Japan’s changing demography

Japan’s ageing population is having a number of impacts – some demographic, some social and economic and even some technological! Japan has entered a vicious cycle of low fertility and low spending that has led to a huge decline in lost GDP and a population decline of 1 million people, all since 2012. One commentator has suggested that it is death of the Japanese family. A 2016 study conducted by a Japanese research firm found that even though nearly 70% of ...

Some websites to prevent mathematical cobwebs

If you have a long break this (Northern hemisphere) summer, it's important to keep your brain ticking over mathematically so that you don't have to start up from cold when you go back to school next term. I've been on the lookout for some recreational mathematical activity on the web: even just a few minutes each day will be beneficial. I've included a partial screenshot from each site. Pattern recognition Enlarge any one of these 240 patterns. You have to work out ...

Philosophy in Western Movies

The summer break should be an opportunity to get away from academic books and maybe indulge in the discovery of inspiring novels. But what about films? Twentieth-century philosophers have, on the whole, neglected what the French call ‘le septième art’ as very few thinkers critically studied the moving image, with the exceptions of Gilles Deleuze (‘Cinéma’) or Jean Baudrillard who deconstructed the hypnotic power of images in ‘Simulacra and Simulation’. But what of the young Sartre, who declared himself an ...

The work never ends

By Wednesday, July 26, 2017 No tags 0

Just as the IB exams finally end, the GCSE and A-Level ones begin. Now it is all finished, I have one week before the IB results come out – there seems to be no end to the workload for a teacher – it is a hell of a life and I would not change 1 minute of it. Rather than make this a blog discussing bland stuff like ‘housekeeping’ for teachers, I thought this might be the first of a number ...

Two stories of innovation – the Bread Clip and the Fidget Spinner

Often stories re innovation only focus on those that have succeeded and even if we have heard the Dyson story a thousand times I believe it is useful to flag with students some of the reasons that the lone innovator/inventor does not succeed. Often this is simply due to bad luck, lack of resources or simply that they give up! A recent story is that of the ubiquitous fidget spinner that has invaded classrooms this year. The inventor Catherine Hettinger tried ...

Selectivity and Distillation: the Process Portfolio is NOT a Diary

Diaries. Journals. Sketchbooks. They serve a range of purposes; diaries document the momentous and the mundane, the day-to-day detritus, and the sporadic moments of joy and/or despair. Artists’ diaries can give a good insight into the creative processes. (See the illustrations included here.) Tate website “A diary is a record of events or experiences. From sketchbooks to video diaries; and from the mundane and everyday to big life events and how these make us feel… We have pulled together a selection of art to ...

Revision Resources – Quizlet Yourself to a 7

Hi all, Summer has come and DP1 Design Technology students you may be in a situation where you end of year DT examinations did not go quite as well as expected. So what to do - noting that there is less than half a year of study left until those final exams and the first term next year is going to be busy! So why not use some of your downtime over summer to practice. You probably have all used Quizlet, but ...

Some resources for BM teachers

Finding suitable resources to introduce the context or theories and concepts to students in an engaging way is often challenging. So, I decided to try and help with this task by suggesting suitable resources with brief outline to IB BM teachers. Definitely there are variety of resources out there and this list can be just a starter list for exploring more Case studies have been the main tools for teaching business theories and concepts and several websites offer good case studies ...

Sustainable Design – Plastics, the Oceans and a Unit/Projects we must ALL continuously do?

As teachers of Design Technology I feel it is incumbent upon up to ensure that the basics of what a good designer must focus on are imprinted on our students minds. I have always been a strong advocate of the IB ensuring that the Design Technology course focuses on sustainable design and as each year passes this focus should and must be strengthened not in simply the teaching of one unit, but in all that we teach in our Design ...

Your responsibilities as a creator of theatre

The other day I went to the theatre to see the culminating performances of theatre students that had been studying devising and theatre creation at my local University. I was excited to see what they would come up with. Having spent many years working with High School students on devising processes I was intrigued to see how University level students were different in terms of choices of themes, influences, techniques, styles and use of space and production techniques. To be honest, ...