Ted's teaching tips;The big picture

29th October 1999 at 01:00
The sight of mass marching with flags, especially when children or young people are involved, can be alarming, but what do children think about it?

China Everyone has seen Chinese takeaways, but what do you really know about China (huge size, long coastline, numerous geographical features such as plains, great rivers, high mountain ranges, varied climates, the special position of former British colony Hong Kong)? Find it on the map. How big is its population (1.25 billion, about a fifth of the total population of the planet)? What is its political system (one-party rule, a communist regime headed by a seven-member standing committee of the Politburo, Mao Tse-tung best known post-war leader)?

History and culture What is a dynasty (Chinese ruling family, like Sung, Tang, Ming)? Rich culture in the arts as seen in theatre, dance, pictures and vases. Look at some Chinese script (a well- educated person will know more than 4,000 characters).


Why are all these people marching (all members of the same party)? Why do you think people sometimes get worried when they see mass marches (conformity, unquestioning obedience, militarism)?

Writingdiscussion Would you ever march through a town? What reason would persuade you to parade (justice, religion, environment, protest, support, anger, carnival, for a laugh)? Or would nothing get you out?

Ted Wragg is professor of education at the University of Exeter

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