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Friday, July 28, 2006

One in the eye is worth two in the ear

Photo from elmbridgemuseum.org.uk

Today I was handed a fascinating book – ‘Education in Argyll 1872 – 1972’ by Donald MacKechnie, M.A. and James H. Tyre, D.A.

I love reading about how things used to be. It’s fascinating to compare it with now. On pg 115 there is a section entitled ‘AIDS’:

“The blackboard, the oldest and best teaching aid, is still in use but good teachers have always used pictures, models, charts and actual objects. In 1905 at Oban, Rector Beattie was hanging pictures of scenes from Scott’s novels. In 1895 at Cladich School, Rev. Mr Dunsford of St James’s Episcopal Church at Loch Awe, was giving a magic lantern show for pupils. In 1906 at Oban, Mr Galt, Science Master, gave a limelight show on Ice Action to the senior pupils. “One in the eye is worth two in the ear” and Dunoon had a film projector in 1937 and was using radio in 1935. Tarbert School bought a 16 m,m, sound projector in 1948 and borrowed films from the Scottish Educational Film Association (founded in 1930). About the same time, Flora Mackay, Tarbert, founded a branch of the S.E.F.A. in Mid-Argyll. In 1972 some eight schools borrow films from the S.E.F.A. After World War II, the film strip projector became a valuable aid and in 1958 a library of film strips was established at the Education Offices.
The Schools Broadcasting Council was set up in 1930 and nowadays almost every school uses its programmes. In 1958 TV was being used experimentally in Dunoon Grammar School. In 1972 TV is used in 45 schools.
There are no language laboratories in Argyll. The tape recorder in conjunction with film strips is commonly used in language teaching. Duplicators are possessed by most schools and a photocopier service is provided by the Education Offices.”
I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall at the first ‘magic lantern’ show for the pupils in 1895 – imagine the looks on their faces – I bet they thought it truly was magic!

I wonder what a book would say if written in 2072 to recount the last 200 years of education in Argyll. Let’s put this in perspective – we are only 66 years away from this. I wonder if it would still start with the same opening words? It does make me stop and wonder how the last 34 years in education since the publication of this first book have changed the way we teach. “The microcomputer was introduced to all schools in Argyll in the 1980’s”. What about in 2072 – will it say “The interactive whiteboard, the best teaching aid, is still in use…”? How would the advent of the SSDN be recorded? Will there be a day before 2072 when every student has their own portable electronic device? Interesting stuff, eh?

One thing I do hope though – I hope it would still say “…but good teachers have always used pictures, models, charts and actual objects.”


Blogger marlyn moffat said...

"imagine the looks on their faces – I bet they thought it truly was magic!"
My P3's thought that about the whiteboard. But the way things are going there will always be a development of some sort that gets that kind of response. We're not done with the Oooooh! factor yet!
In reading this, I'm horrifed to note that I was there when some of these things were happening. I used a banda machine for worksheets. I was frowned upon for using television as an educational tool, taking the children away from their real work..Slated by HMI for teaching tables in what we now call an interactive manner. And I wasn't a fly on the wall..now I'm just history!

5:09 pm  
Blogger Morag Macdonald said...

I remember watching TV in a room at primary school with blackout curtains and the lights out. We also had one of the first language labs at my secondary..."ecoute et repete avec jaque phrase!" (Sorry Ewan)
On teaching practise 8 of us stayed in a B&B in Castle Douglas- we were banned from using the banda machine between 11 at night and 7 in the morning by the our landlady who couldn't get the banda ink off the bath. Them were the days.....

6:19 pm  

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