A Short Account of Maltese and Chinese Archaeology/Architecture/Astronomy

This is a transcript of a talk given in July 2015 at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Valletta Introduction. In this short talk I will attempt to highlight the fascinating history of Chinese and Maltese architecture and astronomy and the important role archaeology plays in such a study. I cannot do justice to this vast and complex topic but hope I can at least identify some cultural links between the subjects and between the two countries. I hope this transcript of the presentation proves interesting and useful. The topic is referred to as Archaeostronomy (sorry about that mouth full) which

Science, Technology and Civilisation in China

This is a transcript of a talk given in May 2014 at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Valletta This commentary attempts to build on the PowerPoint presentation and provide more detail about the topic. I cannot do justice to the theme because of the time constraints and the immense amount of material relating to the topic. One of the most fascinating aspects of Chinese history is the significant advances made over many thousands of years in astronomy, mathematics, science and technology. Many of these discoveries and inventions were made long before similar advances in the West. For example gunpowder, the

Informal Vocational Education and Training

Article by Dr Richard Evans CGLI Learning occurs everywhere and at all times; people acquire new skills, knowledge and competences just by the virtue of their existence and experience e.g. it is truly inclusive. Learning can occur in a number of different ways largely determined by the context and resources available whether they are physical, human or financial. The OECD identifies three kinds of learning namely: formal, non-formal and informal. ‘Formal learning is always organised and structured and has learning objectives. From the learner’s standpoint, it is always intentional: e.g. the learner’s explicit objective is to gain knowledge, skills and/or

The TechBacc – What Chance of Success?

In this article, Dr Dick Evans, technical education specialist, discusses proposals for the TechBacc and considers its chances of success when previous attempts to gain parity of esteem with ‘A’ levels for vocational qualifications have foundered. The latest attempt to introduce a vocational and occupational qualification, the Technical Baccalaureate (TechBacc), has been announced to begin in September 2014 and results will be reported in the performance tables in 2017. As usual the initiative is launched with much political hype and well-worn rhetoric – namely it will be of high quality, provide an alternative choice, possess parity of esteem with ‘A’

The Threat to Work-related Learning

Dick Evans analyses the Coalition’s approach to the 14-16 curriculum and WRL and points out the inconsistencies and risks implied by this policy. One of the most disappointing aspects of the Wolf Review was the recommendation that Work-Related Learning (WRL) should not be a statutory requirement for 14-16 year olds. Equally sad was that the government endorsed that recommendation and removed the funding for education business partnerships. This decision is consistent with others of the government as it continues to narrow the curriculum and heavily prescribe and proscribe areas of it creating a bland and sanitised offering to the majority of

The Challenges of Introducing Environmental Issues into the Skills Agenda

Dr R G Evans FCGI. Education and training must play a significant part in addressing the critical issues currently confronting the planet including those associated with the environment. These include energy, food and water shortages and the consequences of global warming, pollution control, land reclamation and over population. Clearly in spite of a number of sceptics, many people recognise the dangers of overlooking these issues. There is a growing consensus that science and technology can provide some of the solutions in addition to creating  new jobs and occupations. In spite of the current economic climate of austerity, recession and high

Youth Matters

One of the most unfortunate consequences of the current global financial crisis is the very high level of youth unemployment particularly in Europe. Sadly the present situation looks like it will persist for some time and already commentators are talking about a lost generation mirroring a similar situation in a number of regions in Britain in the 1980s e.g. North East and South West of England. I had direct experience of that situation in Cornwall and the plethora of short term schemes introduced by the then government most of which failed to create long term solutions. Unfortunately at present one

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD) IS DEFINED AS ‘THE PURPOSEFUL MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND COMPETENCE TO CARRY OUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE THROUGHOUT YOUR WORKING LIFE’. DR RICHARD EVANS LOOKS INTO THE CONCEPT OF CPD AND HOW IT CAN BENEFIT BOTH EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE WHEN IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY. In summary CPD is ‘any activity which enhances an individual’s professional practice and encompasses formal, informal, course based, work based, individual and collaborative learning. Formal off-job training is only a part of CPD. Most learning actually takes place not through attending training courses, but through the work people carry out and

The Concern of Declining Numbers in Science Education

We live in a world dominated by science and technology. Yet many countries struggle to educate and train sufficient numbers of qualified people in these strategically important disciplines. Malta is by no means alone in needing to increase participation in science and science related subjects, especially at the post-16 stage. Dr Richard Evans takes a vast look at the issue. Employers have voiced concerns over the years about the quantity and quality of school leavers, graduates and undergraduates entering employment and lacking scientific and mathematical capability and skills. In many countries this is now seriously threatening their ability to compete

The Mathematics Problem [Part 2]

DR RICHARD EVANS CONTINUES TO EXPLORE THE DIFFERENT FACTORS THAT CAN CAUSE DIFFICULTY WHEN IT COMES TO UTILISING MATHEMATICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS WITHIN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT. IN THE SECOND PART OF THIS FEATURE, THE FACILITATION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT IS DISCUSSED. In (part one of this article](/2011/04/the-mathematics-problem) (published in the April/May 2011 issue), I identified some of the problems related to mathematics and numeracy in our education system. However, perhaps it is too simplistic just to view the negative perception towards the subject in terms of a series of causes and effects. If the problem is