Blog posts

On mastery 2 23 May 2011

Some footnotes to On Mastery (q.v.) ... About six weeks after the inauguration, when Carlos Fabra had invited the citizens of Castellón to enjoy the delights of the new Castellón airport, they were... more

Moderating orals 10 May 2011

Moderating orals is a bit of a weird business … Here I sit in my top-floor studio, laptop and speakers in front of me and the piles of DHL packages arranged around the desk, having (as I tweeted... more

Books'n'roses revisited 28 April 2011

After posting my comments on Sant Jordi, I thought to check on a few details that I decided not to include. This led me to a Wikpedia article, which informed me that some of my ideas were not quite accurate.... more

Books'n'roses 24 April 2011

Yesterday, the 23rd of April, was the day of Sant Jordi. Which is a very big day indeed in Catalonia, centred around a tradition that I find enchanting - that you should give a rose and a book to... more

Top-up and Trickle-down 13 April 2011

Esperanza Aguirre, the flamboyant right-wing president of the Community of Madrid, has announced an educational initiative: the Bachillerato de Excelencia. This 'elite baccalaureate' will be aimed at... more

About prototypes 6 April 2011

The use of the word 'prototype' in the new Subject Guide has been bothering me. My initial sense of the word was equivalent to the first of the definitions given by the OED - "a first or preliminary... more

On mastery 27 March 2011

It is always a pleasure to watch a master at work - the cook working elegantly under pressure, the guitarist casually creating complexity, the plasterer flicking out a perfect surface. And the most... more

View from Berlin 22 March 2011

Another workshop finished, this time in Berlin. Experienced teachers, who worked well together, throwing out lots of ideas and comments. One of the fascinating aspects of being a workshop leader is that... more

Carnaval's over 10 March 2011

Carnaval is big here in Sitges. People proudly refer to an article some years ago that claimed that the Sitges Carnaval was the third best in the world, after Rio and Las Palmas in the Canaries. Well,... more

The King's (rude) Speech 5 March 2011

I note the Guardian's report of Colin Firth's objection to the version of 'The King's Speech' to be released in the US, censoring the bad language used by the King at certain points in the film. more