When: December 7th
Where: Richmond High School - Lennox Street, Richmond
Close to Richmond Train Station
Cost: $250.00 per head -5 hour workshop
Light Morning Tea and Lunch provided-Any special food requirements need to be forwarded to me by Dec 3rd.
Bookings: Contact me directly to book and be sent your invoice details
What to bring: laptop, paper, USB for 'goodie-bag' resources
PD Status: 'Teacher Identified'
Feedback from First Workshop is available at:
The Workshop Program is available below:
A teacher contacted me recently regarding the 'ambiguities and paradox' aspect of the Common Module and how best to evaluate it. I think that this aspect of the guidelines is clearly evident in '1984' . I have always hated the 'unpack the rubric' approach because as became so clear with 'Discovery', many students end up with a 'tick a box' or 'paint by numbers' type of textual commentary rather than personalised analysis. Orwell's political purpose is so crystal clear in his essays, and in his '1984' diarist approach and richly layered ironic representational techniques. As a social commentator and critic, he was justly praised for his language usage, sharp insight and political awareness. Such skills are evident in the way he he develops his core dystopic concepts of oppression, dehumanisation and rebellion. His use of verisimilitude and simulacrum conveys Party duplicity and indoctrination while O'Brien's revelations about Party ideology and methodology demonstrates the gulf between their motivations and those that drive the humanist concerns Winston grapples with. Given the representational focus of the module -examination of the varied satiric techniques Orwell has used, including oxymoron, hyperbole and allegory, students have a wealth of textual 'scenes' such as the 'Two Minute Hate' where they can examine how his layered satiric emphasis is achieved.
It is difficult for many students to make the leap from commentary to analysis but that is one of the key elements of this new syllabus, namely us teaching and reinforcing analytical approaches and styles through 'short' explicit examples.
Thank goodness the 'study guide' approach has seen its day as a way teachers approach textual study and welcome the reader response and journal alternatives.
Looking over Orwell's essays and finding some excellent ones that really clarify his writing motivations, has helped clarify why such contextualisation skills are key to really understanding the complexity of representation. He clearly asserts why he wrote with didactic purpose and why and how explored the power of language. Many schools have chosen '1984' and it is a brilliant text for this module because even at a structural level, the experiential range across the three social classes in Oceania is an excellent platform to evaluate 'Human "Experiences'. As Margaret Atwood noted, '1984' is a 'visionary text which casts its 'shadows over our future.'
Not sure which text I will tackle next but I hope you enjoy teaching '1984'.
Workshop went very well and several of the schools who attended offered their schools as host venues for other workshops later in the term. If you are interested in running a workshop based at your school, you will need to contact me directly to discuss your location and the Common Module or other Module options that you would be interested in for next year.
Costs are about a third cheaper since no venue cost is involved while still having the full five-hour workshop time, detailed booklet/presentation and 'goodie-bag' that I normally offer at a TTA workshop.
My Phoenix Senior '1984' booklet will be published in a few weeks.
After that I will be focusing more on working on the Module A and B texts for Standard and Advanced. I will continue with separate text booklets rather than the compiled versions I used to write for Phoenix.
Many have asked if I will be running TTA workshops later this term and next year but options are still being considered as Liverpool Catholic Club was not a central enough location for many people to get to. That is one reason I am considering using the school based venue approach to reach more teachers in regional areas.
Send an email if you are interested in organising a workshop that suits your text selection for Human Experiences.
It would be interesting to hear what people thought of the English paper as well, including today's Extension paper.
An Excellent resource for evaluating Orwell's focus on Language in his political satire '1984' is found at the following site:
Language, Power, and the Reality of Truth in 1984 - VoegelinView
I have been enjoying reading through Orwell's essays, diary/journal entries and books such as The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia to get a deeper understanding of his focus and political and social outlook. Too often, what we read about Orwell is merely a summation of his views or political beliefs without supportive links to their contemporaneous veracity. I wanted to gain a more informed understanding of his bleak outlook and didactic motivations in writing 1984 and some of his later essays offer an informative 'window pane' into his journalistic mindset, voice and purpose. Studying 1984 as a 'Human Experiences' text is so much better suited to Common Module study than to Module A Comparative. I hope your students enjoy the module and the 'short' related stimulus you look at. Some of the ones suggested in various H.E. units of work seem ridiculously long and complex, given what needs to be covered in the time frame given.
George Orwell drew on his own W.W.II. experiences working with the BBC to demonstrate the power of propaganda to bolster the political power of those in control. In Oceania, patriotic fervour for the Party is linked to the perpetual state of war, with enables those in power to claim emergency powers over their populace.
The novel's protagonist is well aware of the falsification of statistics and data used to dupe the populace and make them compliant.
Readers of the novel when it was first published, would be familiar with the use of posters during the war, reinforcing that Orwell was making use of contextual influences to make his dystopic vision credible.
Several teachers have asked if I could post an agenda for the workshop and so here it is. You can further details about cost and details about the day via email.
'1984' is a popular a 'Human Experiences' choice. I have attached a contemporaneous Review of the novel which I have found very useful to trigger class discussion.