Summative Entry

While people in the English Renaissance wore different clothes and had no access to digital technology, their artistic expressions and the experiences these embody still have an impact on human beings living in the 21st Century.

The world as we know it today seemingly has nothing in common with the world during the English Renaissance however, upon further investigation it is clear that there are many core aspects of life that have not changed. Humanity has largely remained the same despite the fact that we have computers and they did not even have lightbulbs and the fact that we wear completely different clothing. Whether it be the Renaissance, the present or the future, people still love, fight, cry, mourn, scheme, manipulate, laugh and live. It is these actions and emotions which make us human and therefore, the expressions of these in art and literature are just as relevent to us today as the day they were written.

My very first blog for the semester was about the distinctivness of a feminine voice compared to a masculine one as demonstrated through Lady Anne. The mourning of Lady Anne continues to be emotional today as we have all felt loss of loved ones (although it is unlikely that it was due to murder!) The differences between men and women, while somewhat lessened by feminism, are still evident as we are different by nature. The continuing emotional impact of  art from the Renaissance can also be seen through my creative piece based upon the plate painted by Xanto. I wrote a story about the wife of the leader of the Swiss Guard at the time of the sack of Rome by thinking about how I would feel if I were in the situation and applying these feelings to my piece. Once again, it is through emotions that the strong link between us and the people of the Renaissance becomes clear. Due to the pathos of Lady Anne’s speech as well as within historical events, it is clear that the art from the English Renaissance is still highly relevent today.

Poetry is a universal method of communication as it is based upon emotions which are the core of our being. Due to this, the poetry of the English Renaissance has a resounding impact upon today’s readers. The value of poetry is investigated in my post “Poetry: the Language of Life” which discusses the idea that history tells a story but poetry brings it to life. Due to a poet’s ability to manipulate language and emotions, their works become timeless as it is this emotion which connects us to people of the past. This is shown through the ideas presented by Sir Walter Ralegh in his poem, The Lie. This poem explores honesty and hypocrisy as he sees it in the world. Despite completely different political cultures, it is so profound that many of his complaints are so relatable to 2017. He points out hypocrisy within organisations such as the church- an issue still present today especially in relation to controversial investigations into some priests. The manipulation of emotions is also discussed within this poem through the comparison of love to lust. Again, this is still highly relevent to the present as people have always abused the emotions of others for ulterior motives. The continuing impact of literature concerning love is also demonstrated by the poetry at the beginning of Twelfth Night as explored in my post, “In Love an Agony”. The text investigates the different ways love can make us feel, in this case, pain. Love is, in many ways, the core of human existence hence, the experiences and values of people in the English Renaissance are not so different from our own.

Through the investigation of a variety of texts this semester, it has become very clear to me that despite the outward differences between us today and the people of the English Renaissance, we are, at our core very similar due to the emotions that connect us and make us human. The fact that the emotions of poets, authors and artists of the English Renaissance still relate to us today make it an indisputable fact that their work is still highly relevent to us in the 21st century and has had a continuing impact upon us.

Peer Review 6

Posted to:

Hi Jack!
I love how much effort you put into your post this week; your extensive research into the World in a Fool’s Cap image is really interesting- especially the translation of the writing. It would be interesting to investigate further into the idea that “know thyself” is related to the fool. Perhaps this could mean that by recognising that you are a fool yourself gives you a certain kind of wisdom. After all it was Shakespeare who said “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
Keep up the great work!

Reflection 7

The use of constructivist theories has been very prominent in schools and is often attributed to Piaget and Vygotsky. Both theories are focused around learners constructing their own knowledge based on the knowledge they already have. On my schooling, I was generally an independent earner which therefore made Piaget’s approach highly appropriate for me. I also enjoy the interaction with peers that the school environment allows for as described by Vygotsky who states that social interaction is key for reaching learning goals. I think that the zone of proximal development which I introduced by Vygotsky is also crucial to education as it encourages students to challenge themselves with the support of the teacher or mentor. 

In my placement, both constructivist theories are useful in some aspects of learning. Through using concrete materials, students are able to discover for themselves what a pattern is during their maths class. After a brief explanation from the teacher, students explore the topic creating their own patterns and linking their new knowledge to previous knowledge which allows them to better retain information. Social constructivism is less effective in this class room as the varied cognitive and learning disabilities mean that while the student effectively communicate with the teacher, they sometimes struggle to work together as a group to reach new knowledge. Therefore, it is clear that a constructivist approach works well in individual learning however any group learning needs to be highly structured to ensure that students are gaming the most knowledge they can and achieve ther goals. 

Reflection 6

This week on prac I was involved with one on one work with a student with a cognitive disability in a hospitality class. While the majority of the class was working on an activity with the class teacher, I was asked to sit with the student and work through seperate worksheets. At first, this seemed like it would be beneficial for this student as she has trouble understanding content and, with personalised worksheets, would better be able to reach goals. When I was given th worksheets however, I was shocked to discover that she was to work through find a words related to the subject. I failed to understand how this helped her at all as all she was doing was looking for letters to make up a word she does not understand in relation to content she has not even learned. In my opinion, it seemed as though the class teacher had given up on the student and assumed that she would never understand content and therefore was given recreation mal activities rather than educational material. 

I felt that the work was almost insulting to the intelligence of the student; just because she was at a lower level than the other students it did not in any way mean she was incapable of understanding information. She just needed a simpler explanation of the same content rather than pointless activities. While working with the student, I could tell that she did not find much benefit from the activity either as she could not concentrate on it as it was not stimulating. Even I struggled to concentrate on the find a word as I felt like my time and knowledge was being wasted when I could be teaching the student something useful rather than helping her look for words. Due to this experience, the importance of catering for students with different needs has become very clear to me. I will ensure I set doable yet challenging tasks for students so that they reach learning goals and learn new skills. 

Peer Review 5

Posted to:

Hey there Sara!
I love your interpretation of the first scene of 12th Night particularly the way you describe the pun on the word heart/hart and the metaphor of the deer. It would be really interesting if you further investigated the purpose of the techniques Shakespeare used- maybe the effect they had on the audience. I think one more interesting feature of this scene is the use of poetry. Poetry as well as the great techniques you picked up on make this a fantastic opening for a play- good one Shakespeare!

In Love and Agony

What picture of love/lurve is presented in the opening scene of 12th Night. How is this picture reflected in the language choices Shakespeare makes.

From the very first line of the play, an interesting and alternative opinion about love is presented by Orsino. The first line, “If music be the food of love, play on,” gives the reader the idea that Orsino is a romantic and is often misquoted for this reason. In the second line, the idea about love is subverted when he continues with, “give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and die!” This paints a very different picture of love, portraying it as something that Orsino does not want to feel. Instead of asking the musicians to play on for the beauty of the sound, Orsino wants them to play so much that he is sick of the music which is a metaphor for love and the quest to find it. Shakespeare uses an easy to understand metaphor allowing the audience to get a very clear picture of the way Orsino feels about love as it is vital knowledge for the events to come. The instant subversion of love from the positive to the negative provokes thought from the audience about the subject of love as well as capturing their attention and curiosity.

The choice to use poetry rather than prose is highly important to note when examining the opening of Twelfth Night. By starting the play with a poetic speech, Shakespeare is able to immediately gain the audience’s attention as well as depict to them an idea of the tone of the play. More importantly, poetry is known as the language of lurve which is what the play, at its core, is about. The association between poetry and romance is always prevelant within Shakespeare’s plays but the way it is used in this scene is particularly interesting. The use of poetry against love rather than encouraging it is, once again, a subversion of it’s usual role. The subversion of roles continues throughout the play so the fact that it is introduced through the opening poetry is highly effective.

Shakespeare also uses contrast to demonstrate the enormous extent of Orsino’s disinterest in love. He describes his encounter with love stating that “it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound/ that breaths upoin a bank of violets,” using imagery associated with beauty as well as enjambment to create a romantic flow. To contrast this, the following lines, “Enough; no more./ ‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before,” are sharp and abruptly end this flow, similar to the sudden change of mind about love and the feeling becoming negative rather than positive.

Love in Twelfth Night, as portrayed in the opening scene, is an overall agonising experience. Love is depicted as tempermental as it can change from beauty to pain in an instant and suddenly; what was once desirable is wanted no longer. In fact, Orsino wants nothing to do with love at all. The unique use of subversion, poetry and imagery construct this painful depiction of love which is a highly fitting opening for the play.

Poetry: the Language of Life

Take Sir Philip Sidney’s lines (above) in which he values poetry over history and philosophy and develop his argument in your own words, based on your own experience of the value of poetry to you.

History can teach us what is done and philosophy can tell us what is though; poetry tells us what is felt, what is shared and what is lived. Poetry communicates what it is to be human and what it means to love, laugh, smile, cry and form relationships with each other, the world, and even people we have never even met like the poet. History and philosophy merely concern the mind but poetry is all encompassing of the mind, heart and spirit which are all important aspects of life and crucial to our development as people.

History tells us that Shakespeare’s plays were performed in the globe theatre- an interesting and important historical fact. But what history cannot describe is the excited murmur of the crowd as they file in to watch, breathe and live the wonder to be performed. It cannot tell us of the actor backstage more nervous than a pig in a bacon factory, sweating like a horse and shaking from nervous excitement. It cannot tell us about the hearts of all the audience beating as one like a steady rhythm of applause as their soul is nourished by the love, action and emotions playing out before them. History leaves out what it means to be human and poetry picks up it’s slack.

History tells tales of heroes but not of their insecurities; we know many historical figures but we cannot know their emotions without the expert interpretation of the poet. History deals with numbers- a historian may tell you of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, but what about the experience of the 1,the individual. History often does not give individuals a story but groups them in which disconnects us with the fact that each of the 6 million, is an individual. Poetry has the power to reconnect us. To give a voice to the mute. What of the forgotten ones of history who did no great deed other than to love with all their heart? What if the women, the poor, the slaves? History does not give them a chance to speak for it does not consider loving to be a heroic deed, it does not consider living to be a heroic deed. Poetry does and therefore gives a pedestal to anyone who wants it. To anyone who feels and knows what it means to be human, what it means to live. History gives us an outline of the world in facts and figures, poetry fills in the gaps with life.

Peer Review 4

Posted to:

Hi Beatrice,
I really enjoyed the way you used language in your entry this week, it seemed almost mystical due to all the imagery used which is very fitting considering it is from the moon’s perspective. I completed the same question as you this week and it was so interesting to see the vast differences between our entries; yours was incredibly dire while I spoke about a world of wonder. Our pieces could almost work as a before and after sequence! The only tip I have is to double check for typos, they interupt your flow (eg: “Man is the craziest specie”).
Keep up the great work!

Reflection 5

ICT use in the classroom has become increasingly prominent in recent years. The change in use of ICT over my schooling was possibly the biggest transformation in regards to technology and education. When I was in kindergarten, the school had about 20 desk top comuputors which students got to use abut once a week in their library lesson. By the time I reached year 12, every student had their own device and used it for most of their class work. This is such a large transformation in a relatively short amount of time. For the most part, this has had a largely positive effect on my education as I had an increasing access to information and was able to effectively take part in problem based and individual learning. Sometime however, it was easy for me to be distracted as it is easy to disguise the fact that you are doing nothing behind the computer screen and students are very quick to learn this. 

In my placement technology can be helpful but can also be a large problem for some students. The positive aspect of ICT is that it can be used so that students can conduct their own research and find resources that are easy to understand at their own and at their own pace. It can be a problem however when, instead of reading and understanding information, students copy the websites information without understanding it. ICT use in the classroom is also an issue for a student who recently moved to Australia from Iraq. He has no computer skills and finds even a simple google search challenging. The fact that he struggles with the primary tool used in the classroom means that he spends more time trying to learn this than the actual lesson content. Clearly, use of technology logo needs to be examined and not used when appropriate for the intent of the activity and if it is appropriate for the student. 

Reflection 4

The use of modelling as described by Bandura can be examined in my placement and is used to varying degrees of success. Modelling is the use of a person as an example in order to encourage others to do the same as the model. In my own education, modelling could be seen in the way that a teacher would praise a particular student for a certain behaviour. For example, “look how quietly Tom is sitting, I wonder if we can all be as still as him.” This was effective in many cases as students want praise from the teacher. In the cases that this did not work, it may have been due to the fact that the other students then see Tom as a ‘teachers pet’ and would therefore avoid copying him. This was particularly true in older grades. 
In my placement, modelling is particularly useful as many of the students have difficulties interpreting social cues. We are strongly encouraged to make a point of making eye contact and speaking clearly so that the students begin to do the same. When we enter the room, it is also important to act as a mode, on how to greet a person. Another way modelling is used in the classroom is through the use of the kitchen provided. The teachers always clean up after themselves and wash up which encourages the students to do the same also. This is highly effective with the majority of the students as they have respect for the teachers. For some students however, this is ineffective as modelling is only effective if the students can relate to the model.