UK diary – weekend roundup

So much has been happening for me in the past week (as you may tell from the lack of posts) that I thought I’d simply provide a round up of thoughts and observations I’ve made during the week.

I spent yesterday afternoon in Oxford, doing the usual tourist thing, taking in all the sights and soaking in the atmosphere of this very old university town – the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren, the birthplace of the Morris Oxford and the Nuffield Foundation, home of the Rhodes scholarship, home of Robert Boyle, the father of modern chemistry. It was a wonderful day, steeped in history and a reminder again of how we need to keep the balance between looking back and looking forward as we make sense of the changing world we live in.

Nearly everyone I’ve met in meetings here in the past week has been talking about the UK’s decision to ease back on the imposition of National Standards, and breathing a sigh of relief that the decision has been made. This is curious for me facing a return to NZ where we’re about to adopt a regime of National Standards. Interesting to note that the NZEI has begun a professional discussion on the matter – even more interesting that they’ve used Ning, a social networking site to do this! Well done NZEI – and come on NZ teachers, get in there and participate in the discussions.

There’s certainly a lot of cynicism around whenever there’s a centrally imposed approach to any change or standards setting. Bureacracy is a consequence of living in a democracy I guess, but seems to me that it’s a little crazy when the temperature reaches 31 degrees, but the heaters on local buses are still on because it requires an engineer to turn them off and the drivers aren’t allowed to touch them 😉

And just when I was thinking about a career in the secret service, seems like I’ll need to think again if I want to keep up my presence on Facebook – as the MI6 boss has found out.

One thought on “UK diary – weekend roundup

  1. Hi Derek
    great pics. It sounds like you are getting a great balance with sightseeing and investigating the UK education system. I wonder why NZ is always a few steps behind the UK? It is the same with PBRF. The UK canned it as we took it on board.
    I hope the rest of your visit goes well.

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