Macrat Musings

15
November
2017

Macrat’s word of the year: COPYWRONG

Competing with ‘fake news’ that was recently voted the 2017 Word of the Year (WOTY), and the 2016 WOTY ‘post-truth’, you might wonder why we have selected ‘copywrong’.

The short answer is: Because it is wrong to infringe copyright.

This year has brought the question of copyright into sharp focus at the Macrat office, as a number of DBE curriculum advisors saw fit to copy Macrat material and distribute it to teachers in their groups (without paying for it).

Categories: Macrat Musings

06
March
2017

Re-Thinking Education in Fast-Changing Times

Looking back over the past year, there have been some major changes and surprises in various parts of the world, and it is no doubt clear to all that change is tough and unpredictable. It’s also happening faster than ever before and many of its consequences remain unpredictable. Are our schools really preparing students for this reality?

Categories: Web Watch, Macrat Musings

21
November
2016

Does it matter when your child starts school?

Does holding back your child a year mean they will do better at school?

The answer to these important questions – of course – is dependent on the child – and it also depends on the school and the teachers at the school. By law, in South Africa, children should start Grade 1 when they are six years old – or more specifically they can only start school when they are five years old if they are turning six before 30 June of that year. However in practice, many parents keep their children back to ensure they are more mature when they start Grade 1. This means that most children turn seven in Grade 1. So in theory your five-year-old could be in the same class as someone who is 18 or more months older than your child. By law, the difference in age is not meant to be more than two years.

Categories: Macrat Musings

17
October
2016

Americanah or Washingtoner?

Greetings fellow teachers... yes, it's the great divide again. Do you go for the classic and enjoy a brief classic, with issues about gender and class? Or are you keen to explore the life of a young Nigerian, who blogs for a living?
 
Either way, you're in for a treat.
 

Categories: Macrat Musings

12
October
2016

The Consolations of Teaching 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde

There are many positive aspects to teaching Oscar Wilde in the Twenty-First Century in South African schools.

Categories: Macrat Musings

30
August
2016

The Picture of Dorian Gray vs. Life of Pi

I have had the pleasure (and the pain) of teaching a variety of prescribed novels for literature which is why I was quite taken aback when I first saw the list for the DBE matric titles in 2017. I had been expecting something Afrocentric, like ‘Things Fall Apart’ or a traditional, classic title from English Literature, the sort that comes up on booklists year after year.

Categories: Macrat Musings

02
September
2015

Absolutely!

Making sense of 'Absolution'

While the year swirls to a close, perhaps you too, dear teacher, are aware that the falcons cannot hear the falconers … At least, not when it comes to ‘Absolution.’

“This book sucks!”

“Why can’t it be written in the proper order?”
“And they don’t even remember properly or tell the whole truth …”

“They’re sooooo messed up!”

Such was the conversation between two extra lesson pupils. I have to admit that what they said all had merit. What I asked them was quite simply, “Isn’t that the nature of memory?”

There was a startling silence.

I filled it. This is how:

Categories: Macrat Musings

25
August
2015

What can we do to promote literacy?

We celebrate book week this month, 7 – 13 Sept. In addition, we are reminded on International Literacy Day (8 Sept), that approximately 776 million adults worldwide can't write their own name or read a line from a book.   

How can each one of us make a difference when the need is so great?

Categories: Macrat Musings

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