Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bullying - a Growth Industry

Bullying is a growth industry.

It's always been around and was accepted as something that happened in playgrounds and schoolyards - a part of growing up.

Perhaps ten years ago things started to change.

Schools started to introduce anti-bullying policies and have embraced, with a little pushing from government, 'emotional health and wellbeing'.

The Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) are now well and truly built into the U K's primary school curriculum with secondary schools also implementing 'SEAL strategies'.

Countless consultancy companies have been set up to service the training needs of teachers and advisers as they strive to refine anti-bullying policies and charters.

Sub-genres emerge with courses on combating cyber, homophobic, girl-on-girl and racist bullying taking place all over the country.

Workplace bullying is now shaping up to be the next big money spinner for consultants on the back of the allegations that Prime Minister Gordon Brown is a bully - a workplace bully.

All over the country self-styled educational and management gurus are quickly amending their school anti-bullying training materials to address the not new but now out-there and in your face issue of how to tackle and eradicate the workplace bully.

Bullying is a spiteful and belittling activity that should not be tolerated at school, work or at home.

If the 'Gordon Brown's a Bully' furore opens up the workplace bullying issue to scrutiny then at least something good will come out of it.

Me? I'm sitting down to pen new materials for a workshop supporting small businesses develop Workplace Anti-Bullying Policies. I'd best be quick its a dog eat dog world!

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

wow and flutter

we have some excellent big museums – even the old dinosaurs feel alive these days – new build refurb and touch at often huge cost to provide wow…

maybe the need for ‘wow’ is overstated or what we believe ‘wow’ might be/should be/is

that other ‘wow’ the one that’s not wham bam thank you ma’am but that ‘wow’ those ‘wows’ that come after engaging with something maybe something quite insignificant at first sight when after giving it some attention it begins to whisper to us and then ‘wow’ …

this kind of personal wow maybe stays with us longer than the the more manufactured universal wow perhaps even a lifetime

engagements that encourage new interpretations new thinking new learning rather than big bold brassy buildings and these engagements digital or not let them be from the heart to the heart as much as mind to mind

of course a role for museums as tourist attractions and maybe tourist attractions as museums…

pigeons work
from table to table
a catkin wind

response to Bridget Mckenzie out of her proposed presentation to the British Council in Moscow "The English Obsession wit the New"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Playing Musical Instruments Improves Reading and Language Skills

Freddie Hubbard

Learning and Playing a Musical Instrument Improves Reading

Children who learn to play a musical instrument may have an advantage when it comes to reading.

Professor Nina Kraus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois found that a part of the brain stimulated in musicians when they play music is also important in reading.

Professor Kraus found that people that can pick out harmonies and timing in sounds are better at reading.

Many chidren in the UK are entering secondary school with reading ages below that expected for their age and some are asking if music was given a higher position within the curriculum would reading improve?

Although all UK pupils up to the age of 14 have to have at least one lesson of music education a week very few pupils actually learn to play a musical instrument.

Music education and learning how to play a musical instrument are not the same thing.

The number of children learning musical instruments has decreased since free music instrument tuition for all was withdrawn from state education. Most pupils have to buy an instrument and pay for private lessons and for many families this is an expense that they just can't afford.

A curriculum that features more strongly learning how to play a musical instrument might bring real benefits for improving reading and language skills.

spring snow

her fingers too cold

for chopsticks

"Schools which fail to make music a core subject are making a mistake, because it has advantages for the growing brain and would help all children, including those with dyslexia and autism, neuroscientist Professor Nina Kraus said yesterday."
"Words and music, such natural partners that it seems obvious they go together. Now science is confirming that those abilities are linked in the brain, a finding that might even lead to better stroke treatments"
"Musical experience can enhance everyday listening and language tasks. We are making new strides in understanding what changes happen in the brain with musical experience."

The Internet has Killed Rock Stars

Kasabian's Tom Meighan says the internet is "killing rock stars"

The singer with Leicester's Brit Award rockers Kasabian feels that rock stars reveal too much about themselves on the internet. Meighan feels that stars who constantly update news about their lives on Twitter, Facebook and other blog sites have no mystique.

He says that people read rock stars blogs and think "Wow, what rubbish"

Kasabian are nominated for 6 awards at next weeks Shockwaves NME Awards 2010.

See Story at NowPublic