ED209 – Week 6

Temperament and development seemed endless as a chapter to study – but having flicked forward to next week’s topic (Origins of Development) and its heavy evolutionary and biological slant, I think this chanpter might start to have felt like it was a breeze!

Some of the concepts (individual differences, adult personality types, attachment) are familiar from DSE212, but what is more obvious is the distinction being drawn between temperament and personality – and how childhood temperament affects the development of personality.

The four temperament theories compared and contrasted towards the end of the chapter (Thomas & Chess; Buss & Plomin; Kagan and Dunn & Kendrick) look as if they could form the heart of an exam question, so I’ve paid particular attention to them and tried to get their differences of approach / emphasis straight in my notes for this week.

The Damned United

I’ve just come across the trailer for the film of David Peace’s book “The Damned United”, which was the most memorable book I read last summer. While the portrayal of Brian Clough in the book (and presumably in the film too) has provoked criticism in Derby, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it, because if nothing else the book was a well written piece of fiction. Or fact. Or faction perhaps?

Clearing out the attic

A couple of years ago, before I got embroiled in the madness that is OU study, I rescued a Compukit UK101 off ebay for about £60 and painstakingly found the parts and re-learnt soldering to make it work properly again. I came across it in the attic again a couple of days ago and when I get a few moments, I’m going to see if it still works.

Three photographs of mine (taken after it had been restored) are below:

My UK 101, complete with 1970's Black and White Television

My UK 101, complete with 1970’s Black and White Television

Inside my UK 101 - the TV modulator and smoothing capacitor in the top right hand corner are 2007 replacements, along with some of the 2114 RAM chips below them

Inside my UK 101 – the TV modulator and smoothing capacitor in the top right hand corner are 2007 replacements, along with some of the 2114 RAM chips below them

The UK101 Character Set

The UK101 Character Set

ED209 – Week 5

I must say that I’m enjoying getting back to reading the course books after a frustrating couple of weeks struggling with TMA01. I’m still not very happy with my essay, but I’ve decided to put it aside for the next few days as there are still a couple of weeks or more to go before the deadline.

Chapter 4 is on early cognitive development and seems to start exploring this from the viewpoint of Piaget and then providing evidence to support or contradict his conclusions. It’s not the easiest chapter to read, but distilling it down into a set of notes based on each idea and the evidence that supports or contradicts it seems to work quite well. It’s one of those chapters that you hope a ‘how far does’ or a ‘to what extent’ question appears on the exam paper as there’s plenty of material to construct an answer from.

Last night I listened to the ‘Mind Changers’ audio band on Piaget and if nothing else, I now understand why the idea of sandpits, big sinks and letting children get on with playing as part of education that I experienced in the 70’s must have been such a shock to my parents who were brought up when rote learning was practiced in schools. Piaget comes across in the programme as being a rather isolated figure and quite sad in some ways. The undoubted insights he had into child development could have been much more quickly developed if perhaps he hadn’t had this obstinate streak of wanting to prove his initial ideas were completely right by demanding his assistants produce more and more data to support them and ignoring data that didn’t support these ideas. A genius, certainly, and comforting (to me!) to know that even he had flaws.

Notes here.

Garages – they just aren't, anymore

I needed some de-icer for our cars this afternoon and was too late to get to Asda before it shut. No problem, there’s a garage just down the road. With a shop. I could have bought a whole range of groceries, sweets, chocolate, valentine’s day cards (what kind of person buys valentine’s day cards from a petrol station?), cuddly toys … but no de-icer. In fact, the only car related stuff was half a shelf of oil and the type of air fresheners only taxi drivers would buy. So I tried the next garage – and a similar story. Probably three times the floor area of the other shop, fresh coffee on sale, vegetables, nappies, more valentine cards … and the same paltry half shelf of oil and a bottle of de-ionised water. No de-icer. “We don’t stock it pet”, the cashier said, “no call for it. Asda sell it cheaper than we can”. Sigh.

Sleepless in Madrid

I’ve had an enjoyable couple of days in Madrid with work and hopefully, a productive one too. My flight back is at 0630, which means I need to leave the hotel in Tres Cantos at about 0430 to be sure of catching it. Guess what – I can’t get to sleep! Too worried about missing it I think.

Update: 6 February, 4.10pm

I didn’t miss the flight – but it didn’t land at Stansted! We were on final approach with about 5 minutes to go before landing and the runway was shut due to snow and ice. It’s been a frustrating day travelling back from Gatwick instead. Full credit to Ryanair – they managed to get everyone onto buses and away from Gatwick back to Stansted within an hour of landing. Shame about the A14 once I’d picked my car up though – but the snowmen along the side of the dual carriageway were a sign that I could have been stuck there a lot longer.

Madrid and TMA1

Weather permitting, I’m off to Madrid in the morning for a couple of days to work with my colleagues at Software AG in Spain. While the weather seems not too bad here at the moment, it looks as if Madrid might be in for some snow over the next couple of days, so I’m hoping that it all works out somehow as I need to be back in time to finish off the first draft of my TMA before my tutorial on Saturday morning. Well, I don’t need to be – it’s just that I want to keep up with the schedule I’ve set myself. The essay doesn’t have to be in until the second week of March.

I’ve gone for the first option – writing an essay on how far social and cultural influences are recognised in theories of child development. I’d forgotten how painful I find essay writing – I seem to go through six or seven attempts before I get something I’m happy with and it’s taken me all week to get a not very good half essay so far. Maybe Madrid will inspire me – and if not, perhaps the tutorial on Saturday will!

ED209 – Week 3 – not quite finished

Not a good week for study this week. I’ve been away from home the whole time for both work and pleasure, so it’s been very difficult staying disciplined. I am nearly there though. All of the reading and annotation of the course texts is done and I’m about halfway through creating my notes. A concerted effort tomorrow evening should see me clear of it and onto TMA1 – the dreaded essay. I haven’t decided which option to write yet, though I’m leaning towards the chapter 1 choice.

Week 3 has been all about sensation and perception, with the links between sensation, perception, cognition and behaviour being stressed. Vision and hearing have been the two key topics, with quite a biological slant in the course texts. Ican’t say that this has been my favourite chapter, but I can see how linking biological aspects of development to psychological development can be a realtively straightforward choice for an exam question if the chapter comes up.

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