More with our Curriculum Partners
Trip Start May 04, 2007
16Trip End May 21, 2007
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We spent today with our curriculum partners.
We returned for the meeting. Instead of pursuing their normal agenda, which Roy said often includes specific curriculum requirements they must include in their courses, they turned the meeting over to talking with me about teaching (in general and in the different countries). In general, all their issues were about the ways they feel limited in their ability to teach. Their concerns were:
* "teaching to the exam"-their concerns that their courses are directly geared towards teaching the students to that they can pass the required exit exams at the end. They felt this limited their ability to cover more material.
* "declining reading skills"-the declining ability, and willingness, of students to read longer pieces of literature. We discussed whether this was a sign of a change in literacy to a more multimedia literacy, or a lack of reading discipline on the students, or a lack of more reading requirements in school
* "tutoring limitations"-their concerns that the extensive tutoring system was not allowing students to take more responsibility for their choices and actions.
Their honesty in their comments was very informative. It gave me a more rounded perspective on the topics my colleagues and I have been studying for the last two weeks.
After I thanked them for their time, then Roy drove me back to my hotel. I met up with Tory for dinner (Julie wouldn't be back from London for several more hours). We walked to the town centre to find a place to eat. It was lightly raining, so we quickly ducked inside the first pub we found. We sat for a few minutes, talking about our day. We found out, though, that the pub has just stopped serving food, so went out again into the rain.
We walked a bit longer and came upon Wagamama, a noodle bar. Tory had hear of this place in London, so we decided to give it a try. We were seated at a long table with benches next to other patrons. There was a shelf under the table for our bags and jackets. We ordered real fruit drinks (for me, apple and orange) juiced right there from real fruit, and several very tasty noodle dishes. I've been fighting off a cold, so the real fruit drink and these noodles were just what I needed.
Back at the hotel, we met up with Julie. We ordered some tea and biscuits and sat down to catch up on our blogs.