Sunday, 1 March 2015

What's Old is New Again!

I wonder if wandering through antique or collectibles shops is a fascination you're able to develop with age? It seems to me that people either love doing it - and always have - or hate it with a passion.  I'm lucky that my husband loves it as I do. (Or I made a good choice, either way.)  We have a few local stores to whom we willingly (and regularly) hand over our time and money.  It's a rare visit that I leave without finding something: whether an antique spoon or tea-cup (I collect both), a quirky book from the early 1900's (my husband collects those) or some ephemera to use in my Way Back Wednesday lessons.

Today was a little different. Today I found books for for ME. Well, for school but that's kinda the same thing right? 

The first pair are from 1955.  One is called The Ideal Book for Boys while the other is The Bumper Book for Girls. I haven't quite decided how I will use these yet.  Having skim read the stories I will probably ask the kiddos to work in groups and give each group a copy of one story from each book.  The language used, and the gender stereotyping is vastly different to the texts the kiddos currently read so after some initial analysis I'll also provide contemporary stories to compare and contrast.  The Australian Curriculum is quite explicit in asking for this kind of analysis, and the gender concepts that will be discussed will support many of the ideas behind our single gender programmes (e.g. boys don't have to be physically strong to have strength). 

The other three are from a 1960 Science Service series and are called Earth, Maps & Mapping and Crime Detection. These little gems will be used as part of our Science as a Human Endeavour learning about how scientific knowledge changes over time, and how science influences human interaction with each other and with Earth.  Oh boy are they perfect examples of how scientific knowledge has changed over time. In Crime Detection the 'hair & fiber' section makes no mention of DNA; in Maps & Mapping electronic computers are lauded as having brought much nearer the realisation of the dream of a truly accurate triangulation network of the entire world; in Earth we can learn of the world's smallest TV camera which is the size of a flashlight. 

 Some things never change though. 
"It seems  - but has by no means been proven - that the earth is getting warmer." (Earth)
What artefacts or ephemera do you bring into your learning spaces?

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 2 Know the content and how to teach it.
Standard 3 Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning.


  1. How awesome! I am also a huge lover of vintage and second hand stores. My children tease me about being a lover of "old rusty things" and groan when come across junk shops when away on camping trips.
    I love that you are able to bring your passion into the classroom in such a valuable way. We educators should share our passions and our quirks more often. Our Ss love it.
    Bridget Compton-Moen, Christchurch, NZ

    1. Old rusty things rock! :) I'm a big fan of sharing my passions and quirks with my students; I think it's super important that they know I'm human. I should probably keep a lid on my love of chocolate though - a couple of my student leaders listed buying me a lifetime supply of chocolate as the perfect way to 'serve' me at the GRIP leadership conference last week. Ooops!
      Thanks for reading and commenting. :)