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Anders MacGregor-Thunell

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Everything posted by Anders MacGregor-Thunell

  1. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Ung i Sverige under 1960 och 1970-talen

    Vikten av "muntlig historieforskning" kan inte nog understrykas. Jag tänkte därför börja på ett ämne som kanske kan locka några fler läsare och eventuellt leda till nya debatter. Min idé är att vi som växte upp under 1960 och 70-talen ger en kort bakgrundsbeskrivning av oss själva och sedan står till förfogande för de medlemmar (och ev. elever) som skulle vilja ställa frågor om våra erfarenheter under denna tid... Jag är född 1955. År 1961 började jag i svensk folkskola vilket några år senare förändrades till grundskolan. De allra sist realklasserna gick ut samtidigt som jag sökte till gymnasiet 1970. Efter studier på en tre-årig humanistisk linje så arbetade jag under 1970-talet med en mängd olika "tillfälliga arbeten"; skogsarbetare, hamnarbetare, sjukvårdsbiträde, fiskare, lärarvikarie, taxichaufför samtidigt som jag gick några år på ett par olika konstskolor i Göteborg. Mitt politiska intresse vaknade tidigt. Under tidigt 1970-tal så deltog jag vid olika manifestationer och demonstrationer. Jag "hängde" en hel del på Sprängkullen, deltog i Kungstorgsockupationen och var senare med i Hagagruppen (fler demonstrationer, upprustande av hus, husockupationer, etc...). 1979 så flyttade jag tillsammans med min blivande hustru. I början av 1980-talet så fick vi vårat första barn - jag påbörjade min lärarutbildning och livet gick in i en ny fas...
  2. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Nordic History Panel

    I have been the Head of the History Department of Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet in Gothenburg, Sweden, the last 6 years. Before that I taught History at a few High Schools, Colleges and Universities. One of my main areas has been Nordic History. I have written several papers about Finland and Sweden during the 19th and 20th Century, but has some knowledge about the development in Norway, Denmark and on Iceland as well. Questions before the 18th century are also OK all though I have written less papers about this time period...
  3. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Students in the Archive...

    STUDENTS IN THE ARCHIVE... My presentation in Toulouse 17/2 2005 included an account of an ongoing class/project in one of my courses at Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet (Upper Secondary School) in Gothenburg, Sweden. The ideas of this presentation was to emphasize the possibilities of using ICT in connection with local history and work in the archives plus the individual an “public” gain of this work. Background At Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet we have a local course called Gothenburg History HI501. This is not an obligatory course which means that you as a student have to choose it out of interest. Our school year is divided into three periods (August-November / November-March / March-June) and this course is only one period long. This means that we usually have between 20-24 lessons of 1 ½ hours to cover the whole course. The course I presented started in November and is over in the beginning of March. The usual course is mixture of lectures, city walks and visits to the city museum and the Regional Archive. The work produced by the students includes a traditional test, participation in the activities, that they do some basic research in the archives and later publish the results… Lectures…The ”lectures” are a mix of three parts; 1. Traditional lectures in the classroom with specific themes 2. City walks with specific themes 3. Own preparation by reading assigned papers and articles – this leads to questions and/or discussions in the classroom Visits in the archives We visit two archives together; 1. The Gothenburg City Museum. Our city museum is located in the old office of the Swedish East Indian Company (18th Century) and its located 10-15 minutes walk from our school. It’s free for all school classes (and anybody under the age of 20). You can get free guiding for the classes but I usually prefer to do a short guiding of my own students since we are looking for specific information. At the 4th floor is the “Archive Room”. Here our students can find photos from old Gothenburg and different articles (from newspapers and magazines) about the city. 2. The Regional Archive of Gothenburg. In this archive the students can find many different primary sources such as Church Records, Tax Records, Local and Regional Population Census, Land Tracks, School Records, Prison Records, Police Reports, etc…. The Regional Archive is situated just beside our school (1-2 minutes walk!). Here I let an experienced archivist present the archive (this is also part of the city service to our schools so it’s free of charge). The archivist usually have a short introduction where she/he mention the different archives available in Sweden, the organization of the Regional Archives and what specific material that’s available in this archive. She/he also brings some of the primary sources – in November 2004 my students got to see Court Records from 1789(!), Prison Records from the late 19th century (with photos…), records from a Women’s “Work House”, Tax Records from one part of the city and some Police Reports on the legal Prostitution in the late 19th century (the archivist had bookmarked a specific page. Here the students could read about Elizabeth Gustafsdotter who later emigrated to England. In London she became Jack the Rippers third victim… . ). This is a very good introduction for our students. The students’ research includes going through old Tax Records to establish who lived in a certain house at a certain time. We have started an investigation of the part of the city named Haga and the years we focus on are 1880 and 1900. During these years Gothenburg went through a dramatically change from a more old fashioned ”trading city” to an industrial city. We want to see if we can spot this transformation in the primary sources… During one or two of the coming lessons I go with the students to the Regional Archive so they have a chance to get my help. They learn how to 1. Find the right material 2. How to order the material from the archivist 3. How to read the material (it’s handwritten and it takes a little while until they get into this way of writing) 4. How to organize and write down the information they received Publishing… After the research has been carried out the results are published on the course webpage. The main page for the student has a photo of the house today, some comments about the address investigated and a short conclusion of each year plus finally a comparison. The earlier researches of the local Tax Records are also published… In this way the students get to do some research but at the same time the effort is not overwhelming. The Result… The individual gain for the student; 1. This work definitely spur their interest in the topic History 2. It gives the students an insight in the background of historical knowledge 3. They mix practical archive work with theory and carry out different evaluations – with other words they work as professional historians 4. They become aware of the archives (become archive literate) 5. They also become more aware of the ICT possibilities when they publish their results 6. Las but not the least they become pride and usually very satisfied with the published work… The Result in a bigger context… The result of the individual effort has a wider gain; 1. The class can compare and contrast their individual results and start to make general observations… 2. The students in the next course benefit from the earlier results 3. The “ordinary” classes gain from students with more awareness of the origin of sources. They can more appreciate and understand the different interpretations of history 4. The subject History becomes more interesting when we add the practical parts to it. This opens for students with learning disabilities. The process makes the topic easier to grasp 5. The school can start similar projects where the results of these investigations can be used 6. The school becomes recognized, not only as a “learning institution”, but also as a small research institution. 7. Other schools become aware of the possibilities and they can establish their own projects (that either continue the research already done or establish new research areas). 8. The Archives also receive some well earned recognition. Some students get very “hooked” but the general public also becomes aware of possibilities… 9. Higher Education gain in different ways. They will receive students with some archive and research experience as well as maybe the possibility to use the results of these investigations… 10. Cooperation possibilities between our school and other schools, Higher Education, other institutions, etc…. 11. The project strengthens the cooperation between the school and our archives 12. The general public can use the results (genealogists etc…) Most of the results above would have been impossible without the publishing process. This is one of many areas where ICT fills a very important function! Here you can find the project Gothenburg History Project and here you can see what the handwritten material look like Handwritten material from the archive...
  4. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Bratislava History Project

    Sorry - I have been very busy this last week but I will definitely ask my IB1 students about this. I will aslo see if I can get a hold of an old universite friend of mine, Ingrid Lomfors, who wrote her PhD about Jewish Children that came to Sweden right before WWII (from Germany). Her mom was one of these children (but I have no idea if there is any connection with Winton).
  5. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Bratislava History Project

    Maybe we could use our e-Help Swedish contacts to try to track these people down? That could make an interesting project in its own right. I will see what I can find out...
  6. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Medical Treatment in your country

    The Swedish system has its flaws as well as its advantages. If you live in a bigger city like Gothenburg you might end up in a fairly long que - waiting to get a treatmet for whatever your problem might be. There is a priority of people with terminal sicknesses but no guarantee... This can cause problems and we read about them in our newspapers. Still its a system where everybody has the right to be treated - no matter income, background, personal problems, etc... and that's something I don't mind paying for through my taxes. Solidarity with our fellow humans seems to become more rare... My own experiences of the Swedish system has so far been good. When I needed to see a doctor I would call them up and if the problem was accute I would get to see a doctor within some hours. Sitting in an emergency room is a diferent experience and there you can sometimes spend a whole day waiting which of course is very hard when you need someone right away. Cuts in the budgets of health care sure play a big role here. It even scares me more that ideas of more private health care has been on the new governments agenda. The dismantling of our old wealth fare state seems to continue. I have also experienced health care in the US. As long as we were covered by a health insurance everything worked out great and we were always treated very well but one time I got the experience of not being covered... We had changed health insurance and our daughter got seriously sick. She had to spend one night at the emergency care but was released the next day (within 24 hours). This experience cost us over 4000 Dollars. Our noew insurance company had a policy of being with them for three months before you could use there "great service"... I know that it was of course our failure on finding out all these parts of the new contract but for some reason the insurance company also failed to mention it when we asked about our coverage. Fortunately we were in the position where we could pay but for me this was an important lesson (not only to read all the parts of the insurance policies) - if you have insurance, money enough, etc... the US system is great - if you don't you better not need any care. Therefore I prefer the Swedish system.
  7. Anders MacGregor-Thunell


    Innan jag börjar med detta debattämne så vill jag först deklarera min egen syn på vikten av historieämnet. För många år sedan så valde jag att läsa historia och utbilda mig till historielärare eftersom jag ansåg/anser att ämnet historia var/är oerhört berikande både för mig som individ och som samhällsmedborgare. Jag anser att dåliga eller inga kunskaper alls i historia skapar rotlöshet som ökar känslan av främlingskap (alienation). Detta för med sig en mängd problem, både för individen, gruppen och samhället. Därför har vi historielärare en mycket viktig funktion att fylla. Vi skall försöka få så många elever som möjligt att kritiskt granska vår historiska bakgrund och ur detta skapa en förståelse för framväxten av dagens samhälle. Detta motarbetar känslan av främlingskap och det ger ett kritiskt förhållningssätt som leder till möjligheter att förändra både sin egen och olika gruppers situation i samhällsorganismen. Nu till själva debattämnet - Behöver den svenska grundskolan en svensk kanon...? (ursäkta "vitsen") I ett par års tid har det pågått en debatt om hur timantalet beskurits i ämnet historia - speciellt på grundskolenivå. När man för många år sedan skapade ämnet SO så försvann den absoluta tiden som var avsatt för ämnet historia. Före Lgr 80 så var kursplanen för historieämnet ganska väl definierad - efter Lgr 80 så fick grundskolan en betydligt vidlyftigare mer odefinierbar kursplan. 1994 stärktes historieämnet något men det finns inga krav på att behandla några speciella teman inom historieämnet. Till detta skall läggas det faktum att historieämnet delar tid med samhällskunskap, religionskunskap och geografi i blocket SO. I grundskolan så har detta block 885 klocktimmar till sitt förfogande. Om man delar lika så blir det 221,25 klocktimmar för ämnet historia. Det finns inga krav på denna statistiska fördelning vilket innebär att SO ämnet kan välja att använda fler eller färre timmar för ämnet historia. I 80 svenska kommuner arbetar man med att ej använda några timplaner överhuvudtaget vilket gör en statistisk beräkning av timantal för historieämnet omöjlig. Som gymnasielärare så kan jag bara konstatera att mina elevers förkunskaper i ämnet historia är mycket varierande. Jag har ett fåtal elever som kommer till gymnasiet med en god bakgrund i ämnet historia, en lite större grupp som har ett visst hum om vissa avgörande skeenden i historien (en hyfsad idé om den historiska kronologin) och en växande grupp av historiska analfabeter. En hel del tid går därför åt att försöka åtgärda den allra värsta historieokunskapen... De fåtal elever som besitter relativt goda kunskaper i ämnet historia tappar här ofta intresset eftersom klassen repeterar för dem självklara kunskaper. Repetitionen går ändå ganska snabbt vilket i sin tur innebär att en del av de historiska analfabeterna ej tillgodogör sig kunskaperna och följaktligen ej förstår fortsättningen av det som vi kommer gå igenom... Det är utifrån dessa nedslående erfarenheter som jag nu vill debattera en svensk historisk kanon i grundskolan. I Danmark så har historieämnet en garanterad undervisningstid på 300 klocktimmar i grundskolan (kommer att höjas till 360 klocktimmar år 2009). År 2006 så kom ett förslag om att man under 25% av denna undervisningstid skulle behandla en lista av 29 förutbestämda teman - (alltså ungefär 3 timmar per tema). Enligt förespråkarna för en dansk kanon skulle detta skapa en viss samstämmig historisk bakgrund. Eleverna skulle ha en gemensam lägsta nivå som innehöll en viss mängd dansk och utländsk historiekunskap. Denna nivå kan sedan den danske gymnasieläraren fortsätta att bygga på istället för att "starta från början" för att försäkra sig om att klassen har nödvändiga förkunskaper i ämnet historia. Kritikerna till en dansk (eller svensk) kanon framför ämnets komplexitet. En av grundpelarna i historieämnet är just den kritiska granskningen av tolkningar av det som skett. En kanon skulle innebära att man accepterade en speciell tolkning framför alla andra vilket som sagt strider mot historieämnets grundläggande natur. Denna tolkning skulle dessutom kunna få en nationalistisk prägel vilket skulle innebära ytterligare komplikationer jämförbara med utbildningen i olika totalitära system där just historieämnet är ett kraftigt politiskt redskap... Så vad tycker då du käre läsare - skall vi försöka skapa en historisk förkunskap bland våra grundskoleelever så att gymnasielärarna har en viss historisk grund att bygga vidare på eller skall vi förkasta detta kanonförslag eftersom det strider mot historiekunskapens "innersta väsen"?
  8. Anders MacGregor-Thunell


    Många av våra kollegor är kunniga nog att debattera denna fråga. Det är ju ändå vi historielärare på gymnasiet som skall ta emot de elever som kommer från grundskolan så jag tror nog att det är befogat att diskutera deras förkunskaper... Det är till viss del sant - dock finns det ingen garantitid för historieämnet inom det s.k. SO blocket. Detta innebär att frågan kvarstår - skall det finnas ett krav på att våra elever i grundskolan har fått vissa förutbestämda kunskaper i ämnet historia? OK - sedan hoppas jag att du och flera andra svarar på mitt försök att debattera frågan om en kanon eller ej i den svenska grundskolan... Frågan som jag vill ha svar på är - skall vi försöka skapa en historisk förkunskap bland våra grundskoleelever så att gymnasielärarna har en viss historisk grund att bygga vidare på eller skall vi förkasta detta kanonförslag eftersom det strider mot historiekunskapens "innersta väsen"?
  9. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    help with total US casualties, '63 -'67

    I know that you posted this nearly a month ago but I will still answer the question. According to the "Statistical Abstract of the United States" the amount of US casualties between 1963 and 1967 were; 1963: 78 killed and 411 wounded 1964: 147 killed and 1039 wounded 1965: 1369 killed and 6114 wounded 1966: 5008 killed and 30093 wounded 1967: 9378 killed and 62025 wounded Sorry about the late answer...
  10. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Om förhoppningar på den nya pedagogiken

    När Dalibor startade denna debatt om "förhoppningar på den nya pedagogiken" så tror jag att han ville diskutera om den svenska satsningen på datorer i varje skola har inneburit några märkbara förändringar i vårat förhållningssätt till inlärning. Lär sig elever mer och lättare? Har undervisningen blivit mer varierad, mer lustbetonad, mer innehållsrik...? Har vi fått ett nytt sätt att lära som tar till vara den nya teknikens fördelar? etc... Precis som du skriver John så har de flesta barn/ungdomar idag en helt annan kunskapsnivå och många andra färdigheter när det gäller användandet av datorer än deras föräldrar och deras lärare. Detta är någonting som vi kommer att få leva med men för mig har frågan mer varit - utnyttjar man datorer på ett bra pedagogiskt sätt idag? Det svar som Dalibor, David och jag själv gett är - Nej, oftast inte. Undervisningen är i stort sett samma idag som den var innan datorerna anskaffades till skolorna så någon större IT revolution kan man inte tala om. Varför har då denna effekt uteblivit? Jag belyste tre olika problem inom skolan då jag försökte svara på denna fråga; Brist på kunskap. Detta kanske är den viktigaste faktorn. Många lärare vet hur man skall använda datorn som skrivmaskin, göra en del snygga presentationer, vissa kalkyler, databaser etc..., men de allra flesta har inte en aning om hur man skulle kunna använda datorn i klassrummet, tillsammans med eleverna. Snuttifiering av de tidigare ämnena (och schemat). När man delade upp våra ämnen i ett antal olika kurser och startade ett "flexibelt" schema så snuttifierades lärarens tillvaro. Möjligheterna att samköra med kollegor och klasser försvann. Detta innebar kraftigt försämrade möjligheter att använda datorn i utbildningen eftersom det är ett redskap som oftast tar tid... Brist på tid. En hel del av den tid som tidigare fanns till förfogande för förberedelser och efterarbete har "försvunnit". Som lärare tillbringar vi allt mer tid med uppgifter och möten som ej har med den direkta undervisningen att göra. Dessa uppgifter och möten är politiskt beslutade och vi måste därför genomföra dem. Allt mindre tid kan därför läggas på det som en gång var skolans verkliga kärnverksamhet - att bedriva undervisning... Alla tre (Dalibor, David och jag) deltar i ett projekt som heter E-help (european history e-learning project ). Där har vi försökt ta reda på hur olika europeiska lärare använder sig av datorer på ett metodiskt och pedagogiskt sätt i klassrummet. Vi har också redovisat hur vi själva använder oss av datorer i skolan. Slutligen har vi successivt byggt upp en kunskap som vi skall försöka förmedla genom att anordna workshops i IT inom historieundervisningen i skolan. Även om våra elever besitter mycket bättre kunskaper inom vissa delar av datoranvändandet så är det ändå vi lärare som har det historiska kunnandet och en viss form av pedagogisk insikt. Jag är övertygad om att en viss förmåga att använda datorer tillsammans med dessa lärarkunskaper kan ge en mycket fruktbar "ny pedagogik"...
  11. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    International School Toulouse - Injustice

    Hannah and all of you that wish that this affair would go faster... To not answer any questions and just delay all communication is a very old method when you want some crisis to calm down (or die out). It's unfortunately fairly efficient; The involved people - students, parents, friends and other supporters of Richard loose some of the early strength and engagement + a few might start to think that there is some serious hidden motives for the dismissal. Personally I have no reason to not trust Richard but I would like to hear the other side of the story. The problem is that I never get to because IST does not say anything. I have asked several times what it is that caused this dismissal. I don't get any answer. I have asked the colleagues of Richard at IST to find out by asking for an independent investigation where both sides of this conflict will be represented - no answer. All this makes me not only disappointed but it also makes me sad. I thought we all worked great together. I was impressed with IST and I thought Les Albiston was a good person both to talk with as well as work with. What then happened just struck me like a lightning out of a blue sky - I still don't understand how this could happen... I'm naive enough to still wish for some positive reply from IST. If this is all based on rumors, loose speculations without substance, some ambitous person(s) going to far and other human errors which I still believe is the case (nobody has showed me any other evidence...) I think it would be good of the leadership of IST to say - "We made a mistake - we were misinformed and therefore we would like to try to heal the big wounds that this affair has caused..." Reading about an eventual court case against members of the E-Help project this now seems a bit farfetched but our hope is the last thing we do give up! My biggest concern is Richard and his family. I can't imagine the pain and problems they have gone through in an affair that's based on a copied paper (once again - I have not seen any evidence that points in any other direction). Therefore it's so important to continue to support them in all the ways possible. Demand an investigation - parents, students, and most of all colleagues on IST. Several of you must have been close friends to Richard and appreciated him as a colleague - you are the ones that has the biggest opportunity to get an answer. Ask for an independent investigation now. Show that Richard and his family made a difference!
  12. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    International School Toulouse - Injustice

    AN ANSWER(?) FROM IST... As I wrote above one of the members of E-Help received a short email from IST. It was short and had no real answers except that the financial deals would be taken care of. The more serious part was some hint on legal actions and a comment that the members of E-Help were not willing to continue with the project. That is not the will of the members of E-Help. Ten members from nine (ten if IST continue) different institutions and four (five if IST continue) different countries want to continue and develop E-Help. This project has been the best project I ever participated in. From scratch it has developed a very well visited Forum, a website and most of all it has developed a big group of active associates all over Europe. The associates has not only presented some of their work but they have also actively participated in the further development of this project. I have never experienced anything like that and I have not heard about any projects that can show the same kind of response from leading experts within the field. I think it's unique! The work that has been done within the member group has been based on an extreme form of cooperation. When we have had different opinions in important matters it has always been resolved in a constructive way and from there we have been able to continue the work. This is not only a positive work climate - it's also unique to see ten individuals with such different backgrounds cooperate so well. It has been a smooth lean working machine... That's why I found the comment in the letter from IST so disturbing. Is this the collective punishment I mentioned before? Is this IST's way of trying to deal with anybody that questioned the sacking of Richard Jones-Nerzic? One of the basic rights in the Western World is the right to form an opinion, especially when we believe something is not right. I have used that right when I started a blog about this affair and since I have not received any answers or explanations I still believe that the board of IST has been mislead in the case of sacking Richard. The letter that now mentions the possibility of legal actions and the wrong interpretation of the members willingness of continue with the project (would it not be easier to ask the members what they want to do?) is very serious. IST is the coordinating institution and therefore they need to explain their ideas about a continuation. Several of us members have asked IST what plans they have for the E-Help future but we have not received any straight answers yet (just this hint about us not want to continue with the project). Nine member institutions, many associate institutions and many more individuals are waiting to hear from IST. We need to continue our project as soon as possible. Meetings are scheduled and we are just now in the process of creating a course for interested teachers all over Europe... but we also need answers about the dismissal of Richard Jones-Nerzic. This affair has cost him and his family lots of pain. They deserve to be treated better!
  13. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    International School Toulouse - Injustice

    I published the above comment on my blog a few days ago. Yesterday one of our colleagues received a short message from IST but it lacked any real answers. One of the statements in this message was that the members of E-Help was not willing to continue the project. That is wrong!!! During this turmoil we have expressed our sincere concern about the dismissal of Richard, our coordinator, but at the same time we have planned for the continuation of this project. IST is the coordinating institution and they need to explain their ideas about a continuation. We have asked IST what plans they have for the E-Help future but we have not received any answers yet. 9 member institutions and many associate institutions and many more individuals are waiting to hear from IST. We need to continue our project - but we also need answers about the dismissal of Richard Jones-Nerzic. With the one copied paper as the only evidence I think that his dismissal is a big terrible mistake. This has cost him and his family lots of pain. They deserve to be treated better!
  14. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    International School Toulouse - Injustice

    The logic of the posting above would be that I should not say anything because I'm not at the school and will thereby not face the direct consequences. I should definitely not remind Richards colleagues, his friends and work mates, to do a decent thing. It's better to just remain quiet and... Sorry Mike! I don't think that is a very good strategy. It's really important to support Richard and his family in all possible ways. He needs support from his friends, colleagues, students, parents, partners in projects, etc... We owe him that! It's extremely important that his colleagues ask for explanations. They should be able to work at a school where they may ask questions, where they can critisize and demand changes if necessary without risking loosing their work. This is one of the most fundamental rights we have. This is a right we have to be willing to fight for. The only contribution I can give, sitting far away in Sweden, is to show my unrestricted support to Richard and to ask, ask and ask again for some kind of explanation to this situation. The biggest problem is that IST don't think I deserve an answer. The board of IST is totally quiet. I have worked with Richard several years in different projects. He has always showed the greatest respect to me and all of us that has got to know him in this position. I just assume that his colleagues have seen exactly the same thing - so why don't they react? They must see that something is wrong, terribly wrong in the reasons given for his dismissal and they must know that he deserves their support...
  15. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    International School Toulouse - Injustice

    TO BE QUIET OR NOT... One group that can really help Richard in this conflict are you colleagues at IST. If this conflict is based on one copied paper and "rumours" some hidden personal reason(s) must be involved. Since we bystanders don't get any answers from IST we can only speculate in what's going on and that's not a very creative way of approaching this conflict. Therefore it's so important that you colleagues of Richard stand up and demand an open investigation about what is going on. My suggestion would be to involve parents, students, colleagues and people from the board in this investigation. It's first of all important for Richard and his family! He and his family deserves a reaction from you colleagues! It's important for your work climate. I'm convinced, being a teacher myself, that you want to work at a school that's open for discussion and criticism when it's necessary and with a board that treats you and your opinions with respect. It's important for your students. You are their role models and your behaviour in this conflict will give them a valuable lesson about life. Your action/reaction will be evaluated by these students and you have the power to teach them about our fellow man responsibilities. It's important for the parents of the students. They have given you the responsibility of teaching the most valuable asset they have - their own children. They trust you to give them guide lines for life as well as knowledge. As I understand they want to have answers to all the questions that's surrounding this conflict and you can help them getting these answers. It's important for Richards friends and partners in different projects. I have as you understand very little information about what's going on at IST. My reaction in this conflict comes from the privilege of knowing Richard and get to work with him, first at Virtual School and now in the e-help project. I personally want to understand what's going on at IST - an institution we have worked so beautifully together with. I have several times asked Les Albiston and the board of IST to please give some clues to why they sacked Richard. I don't get any answers at all... That's why I and my colleagues rely on the people that are the closest to Richard in his everday life at work to react. You colleagues at IST have to ask for an open investigation! So please IST colleagues don't be quiet. I'm not asking you to go around with posters, to form demonstrations, to strike... I'm just asking you to react. Ask for an independent investigation that involves people from "both camps" and do it now before it's to late!
  16. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    International School Toulouse - Injustice

    WHY DOES NOT THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF TOULOUSE ANSWER? One part that is of concern in this conflict is a possibility to communicate. So far we have seen one version on what happened which make us all wonder - is there no real substance to the dismissal of Richard Jones-Nerzic? Several individuals as well as groups have asked the board on IST to give any statement, proof, evidence,... to why they thought that the only possible way of dealing with Richard was to dismiss him. The accusations of copying a paper seems to us like a very poor excuse. Wouldn't it be a good idea IST to try to find some kind of dialogue with all these people? So why don't you answer our questions, emails, open letters, etc...? Most of us has been very supportive of IST before this conflict. I personally was very impressed with the school and the ideas behind the teaching there. I also thought that our group in E-Help had a very good cooperation with the school and their representatives; Les Albiston and Richard Jones-Nerzic. Then this conflict struck us "out of the blue" and I think that we as well as parents, students, and other previous supporters of IST deserve an answer to why the school board has gone this far. Our long cooperation with Richard makes us believe that this is a mistake. We feel that maybe the board has been mislead and/or maybe somebody has some personal problems with Richard and/or...? So board of the IST - could you please give us some answers?
  17. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    International School Toulouse - Injustice

    I met Richard in 2001 when I was invited to Virtual School. At the time I knew very little about ICT and had no experience of webwork (I had not been invited as an "ICT expert" but as a history teacher who wanted to use ICT...). Not to long after this we held a great meeting at IST in Toulouse and Richard started to teach me the very basics of ICT. With other words - he became my teacher! He very patiently took this slow Swede through the first obstacles of making your own homepage and explained how to continue... It's always been great working with Richard. He is a fantastic pedagog, an extremely devoted teacher, hard working and very skilled. Everybody talks about his cutting edge skills in ICT. To that I would also like to add his willingness of sharing this knowledge. As the coordinator of our group in e-help he has showed that he also has great leading abilities. Our group has done very well under his lead so my chock was huge when I found out about the sacking. It does not make any sense... Richard is a trustworthy person - fair, open and very easy to communicate with so my understanding of what happened is non-existent. It must be some kind of misunderstanding and I hope that IST will reinstate Richard as soon as possible. He is vital in our project and he is as important as a teacher at IST.
  18. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    WWI - causes simulation

    I'm willing to do a translation of this activity into Swedish. Could you send me the material as well?
  19. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Historia som ett kärnämne!?

    Satsning på skolan har varit en av de löften som Lars Leijonborg och speciellt Jan Björklund betonat mest. Nu sitter de i en position där de har möjlighet att förverkliga delar av de löften de givit. Personligen så tycker jag att det skall bli intressant att se hur de förvaltar denna möjlighet. Då det gäller Historia som kärnämne så är jag övertygad att det kommer att bli kärnämne även med den nya regeringen. Dock hoppas jag att man inser att den nya A-kursen bör vara på 100 poäng (som i stort sett alla andra ämnens A-kurser). Då det gäller innehållet så tycker jag att man kan bibehålla den plan som presenterades i samband med 50-poängs kursen; dvs. en kortare kronologisk översikt, betoning av de sista århundradena, framväxten av den moderna demokratin, mer fokus på tolkningar av historien och ett större utrymme för källkritik (vilket ju är mycket användbart i alla ämnen då det gäller kritisk granskning av det material man använder sig av...). Nästa kurs (enligt det "gamla" förslaget kallat Historia 2) betonar svensk historia på ett helt annat sätt än de tidigare kursplanerna. Detta är också något som jag upplever som positivt. Med den tidigare kunskapen i bagaget - dvs. källkritik och vetenskapen om att historieämnet bygger på olika tolkningar så kan en granskning av den svenska historien tillsammans med den Europeiska bli en positiv upplevelse. Nu vet vi ju inte om detta arbete som redan utförts kommer att påverka regeringen. Kanske är det så som du säger David att de har ett behov att profilera sig på ett helt annat sätt. Jag tror dock inte skillnaderna kommer bli så stora eftersom förslaget om Historia som kärnämne (till viss del med det presenterade innehållet - dock ej poängantalet) hade ett visst stöd hos historielärarna och grupper som representerar ämnet Historia (bl.a. Historielärararnas Förening). Inom några månader så kommer vi förhoppningsvis ha en klarare bild av vad som kommer hända...
  20. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Stockholm Meeting

    Thank you Dalibor for a very well organized meeting.
  21. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Swedish Elections

    Sweden will wake up to a new government tomorrow. The "rightist" coalition will win the election. It's especially the Conservative Party that increased their amount of votes - about 1 out of 4 Swedish people voted Conservative. We haven't seen these numbers for the Conservatives since the 1920's... Our Prime Minister Göran Persson has now declared that he will retire and the party should elect a new Party Leader in March. As I mentioned before - the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Workers Party will have his mansion to comfort himself (together with a great retirement, stocks, paid "vacations"... etc - a true representative for the workers!). He and his party did the worst election in 80 years - at the same time as the Swedish economy is fairly good... Interesting. What really disturbs me is the relative success of the "Swedish Democrats" - a neo Nazi Party that managed to get about 1-2 % of the votes in Sweden and up to 20% in some local elections - that's terrible!
  22. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Swedish Elections

    We have seven parties represented in our Parliament (Riksdag). Four parties has made a "rightist" coalition - that's the Conservative Party (Moderaterna), the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), the Christian Democratis Party (Kristdemokraterna) and the Agrarian Party (Centerpartiet). During the last month they have showed an unusual agreement in several questions - and they have been able to get this across to the media (the majority of the newspapers are in their hands which of course makes the situation a bit easier). The "leftist" coalition - that's the Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiska Arbetarpartiet), the Environmental Party (Miljöpartiet) and the ex Communist Party (Vänster) has showed less agreements. Our Prime Minister Göran Persson doesn't show any big interest in finding a common ground. My personal view is that he continues to "bully" the other two parties which has had very little influence on the government policies during the periods they been "support parties" to the Social Democrats. The Party has gradually, during his reign, disassembled the Swedish welfare state. He made education the responsibility of our Communes (local districts) which meant that local politicians now has the economic responsibility for the running of schools (this was in the hands of the Swedish State before which meant that they could try to distribute the money to all schools fairly equally...). This decission (which basically all teachers were against) created A-, B- and C-schools depending on the local budget. At the same time we saw an enormous increase in Private Schools - all approved by the Social Democratic Government. Sweden use to be at one of the top positions when you compared schools in Europe. Now you can find us in the middle and we seem to loose positions every year... Part of this is due to the Social Democratic school policies. Also during Persson reign we have lost one of the oldest institutions in Sweden - the Post Office. Today different stores and private businesses takes care of our mail, packages, etc... This was also run by the State before. We can also see a beginning privatization of our hospitals. A few private companies has started up and the discussion right now is to just keep the Emergency part as a "State business"... The Social Democrats did not move a finger when some of our biggest companies were sold - Volvo, Saab, Skansia, etc... just "disappeared" abroad. Our highest representative for the Swedish Workers has bought a lovely Mansion with lot's of land so he can retire after all these years of hard work - dismantling the Swedish Welfare State. I wonder if there is anything left for the "rightist" coalition to do...
  23. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Using Macromedia Flash in the classroom: is it just ‘flash’ or can it be useful?

    Tack Johannes för ett bra seminarium om möjligheterna att använda Flash tillsammans med elever. Tyvärr har jag själv inte kommit mig för att använda Flash än men det beror mest på mina egna kunskapsbegränsningar vilket inkluderar det faktum att jag inte haft tid att sätta mig ner och försöka ta till mig de uppenbara fördelar detta program har. IN ENGLISH PLEASE - Thanks Johannes for a good seminar about the possibilities to use Flash together with the pupils. I have unfortunately not come around to use Flash yet but this is more due to my own knowledge limitations which includes the fact that I haven't had the time to sit down and try to teach myself the obvious advantages this program has. I both agree with David and Graham about the general idea of teaching but so far I haven't seen a contradiction in the ideas of teaching and ICT in the seminars we have had. The pedagogic approach is always the fundament of the education and the different approaches using different kind of ICT possibilities is just a tool amongst other tools in your teaching - nothing more and nothing less. What was encouraging in this presentation was to see certain students (that had been regarded as slow/low achievers) excel when they wer taught how to use Flash in their own work. With an instructor/teacher that has the necessary skills this is another tool that helps us open up the creative side of certain pupils. Personally I would not use this program since I don't know how to use it but if I learn and feel that it could be used to make students progress - sure I would definitely use it. In one of the other seminars (about the use of Power Point) I wrote "Sometimes being blinded by all the opportunities of modern ICT it's easy to forget the main purpose of technology - to serve as a tool for education. One of the good things with Power Point is as been remarked above it's availability. Another one is the fact that it is very easy to learn. This is something I stressed before - both teachers and pupils try to find ways of saving time (definitely not adding...) and an easy available program is one way of doing it." The time factor is crucial for a teacher (and his students) - that's why easy and simple ICT solutions that serves a purpose in our teaching becomes more popular. This does not disqualify programs like Flash but until we will get some easier and less time consuming ways of learning and using this program most teachers will definitely hesitate using it. The time factor was also poited out by Johannes in his seminar. To be able to interest more educators in the ICT tools we need to approach certain realities in the teaching environment - I wrote before "Maybe we need to make a seminar about "How to prepare schools for modern learning with the help of ICT". This would include the classroom environment, the schedules, technical equipment, programs available, conflicts with exams, basic skills of students, basic skills of teachers, time scare (the fear of something consuming your valuable time), etc... " Just a little last note - As you can see I have hardly mentioned the pedagogic approach since I think it's so obvious the core of all teaching with or without ICT. You have to have an idea with your teaching before you use any modern tools including ICT. This I'm sure has been the case of all our participators. What they have been able to show is the possibilities to enrich your approaches with the help of different ICT tools. I have a long teaching experience (started as a substitute teacher in 1976 and I'm still working "on the floor") and I do not only see the "flashy" parts of different ICT solutions but I also see several great tools to improve my own teaching. Until just a few years ago I was totally ICT illiterate and even though I progressed a little bit it's a slow process since I am a slow learner. What has been good for me with ICT is the ability to build up a more creative learning environment for my students. This improves my own teaching as well. Johannes use of Flash with students shows exactly the same thing but out of my point of view on a higher technical level. I still think that a Seminar with the more practical questions above could be useful...
  24. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Google Earth

    Another Swedish "Google" Map can be found on this address www.hitta.se
  25. Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Using ICT to promote Independent Learning

    A late thank you for both the seminar in Toulouse as well as a very well written seminar here. Sometimes being blinded by all the opportunities of modern ICT it's easy to forget the main purpose of technology - to serve as a tool for education. One of the good things with Power Point is as been remarked above it's availability. Another one is the fact that it is very easy to learn. This is something I stressed before - both teachers and pupils try to find ways of saving time (definitely not adding...) and en easy available program is one way of doing it. You show several good ways of using Power Point and samples like that (and a few other that's been suggested here) can take these teachers and pupils a bit further. One of the main obstacles I find is the problem of resources in my own classrooms (since we have so many classes we never get to be in the same classroom all the time - I usually change between 7-10 different rooms during the week). I fully agree with you. I would also like to add a Smartboard. The actual classroom is very important to bring up when you try to encourage the use of ICT at our schools. Most Swedish Schools have Computer Labs which are often occupied and as I see it not the environment you want for a creative history class (this last statement comes from some practical experiences since I have tried to run some of my classes completely from a Computer Lab). In my case I would then also need to provide 7-10 classrooms with the equipment necessary plus get a better schedule... The timeschedule is our next big problem which is of such proportions that it needs its own seminar - Maybe we need to make a seminar about "How to prepare schools for modern learning with the help of ICT". This would include the classroom environment, the schedules, technical equipment, programs available, conflicts with exams, basic skills of students, basic skills of teachers, time scare (the fear of something consuming your valuable time), etc...