Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s no’ aw Haggis an’ Bagpipes

Culture is something we all accept and we are aware of the culture around us, however, it is difficult to explain or define and has been for many years. In fact, in 1952 Kroeber and Kluckhohn (cited in Spencer-Oatey 2012) listed 164 different definitions of Culture.

I see culture as social norms which affect how we live our lives. For example, a school with a culture of hard work and respect is likely to promote this traits in their pupils, which should in turn see children valuing these traits more.  Values play a huge role culture, whether that be the culture of a small group such as a family or a school, or in fact a wider community or country. I believe that in this country we have a very capitalist society, which is instilled in our minds and affects the values we have, such as hard work and an aspect of independence.

I belong to many cultures: family, friends, university, Scottish culture, and the culture associated with teaching. These different groups/cultures have shaped me to be the person I am today, however, they are quite different. The way you behave around your friends may be totally different from how you behave with your family, which may again be different from how you behave in a teaching environment. This is because of the social expectations and norms set within these groups that lead us to behave in different ways.

Scottish culture is often perceived as haggis, bagpipes, kilts and whiskey. While these are all part of Scotland’s rich culture and heritage, they are just cliches – there is much more to Scotland than people think. Scotland has a rich heritage of music and dance, dating back to Robert Burns and Auld Lang Syne, a song still hugely celebrated in Scotland and across the globe.

Scotland also has a culture of dance, which is slowly dying out in this modern world. Both Highland and Scottish Country Dancing are celebrated in Scotland, with the latter being taught in many schools in an effort to teach children about the culture of their country. However, I believe this is not taught in the best way, as many children, in particular boys, disengage from the dances. I myself have been Scottish country dancing as a hobby since the age of 5 and have seen the numbers in our class hugely decline over time. I believe that this is partially due to the way these dances are taught in schools

Scottish music can also be recognized across the globe, especially the classic image of the piper kilted up in the traditional attire. Take the time to listen to and appreciate the rich culture of Scotland and I hope I am not alone in being able to appreciate this beautiful music even after so many years.



Spencer-Oatey, H. (2012) What is culture? A compilation of quotations. GlobalPAD Core Concepts. Available at GlobalPAD Open House

Animation Fun

As 18 year olds we had great fun creating this animation, and I think a class full of eager children would feel the same.

This fun activity teaches the children the skills of using a camera, and also using a microphone to record sound. This can be done in the form of recording a song as we did, or the children can record their on voices to fit the animation. This kind of task if completed in a group can also teach the children about teamwork, and the importance of including everyone.

In terms of where animation can fit into the classroom, I believe it is a wonderful resource to link subjects across the curriculum. Allowing the children to create their own figures for the animation can be their art lesson, the recording of the animation can be their ICT lesson, and the subject of the animation can be varied to cover many different aspects in order to support the knowledge that the children already have.

I would say that animation slots into TCH 1-04b / TCH 2-04b:

“I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, text and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information in creative and engaging ways.”

I believe this to be the case as animation allows to the children to work with a range of media, including sound, text and images, to portray their knowledge in a different way, which can hopefully allow them to retain the information.

The Enquiring Practitioner

CaptureA Practitioner Enquiry can be described as “an investigation with a rationale or approach which can be explained or defended” (Menter et al 2011)

To me, an enquiring practitioner is someone who deliberately goes out of their way become more knowledgeable, whether that be for a project or about the their profession in general. It is now viewed that teaching should be a learning experience for the teacher as well as the children, and I strongly believe that teachers who make the effort to continue to teach themselves, make the best teachers and role models for children.

Benefits of being an enquiring practitioner are that they can investigate new strategies, which leads to a positive impact on the children in their class, and to the school as a whole, as staff can collaborate on these strategies, highlighting the importance of cooperation and team work across the school. This leads teachers to feel empowered and in total control over what they are teaching.

However, this may lead some teachers to feeling uncomfortable, especially traditional teachers who are used to an approach involving less self enquiry.

In spite of this, I believe that, both student teachers and fully registered teachers, should enagage with the idea of an enquiring practitioner as it ultimately provides a better education for the children we are teaching, which is really the main objective of any teacher. – cited 29/10/15

Professionalism Online

What challenges/opportunities you may be faced with when marrying the personal vs the professional presence on social media?

Having a profile that is a mix of personal and professional life is dangerous, however, I believe it can have great benefits. If you have a shared account, it can allow colleagues (or pupils in an older situation i.e. university) to see another side to you that may not have been shown in your professional self. It allows them to have a rapport with you as they know other things about your personality which may not be conveyed in other professional situations. Common interests can arise and often make partnership working and collaborative projects easier.

However, there is a flip side to these potential advantages. If you have a lifestyle where you are having nights out that you wouldn’t want employers to see, then this mixture of profiles can prove to be costly in terms of your professionalism and potentially your career. A lively night of drinking can lead to consequences of its own, however, this also gives your employer or future employers an indication of your commitment to work and your professional ethics. This can be true of many careers, but particularly in the teaching profession, I believe that you must have a certain degree of maturity to accept that you may have to conduct yourself responsibly in and out of the classroom.

I’m not saying that by having a shared personal and professional profile you cannot have a social life, but I strongly believe that if you are taking this route you must have serious considerations about what you do outwith work.

How are the challenges/opportunities afforded by social media framed? How will you frame things – positive or deficit viewpoint?

The media play a large part in how social media is perceived and how it affects the role of teachers and other professionals. It won’t take long to look through a newspaper, or watch the news to find many examples of hyperbole which are simply not necessary. The recent example of a Dundee teacher who clicked on the wrong video made the front pages, when it was a simple mistake on their part and was corrected in under 10 seconds. It is these examples which will make teachers wary of using technology in classrooms, and will affect the education of the next generation – the children who are living in a technological world and many of whom will be working in this world in the future. Studies have shown that the need for software developers in particular will increase by around 30% in upcoming years.

While I look on technology in the classroom in a positive manner, and believe that it is essential to develop skills which may have already been introduced at home, I also believe that there are some negative points to consider. For example, not all households will have a computer. While the vast majority do, it may isolate children if there are internet related homework tasks which they cannot complete. However, the teacher can easily gauge this by asking the children, or parents and can change lessons and homework to suit their class. While classroom interaction should not be taken away from the school system – as it develops their social skills and abilities to make friends which may stay with them through life – there is certainly a growing place for computers and other technology in the classroom. The days of 1 computer per classroom will soon be coming to an end.