Lou Phillips

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About Lou Phillips

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  • Birthday 05/12/1982

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    West Midlands
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    Originally from Swansea, I am a History and Politics graduate of the University of York. I then completed my PGCE History from University of Wales, Swansea and moved to the West Midlands for my NQT year as a History teacher.<br /><br />I am now course leader in Government and Politics and teaching some Citizenship at Halesowen FE College.
  1. I am coming rather late to this discussion, but I wanted to add my support. In 1993 I was a timid 11 year old starting secondary school. I was placed in Richard Jones' form (1R), and also his history class. I was already interested in the subject but his teaching and support captured my enthusiasm. My second and third years were spent in the classes of other teachers (who I remember as awful, of what I can remember) before having him again for GCSE. Richard is an inspirational teacher, and one of the main reasons I do what I do today. I have tried to emulate his methods in my own classes- setting up a history club, showing films and playing music relating to the topics for example. I'll never forget the time he brought in his guitar and had us all singing along to Billy Bragg as an example of protest music! I have him to thank for starting my obsession for the Spanish Civil War- a topic I revisited in my IB extended essay and led me to get a 1st in my undergraduate dissertation. Through his "History fim club" he ran during our GCSEs I saw for the first time so of my now favourite films (Some like it Hot, Land and Freedom). It angers and saddens me that this has happened.
  2. I have observed the news from France this week with dismay but not surprise. I hope that something positive can come out of it and that it does not become further fuel for the racist rhetoric of LePen and others. Another interesting point of view is that of French film director and actor Matthieu Kassowitz (http://www.mathieukassovitz.com). He made the excellent film "La Haine" about rioting in the Parisian suburbs 10 years ago, which I would urge people to see if they have not already- it is compelling viewing. Working Class France... For some days now, radio and television stations from around the world have been contacting me requesting interviews regarding the events that have been shaking up the suburbs of France. Unfortunately, I cannot honor all of these requests and so I have decided to express myself through my website. As much as I would like to distance myself from politics, it is difficult to remain distant in the face of the depravations of politicians. And when these depravations draw the hate of all youth, I have to restrain myself from encouraging the rioters. Nicolas SARKOZY, who has appeared in the French media like a starlet from American Idol and who for the past years has been showering us with details of his private life and his political ambitions, cannot help himself from creating an event every time his ratings in the IPSOS polls go down. This time, Nicolas SARKOZY has gone against everything the French Republic stands for. The Liberty, the Equality and the Fraternity of a people. The Minister of the Interior, a future presidential candidate, holds ideas that not only reveal his inexperience of politics and human relations (which are intimately linked), but that also illuminate the purely demagogical and egocentric aspects of a puny, would be Napoleon. If the suburbs are exploding once again today, it is not due to being generally fed up with the conditions of life that entire generations of “immigrants” must fight with every day. There is not, unfortunately, anything political in the combat that is pitting the youth of low rent housing projects against Nicolas SARKOZY’s police forces. These burning cars are surface eruptions in the face of the lack of respect the Minister of the Interior has shown toward their community. Nicolas SARKOZY does not like this community, he wants to get rid of this “these punks” with high pressure water hoses and he shouts it out loud and clear right in the middle of a “hot” neighborhood at eleven in the evening. The response is in the streets. “Zero tolerance” works both ways. It is intolerable that a politician (but is he really one?) should allow himself to upset a situation made tense by years of ignorance and injustice and not refrain from openly threatening an entire segment of the French population without addressing the real problems. By acting like a warmonger, he has opened a breach that I hope will engulf him. Hate has kindled hate for centuries and yet Nicolas SARKOZY still thinks that repression is the only way to prevent rebellion. This desire to impose his way of thinking at any price reminds me of other great leaders of our times. It gives me chills down the spine. History has proved to us that a lack of openness and philosophy between different communities engenders hate and confrontation. The Intifada of different Parisian suburbs rather resembles the confrontations that opposed the children of Palestine armed with stones against the soldiers of Israel armed with Uzis. History confronts itself again everywhere. Sound and fury are the only means for many communities to make themselves heard. The attacks of terrorists on the front pages of newspapers around the world are the result. And the repression of terror by terror never won wars; it only helped to sustain them. Nicolas SARKOZY is an admirer of George Bush’s communication machine. He uses it to glorifies his image and to manipulate the population. Like BUSH, he does not defend an idea, he responds to the fears that he himself instills in people’s heads. He would have engaged France alongside the Americans in Bush’s “fight against terror”. I’m convinced of it. Nicolas SARKOZY wants to become the President of our republic and “nobody will get in his way” as he dramaticaly puts it. If this man does not fail at least once in his initiatives to win the presidency of this country, nothing indeed will get in his way, and his desire for absolute power will finally be fulfilled. Does history repeat itself? Yes. It always has done. A desire for power and the egocentricity of those who think they hold the truth has ALWAYS created dictators. Nicolas SARKOZY is certainly a little Napoleon, and I do not know if he has the potential of a real one, but it will be impossible to say tomorrow that we didn’t know. Mathieu KASSOVITZ.
  3. I've come a little late to this discussion but thought I would like to add my 'two-penneth'. Whilst I am certainly in favour of electoral reform and would like to see a far more representative government I will make 2 points in favour of FPTP. First of all its much easier to understand than anything else, you vote- the most wins. If things get too complicated (lots of ballot papers, allocating preferences etc) we run the risk of lowering turnout even further. Secondly, it weakens the links between MP and constituency. Some, though certainly not all, MPs work tirelessly for their consituents and it is an important part of their job. Any thoughts?
  4. Thank you for your opinions. I think I will be more open with my views, if only to stimulate debate as currently whilst my students enjoy arguing about music, sport etc they rarely discuss their own politics in the classroom apart from the odd comment of 'Tony Blair's an idiot' or 'we should stay out of Europe' which they won't eleaborate on more eloquently. I am also keen to set up a debating society perhaps this will be another way to get them talking and challenging each other.
  5. You can't really blame Benitez for that-Owen did not want to stay and we weren't in a position to buy him back having enough strikers already. And Murphy is a great player but not top class really. I like the Spaniards- Alonso is a fantastic player, Garcia has the occasional moment of brilliance which more than makes up for his fumbles. Josemi is pretty solid. Morientes is yet to impress, but I trust Benitez and you can't argue with Nando's record from his days in Spain. Just wanted to add my twopenneth!
  6. I've been reading with great interest the recent thread on political ideology. I am sorry I haven't contributed but I don't feel that my beliefs are coherent enough nor am I eloquent enough to explain my ideas. My question to other forum users is, should we try to remain politically neutral in classroom? I am teaching A-level Government and Politics for the first time and I don't want my students to feel as if I am pushing my ideas on them. I am sure they will get a feel for my point of view, often I use anecdotes to illustrate my points e.g. - when saying what kind of people get involved in politics I suggested that is was often from 'political' families, one of my earliest memories was burning an 'guy' of Thatcher on the bonfire on November 5th. But I don't think I should explicitly reveal my allegiances (in spite of their frequent asking which way did I vote at the last election). Any thoughts?
  7. The Electoral Commision's "Do Politics" site has some excellent lesson ideas- 'active learning' type stuff and role plays if anyone is interested. http://www.dopolitics.co.uk/Resources/resources.cfm
  8. Its extremely difficult to put my finger on a noverl that changed my life, I have read avidly throughout my life, especially during my teens. I think the two which stand out the most are Wuthering Heights and The Outsider. Both opened my eyes to new ideas. I loved the raw passion of Wuthering Heights, I have re-read it at least once a year since the age of 13 and have always found something new. Studying it at college on the IB course showed me there was even more to it than I realised. The Outsider amazed me, its style, its impact... again I studied this at college in French and English and it really helped open up parts of the story I hadn't thought about.
  9. On a similar theme, one of my favourite Camus quotes is: "True genorosity towards the future consists of giving everything to the present" I love this, I just felt I wanted to share it. Sorry if this isn't the place!
  10. I'm sorry, I really have tried to get people involved. I even stood up in a lecture and wrote the address on the board (very embarassing!)
  11. I may be going off topic a little here but I wanted to address some of the points of breadth vs depth. Being a product of the International Baccalaureate I would argue strongly for breadth of content both within history and outside. Why should pupils study things which don't appeal to them? Cos that's life, they are still forming their opinions, skills and even characters. It is important to maintain a balance in your life and learn as many skills as possible. Universities and employers are impressed that I, a historian, have studied two languages, literature, a science, maths, theory of knowlege and history up to the age of 18. Its true what another poster has said, breadth and depth are not mutually exclusive. In 'higher history' I studied 19th C topics in just as much detail as an A-level student and in 'subsid' I covered, in less depth admittedly, 20th C dictatorships and wars. I feel that I have an excellent knowledge of a range of topics as a result and I was certainly at an advantage in university (in the 1st year at least) as I was able to confidently cross-reference regions and periods.
  12. i'm slightly baffled by this comment, all of these ideas are certainly covered by this forum. Moreover, if that is what you want to debate then start threads on them! Simple!
  13. As the end of our teacher training approaches, I invite readers to suggest either, what they have learnt most in their training and, for those who have already gone through it, what they wished they knew while they were training but have found out since! Personally- I didn't realise how fussy kids are, "do I need to start a new page?", "shall I underline in red?"!!!.... I need to incorporate clear, mundane instructions into my plan.
  14. Why have no women been mentioned in this list?! I would like to add one, but I can't actually think of one off the top of my head who fits the criteria, perhaps answering my own question?!
  15. Thank you for your comments, I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one who feels like this. You have also highlighted a number of other issues I haven't thought about.