Ortega y Gasset’s Subjective Perspectivism

José Ortega y Gasset’s contribution to philosophy is manifold if one takes into account his wide-ranging essays on literary, cultural and sociological matters. The thinker’s Spanish roots gave him a unique perspective on the historical evolution of Western philosophy from the seventeenth-century onwards. If the great theologians and jurists of the Golden Age, like Francisco de Vitoria and Francesco Suarez, exerted a profound influence on a nascent imperial state, their legacy did not cross the Pyrenees to play a significant ...

Are you ready for the new “revised” Visual Arts course?

No, of course you aren’t, because the final report on the course will not be seen by teachers until 2021 and you won’t start teaching it until 2022 – but hey, it’s a-coming! What’s happening next? We are approaching the end of a long but interesting journey: the fourth ‘new course’ development meeting will occur next month (November 2019). The fifth and sixth development meetings (January – December 2020) will discuss refinements and the finalisation of curriculum and assessment model. There will also, ...

Primo Levi

The aim of this post is to give you some ideas for furthering your teaching of the international dimension. You may or may not heard of Primo Levi. I came across his name recently when carrying out some research into graphene. The name seemed unusual to me and I thought I would dig a little deeper and see what I could find out. Boy, was I happy that I did this – what a guy! Primo Levi was born in Italy (Turin) ...

On the Convergence of Two Creative Revolutions

The “Roaring Twenties” are generally associated with a period of unbridled excess after the traumatic experience of the First World War. While young Americans revelled to the syncopated rhythms of jazz music, two groups of European philosophers and artists were desperately searching for new meanings after the annihilation of all previous moral certainties.  The first group, led by the German architect Walter Gropius, set out to redefine the rules of architecture as well as craft and design. Their vision of a ...

The process of learning

In July and August 2019 I was lucky enough to be preparing for a Kathakali performance that would take place in the Kerala Kathakali Centre, India. Having studied Kathakali for over 10 years it was now time for me to perform in one of the most perfectly structured Kathakali plays ever written. I was going to be playing the role of Panchali in "Kalyanasaugandhikam" ("The Flower of Good Fortune"). Panchali in Kalyanasaugandhikam   As I was going through my own process of ...

A Story of Cheating

In a recent visual arts workshop, we had a lot of discussions about academic honesty and how to detect plagiarism, and one of the teachers described this encounter: One of his students returned to school after the summer break with an absolutely outstanding artwork – big, colourful, complex, clever and thought-provoking. …and completely unlike (and better than) anything the student created in the entire first year. Academic honesty alarm bells started ringing loudly for our teacher. He asked the student to show the ...

Acid Base Theory

I’m just about to start teaching the acids and bases topic to my students. Acids and bases are interesting compounds because the terms ‘acid’ and ‘base’ are just labels we have given to explain different types of reactions. The topic always starts with an introduction to acid base theory and usually covers the ‘Bronsted Lowry’ theory, as well as the ‘Lewis’ theory (of acids and bases). So what are these different theories and are there any differences between what is a ...

More flooding is inevitable, says IPCC

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) extreme events that used to have a return period of once every century could be happening on some coastlines very year by 2050.They reported that serious impacts in the world’s oceans and ice caps are inevitable. However, they also point out that impacts could be even worse without a reduction in fossil fuel emissions, including sea level rises of over 4 metres by 2300. The oceans are under great threat from sea ...

Silver chemistry

Silver offers some interesting opportunities to do something different with your teaching. You may teach about it / include it when you are looking at the halogens or when covering redox reactions. I hope this blog post gives you some ideas. If you are including some silver chemistry in your teaching of redox you will probably cover disproportionation – a redox reaction where a species of the same element (it may be the same element in a compound) gets simultaneously oxidised ...

High yielding seeds in East Africa

In eastern Uganda, population growth has forced farmers to farm smaller plots of land. Whereas in the past many farmers had access to manure from their animals, increasingly they are having to rely on chemical fertilisers. Moreover, farmers used to keep part of one year’s crop to plants for the following year’s produce. This has become less common and farmers are more likely to buy high yielding varieties (HYVs) of seed to produce their crop. HYVs, along with irrigation water ...