Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Is the Tube stoppage good for us? - Ways of Learning

Services at Ealing Broadway Today
Today London one of  the greatest cities in the world (if not the greatest - it in fact it is!) was hit by a strike on the underground which impacts millions of commuters.

Bob Crow of the NUR is some would say the last of the Union Dinosaurs, I do  not think he is stupid and I imagine he considers that his strategies are for the benefits of the union membership and the industries they are employed in.

Let's consider the management action, the union action and the long term future for the tube.

1) Management announces closure of booking halls.
2) The union calls a vote on strike action to resist the plans.
3) Several lines offer a service (admittedly severely curtailed in numbers and frequency).

now let's think further on what's likely to happen.
New modes of transport use are evolving

1) Long term the number of people requiring a traditional booking hall service continues to decline as more people handle their renewals and ticket buying on-line/by their mobiles.
2) The tube service continues to expand the hours of service.
3) Trains become further automated.
4) Possibility of  further industrial action.

That final point to my mind is the significant one which is will Crow continue to get near full support for his actions, will the Conservatives look to make industrial action of this nature more difficult and/or is he likely to lose support from his members regardless?

Currently there is some sympathy for the NUR position but in a battle for PR it is likely that the union ( a severely tanned Union boss is not helping the case at the moment), leadership can be further undermined (Bob Crow  would be well advised to carry out actions that reflect positively the issues he wishes to highlight like for example passenger safety and to negotiate hard (which is something he is very capable of doing).

Lovely Bob 

Ways of Learning

Ways of learning
Yesterday during the Citylit Philosophy session, course leader Scott Biagi reflected on how methods of teaching were developing in light of new challenges this was perhaps to address concerns that some attendees might have regarding questions arising during the sessions which might be considered diversions from what was in the itinerary.
The points he made were to my mind good ones particularly relevant to a bunch of  what are largely very mature students and included :

  • The availability of on-line materials and top quality lectures has changed the rationale for teaching where students are present putting interaction at such times at the centre of the experience.

  • The student brings something with them to the session partly by their preparation for the discussion, they should be willing to be involved.

  • The course leader has been through similar sessions before and 'knows' (to a great extent) the dynamic of the class and the direction of travel of the group and their absorption of the learning.

The learning points for me - (or somethings that are calling for further thought anyway) were  around what we are born knowing and the arguments around mediate and immediate knowledge.


Last night we downed a bottle of Alabama ((2012)   a Pinotage  Zinfandel from South African, it went well with the  Pasta dish we ate and I'd certainly drink again.
Laithwaites (the sellers)  say:
'This sumptuous red.The grapes were sourced from two separate growers, the Cillie and Bosman families. The Pinotage was grown on sandy granite soils and the Zinfandel, just 250 metres away, on deep red shale. French oak was used for fermentation and American for maturation - attention to detail that has produced a beautifully balanced wine with exuberant raspberry and plum flavours and an attractive spicy edge.'
And that's probably not stretching it too much.

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