than ever, thinking it well worth while to plod to and fro all day with blocks of stone if by doing so they could raise the walls another foot. Boxer would even come out at nights and work for an hour or two on his own by the light of the […]

Who We Are and How We Got Here by David Reich #review and my #reading in April

“The breakthrough that all archaeologists have been waiting for; a truly exciting account of the way in which ancient DNA is making us rethink prehistory. Essential reading for everyone interested in the past.”   Barry Cunliffe “In just five years the study of ancient DNA has transformed our understanding of world prehistory. The geneticist David Reich, […]

The Diaries of Henry Osborne (Part I)

“A sub-deputy’s job was to supervise the poppy growers in his district and make sure the crop was cultivated in the most efficient way. The government itself made cash advances to cultivators, purchased their product, carried on the manufacturing process and made the final sale of the poppy juice to the factories and exporters in […]

#Essays #TheRubofTime #FeelFree #review and my #reading in February

The day-to-day business of compiling a novel often seems to consist of nothing but decisions – decisions, decisions, decisions. Should this paragraph go here? Or should it go there? Can that chunk of exposition be diversified by dialogue? At what point does this information need to be revealed? Ought I to use a different adjective […]

Parents and Education in NSW

Recently I overheard a conversation between parents in a bookshop. They were struggling to understand NAPLAN, “minimum standards” and what a “band 8” actually meant in the context of the Higher School Certificate. Neither were able to help each other. Announced by former education minister Adrian Piccoli in 2016, the policy required Year 9 students […]

George Orwell and William Shakespeare

George Orwell aka Eric Blair (1903-50) is now clearly second only to Shakespeare in the pantheon of English literary giants. In our current contemporary context, where hyperbole is coin of the realm, such an opening claim would seem worthy of challenge. Who would you throw into this literary ring to fight such a bout? TS […]

#MyHouseofSky #JABaker #review and my #reading in December

“There is no mysterious essence we can call a ‘place’. Place is change. It is motion killed by the mind, and preserved in the amber of memory.”  JA Baker “There is an animal mystery in the light that sets upon the fields like a frozen muscle that will flex and wake at sunrise.”  JA Baker Some […]

A Baker’s Dozen: Most Enjoyable Reads of 2017

Reviewing the books read or re-read in 2017, I chose the thirteen (sic) most satisfying reading experiences for the year. In other words, I reflected on how much stimulation and pleasure was felt sitting with the book – and why. If you have the patience, the following slideshow will countdown for this year. The rest […]

Dæmon Voices #review and my #reading in November

Philip Pullman’s Dæmon Voices – Essays on Storytelling is pleasurable reading for English teachers, students, writers and anyone who loves stories. Best known for the trilogy, His Dark Materials, Pullman has a deep, highly practical understanding of what it takes to craft a story to delight both novice and experienced teachers of writing. His obvious […]

MyData: Personalising the Curriculum

Recently I presented DNA: Personalising the Curriculum at the WHAT IF? Embracing complexity through curriculum conference which has reinvigorated my belief that we need to make some profoundly important changes to our approach to educating young people about their “personal data”. I asked the question: what if school empowered students to understand & use personal data? Students should be well-educated about […]

#TheirBrilliantCareers #review and my #reading in September

“Actually, most of my previous publications listed in ‘Their Brilliant Careers’ are made up! It’s all part of the joke. The only real one is ‘The Weight of a Human Heart.’” “…as much as I love Australian literature and hope my fondness…comes thru in the book, it does tend to take itself a bit seriously […]

‘The Cult of Hattie’: ‘wilful blindness’?

“There is a science to learning and we are finding out more and more about what works best to support the learning processes that make a difference for your learners.“ Advertising for a Visible Learning symposium at the Australian Council for Educational Leadership (ACEL) website “Assisting practising teachers to maximise their impact on student learning […]

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