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Monday, May 03, 2010

Re-presenting your country - A Scottish view of Scotland

Categories: s1 and s2
Tomorrow, I'm going to use the power of twitter in a different way with the same class that talked to the Catlin Survey. This time, instead of a live conversation, I asked those in my twitter network to tell us five things that they associated with Scotland. Between direct messages, replies and people using the #scotlesson tag, we had quite a staggering response. The replies came from all over the world, with the furthest coming from Dunedin in New Zealand, a place with a strong Scottish link. I want to ask the class a few questions before we view these. For instance, how would they like to see Scotland represented as a place? How would they like to see the Scottish represented as a people? What one thing makes them proud to be Scottish? What makes them ashamed? What one thing would they like people to know about Scotland that they might be unaware of? I'm going to use the wipeclean whiteboards for this, so that we can see at a glance recurring themes. We'll then look at the wordle of others replies:
Wordle: Scotland - To see ourselves as others see us
I'd be keen to see if the class could reason why people have this view of Scotland and the Scottish. Alan Parkinson sent me a great resource from Val Vannet, and I've stolen a few ideas from this too. Val was looking at 'mythconceptions' of a place and had two elements in her resource that I want to use. The role of popular media could easily be demonstrated by a google image search. The results of that are here, and it's easy to see why people have the images represented in the wordle. The other element is in labelling. Val included some adverts and food packaging, which reminded me very much of Miss Armstrongs class work which I'd planned to use. I'd then like to return to the questions we set at the start of the period. How can we challenge the common myths about Scotland? How can we re-present Scotland to the same audience? The biggest hurdle I think we might hit here is that the popular image is also the one that the Scottish revert to - a handful of Scots who replied via twitter, with a couple of exceptions, all boosted the stereotype! All things going well, I'd like to give the class a chance to give the people who made up our wordle a different view of Scotland. I've been inspired over the last couple of nights by two things. First, a fantastic set of presentations from a class here, in all sorts of formats. I'd like to give the students the choice of how they present this, helped hopefully by ideas from their audience. Secondly, I feel that this work links in to Claire O'Gallagher's mention of a competition about landscapes, so I might introduce this to the class after the lessons are closing. Many thanks to all those who responded to our request for input, hopefully, we will be able to give something back.


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