Collectively, we have been for half a century exhaling a breath of specialization, and our lungs are now empty. It is time now to converge back toward the centre, to take a deep breath. The professional momentum is now inexorably with the forces of integration. I sense that many PALT practitioners are either unconsciously gravitating towards or consciously groping towards a comprehensivist or convergent, integrative way of looking at their work. In other words, the needs and interests of the majority in the profession are less well served than those of the academic specialists. The majority are alienated from the dominant and diffusive force of specialization in PALT that has radiated into the profession a confused mindset that does not know how to make use of convergent or holistic thinking.
The demystification and weakening of authority from above in all spheres of life, and the corresponding empowerment of individuals — the strengthening of individual and personal authority— is an important elem ent in the long-term overall process of “globalization” (defined here as humanity’s realization of its unity).
The published and forthcoming posts on George Whitfield in this blog — and many of those on other aspects of life at Hampton Grammar School — document the removal of one of the strands of cloth used in my own educational mummification. It is a narrow band that I am particularly happy to now see waving in the wind, and I’ve attached it as a tail to the high-dancing kite that is my life.
Choosing to banish the excuses and prejudices that prevent us from achieving the kind of workplace that we want is the most powerful and empowering education that we can provide for students at this most dramatic time in human history.
George J.N. Whitfield, nicknamed “George” by all the boys at Hampton Grammar School, was a no-nonsense authoritarian educator — a real establishment character who inspired fear and… Read more “Reading and a feeling of guilt”
Looking carefully at language used by relatively advanced or even advanced learners of English, often through study of a learner corpus, can suggest ways of ordering instruction in early stages that can help to avoid later fossilization of inappropriate usage. This post offers an example that illustrates this point.