I switched on Radio 6 this morning, and the track they were playing had a drum sound which caught my ear. It reminded me of a rototom - a tuned drum which was quite popular in the 80s. I had a set of three in my drum kit.
I doubt many listeners would have made that connection. I suspect many listeners would not even have particularly distinguished that drum sound. I think many people just hear songs in a much less differentiated way, unless they make a real effort. I, like most musicians, tend to hear the guitar, the drums, the bass, the keyboard and the vocals separately.
In other words, I am extracting more information from the audio than some might.
It would be tempting to imagine, therefore, that I would learn better through hearing than through other senses. But that is nonsense. Imagine trying to learn about the physical geography of a country through hearing about it without a map!
But this is exactly the argument made by people who insist they are "visual learners" d…
I hear a lot of talk about skills-based curricula in Scotland these days, with the general vibe being that skills-based curricula are a Good Thing™. I'm not entirely clear what people mean by a skills-based curriculum, because it is one of those phrases which has slipped into the common parlance of educators without any clear definition (see also "learner conversations"). Try searching on the Education Scotland website for "skill based curriculum" and you'll draw a blank. I guess it means a curriculum defined in terms of the competencies being developed by our learners: a curriculum defined in terms of the things we want our learners to be able to do, rather than what they know.
I can see the appeal of this, but I am wary. Here are a couple of things which would worry me if they were true:
1. Is this curriculum seeking to develop generic, transferable skills?
If so, we really need to distinguish between actual skills which are applicable in a range of conte…
I'm reading Jordan B Peterson's "12 Rules for Life" - got to keep my finger on the pulse!
He offers an analysis of how ritual sacrifice arose in societies, which I find fascinating and utterly convincing. His contention is that it arose after our ancestors developed the capacity to think about the future, and therefore began to realise that delaying gratification could deliver longer term benefits. In other words, that sacrificing something of value in the present could lead to good things in the future. Having discovered this, it is a small step to imagine that sacrificing something of value, like a goat, might also lead to good things happening in the future.
This link between delaying gratification, personal sacrifice and ritual sacrifice had never occurred to me before. It now seems obvious. Perhaps it was already obvious to most people.
I am absolutely certain that I will never forget this. I may review it if I am presented with a different analysis which challe…