Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gran Canaria

Writer's block brought me here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

21 pages of Chapter 1

Feeling extremely encouraged today. I've just finished the penultimate edit for the first draft of the first 21 pages of Chapter 1 (grin). Had some extremely positive feedback about the analysis and feel that there is some momentum gathering now (grin again).


Friday, September 3, 2010

Intermental Development Zone

Following Vygotsky's concept of Zone of Proximal development [ZPD], Fernandez, Wegerif, Mercer and Rojas-Drummond introduce the concept of the Intermental Development Zone [IDZ]. 

ZPD - When a non-expert works with an expert (so a child with a teacher), this concept refers to the zone in which the non-expert can achieve more with help from the expert than they could have without it. Often accompanied by the concept of Scaffolding; a teacher may set up a frame in which a child can lead and progress their cognitive development.

4 stages of ZPD (From Mercer and Littleton... I can provide full references if anyone is interested)
1 capable other scaffolds for the student
2 the student takes over scaffolding
3 task activity becomes automatic
4 can return to previous stages 1 or 2

The emphasis however is on cognitive development

‘…The zpd is now seen as providing a way of conceptualizing the many ways in which an individual’s development may be assisted by other members of a culture, both in face-to-face interaction and through the legacy of artefacts that they have created.’ (Gordon Wells in Dialogic Inquiry in Education: Building on the Legacy of Vygotsky

But ZPD as a concept is too static. The expert and non-expert create a space for communication (Mercer and Littleton) IDZ embraces how teacher and learner embrace changing states. It focusses on the nature of communicative processes.

IDZ - ' represented in talk by references to shared experience, but can also be sustained by tacit invocations of common knowledge.' (Littleton & Mercer)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TaeKwon-Do info about belts

If you read the posts about the TaeKwon-Do summer camp (below) and you don't do TaeKwon-Do here is some information about the belt system following sensible feedback from a good friend :-)

The colour belt students have to progress through a sequence of Kups in their training towards black belt. There are practical applications:
- the instructor can see from your belt colour what you should know and what you should be able to do at your level, helpful in larger classes or when attending seminars in other locations)
- you line up in the Dojang (training room) in belt order with white belts at the back and seniors in front of them. This means that you are able to see more experienced practitioners performing techniques.

I'm sure there are more but I'm supposed to be working on my PhD!

I am not sure about the following points so I hope that someone will post the correct information below.
White belt signifies the beginner and no previous knowledge of TaeKwon-Do. I'm not sure if there was always a belt system, it just became darker (you should never wash your belt) until you'd been training for so long it became black.

Now the system is as follows

Yellow tag
Green tag
Blue tag
Red tag
Black tag 

You are permitted to take a grading after 3 months with your instructor's permission. If you manage to pass with a strong pass then you can do your next grading sooner than that with permission. I'm not sure but I think that the waiting time get's a little longer after blue belt anyway. It is possible for someone to reach blackbelt in 2 years or even less time however I personally plan to consolidate now and take my time. I have trained for 18 months and plan on taking at least 2 years before grading for a black belt. It is a motivating and very well structured system however as you progress through the beginner grades it becomes clear that TaeKwon-Do is fosters personal feeling and understanding about movement. There is a lot of conditioning and my view is that it should be enjoyed in the moment, not as ambition for achievement; there is always something to work on.

Once you have reached Black you are considered first degree, or first dan as it is often called.
If you are below the age of 13 and a half your belt has a white stripe running its length which is removed at that age.

The black belt has a lot of things written on it. The tenets of TaeKwon-Do, your name, the signature of our first Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha. Anything else anyone? I'm not a black belt yet so I'm not sure.

After a year, if you are considered ready, you can take your second degree grading.
2 years your 3rd degree
3 years your 4th degree (4th degree means international instructor)
4 years 5th degree
5 years 6th degree
6 years 7th degree (and become a Master)
7 years 8th degree (and become a Senior Master)

There is only ever one 9th degree and that is our Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha

Please correct me if any of this is not right. Also if you know of a good website that explains the system please post it so that others can look at that for reference.

Senior Master Paul Cutler has been training for 36 years (if I heard him correctly at the weekend)