An interesting resource, thanks for sharing.

Lifelong Learning Matters

I found this link to a 5-minute lesson plan via @TeacherToolkit on Twitter. I’ve put it into a quick blog as it was popular with Twitter followers. (Social media is a great source of continuing professional development and sharing.) You can click on the picture to enlarge it.

The elements are:

Circle – The BIG picture?

Square – Objectives

Star – Engagement?

Cloud – ‘Stickability’,

Hexagons – AfL and Differentiation

Rectangles – Learning Episodes, each with the options of ‘Teacher Led or Student Led’

This example is for a Year 7 activity but it can be adapted easily for adult education. It’s especially useful that it includes a section on AfL (Assessment for Learning), which incorporates peer assessment in this example.

AfL with positive, relevant and ongoing feedback is vital for students’ progress and it’s important that each student understands their own progress and development throughout all stages of any adult education course.

There are many…

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

dec8 011Yesterday demonstrations took place in Birmingham city centre as part of a national day of action called by UK Uncut and Boycott Workfare. Starbucks on Colmore Row and New Street were occupied in protest at tax avoidance which costs us £25bn each year, whilst Argos, Superdrug, Poundland and McDonalds were visited by people demonstrating against the use of forced unpaid workfare labour by these companies, and the work programme which reduces your chances of finding work.

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It is a service we need, those of us who can’t rely on patronage to secure a future for our children. It was successful and so it should come as no surprise that funding should go, that its experienced and dedicated front line staff treated so shabbily and their skills lost to the city. The trashing of services essential to a disproportionately impoverished urban working class demographic is a topic I have posted on before. Sadly, it seem likely that I will continue doing so.

Since there will be a general parliamentary election in 2015 and there appears to be no ‘official’ left wing visibility on education beyond the usual platitudes, it is high time that the discussion on where education fit for the 21st century should be going was joined by all interested parties. In 2015 there needs to be a groundswell of opinion that the most clueless incoming government cannot ignore, and indeed would adopt as their own. Initiatives like this conference in Birmingham are both welcome and overdue.

Ask Parents First

On 27th November a meeting was held to discuss the establishment of a Birmingham branch of the Campaign for State Education (CASE). This was supported by Ask Parents First among others. It was agreed by all present to establish a Birmingham CASE group and that the first action of the group would be to organise a Birmingham Conference of Education in early March, the most likely date being Saturday 2nd March.

CASE membership forms were distributed. They can also be downloaded from the national CASE website here.

CASE Birmingham does not have a web presence or email address yet, but that will be coming soon. In the meantime you can contact APF for more information or to get involved.

The next CASE Birmingham meeting will be on 8th January 2013, 7pm, venue to be confirmed.

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

Monday December 10th, 6.00pm at UNISON office 19th Floor McClaren Tower, Priory Queensway, B4 7SL.
Offices have level access and accessible toilet, children are welcome at our meetings. If you have any access needs please contact us and we will do our best to ensure you can attend our meeting.

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

2012 autumn statement occupation 03Demonstrations took place around the UK yesterday as Osborne gave further details of how austerity is going to increase the budget deficit over the next 5 years, whilst screwing low paid, unemployed and disabled people by cutting real terms benefits and removing the link between benefits and inflation.

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Social networking, by nature of what it is tends to result in grouping by affinity. Twitter is a good example, with support shown for like minded tweeps, vitriol for those who don’t.
After all, they’re trolls when all’s said and done!

Lifelong Learning Matters

Speaking at the WEA Scotland’s AGM in Edinburgh on Saturday, Professor John Field focused attention on the decline of some traditional social movements that supported the WEA’s birth, the flourishing of social media and adult education’s role in promoting democracy, fairness and social justice.

Can social media give us the means to reconnect, rethink and revive social movements or develop new ones? Can they help to reverse the decline in adult learning shown by recent research, such as the 2012 NIACE Adult Participation in Learning Survey? (

Jayne Stuart, Director of the WEA in Scotland talked of, “great strength in connections”, as she introduced the “world of difference” theme at the AGM and encouraged people to tweet from the event. John Field reinforced the view that it’s never been easier to connect and to create online educational movements and opportunities for civic engagement.

We soon saw Twitter connectivity in action…

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

Labour councillors have previously argued that it is better Labour implement the cuts than the Tories because Labour can protect the most needy, and keep a skeleton of services in existence, to be revived when the economic situation improves. The Labour Group Leader’s announcement of 23rd October 2012 makes this argument untenable. By implementing these cuts, and by privatising our services, our Labour council will be held responsible for the wholesale destruction of public services in Birmingham.

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The campaign at Foundry primary school in Winson Green is at a crucial point. Rob Briscoe, the DfE’s hitman in Birmingham, told the governors on Thursday recently that they had to choose between two sponsors – Oasis and K12 – and make the decision on Thursday 6th December. The chair of governors had invited Wolverhampton University to sponsor – they have set up the Education Central academy trust – and they were keen, but Briscoe vetoed them as ‘not suitable’.

K12 is an America schools-for-profit company which has just moved into the market here and has set up a front organisation called the Erudition Trust. They are opening their first school in England in Walsall in January, taking over North Walsall primary school. They made a presentation at the Thursday governors meeting. The following day LA officer Sue Twells announced that they had withdrawn – we don’t know why.

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