Links I liked #32

“Our social imagination is partly constituted by our ruling metaphors, and the key metaphor of the age of meritocracy is ‘the ladder’. As David Cameron put it in 2013: ‘You help people by putting up ladders that they can climb through their own efforts.’ But this may not paint quite as inviting a picture as Cameron hoped. Ladders are confining modes of ascent, which don’t leave much room for choice: there is no overtaking and the direction of travel is fixed, rung by rung. Ladder-speak tends to ignore the fact that ladders are used for descending as much as ascending, and has nothing to say about what happens when someone on the way down meets someone on the way up. And of course there will always be some people who prefer to take the lift. Where, in any case, are all these competitors in the Great Ladder-Climbing Championships trying to get to? The metaphor suggests a once-and-for-all ascent: you climb a ladder to get somewhere; ladder-climbing is not a way of life.”

  • Debate: I came across this debate-by-letters and loved the banter between academics. “Deidre McCloskey & Economists’ Ideas about Ideas.” Read the whole thing –
  • Assessment: SACMEQ is notoriously under-documented. This 2019 Kenya Report on SACMEQ IV (2013) is helpful in that regard. 
  • Martin Gustafsson’s pice in The Conversation about the incoming wave of teacher retirements. Watch this space.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with RTI (Ben Piper et al., who else 🙂 ) have published a series of really helpful reports on:
  1. Structured Pedagogy: How to guides and literature review
  2. Practical language choices for improving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in sub-Saharan Africa,
  3. Language of instruction in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Programs in sub-Saharan Africa: The Basics,
  4. Classroom level assessment,
  5. System level assessment
  • Reports: Useful OECD PISA-for-Development report (2020) on out of school youth in 5 countries (Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay & Senegal)

One response to “Links I liked #32

  1. The weird thing is that the first graph in Martin Gustafsson’s piece has only 8 provinces, not 9 — WC is missing. But thanks for the list.

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