Archive for April 6th, 2011

The blind and the one-eyed monster in the living room

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

 Edward Thompson was responsible for some significant developments within the field of history, notably The Making of the English Working Class. He also worked for the WEA and recently an article (possibly unpublished) for the WEA magazine, Highway by him, about the OU has come into my possession (thanks to Malcolm Chase).  Although undated there is a reference to the Sunday Citizen (Reynolds’ News as was) which ceased trading in 1967. There are other references which make it clear that the way in which the OU was to be structured had not reached the author’s ears (and indeed may well not have been devised). 

Thompson argued against the OU (which he consistently referred to by its older name of the University of the Air) because it appeared to him to offer centralised lectures, not ‘the essential mutuality of the teaching relationship… the controlled dialogue between teacher and class’. He suggested that

The limitation of the television screen is not only that the student cannot question it or answer back; it is also that the man on the screen is blind (more…)

After a year what have been the best postings?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011


Top of the blogs listing for the History of the OU, as we post this posting.  With this, our 120th posting, we have averaged over two postings a week for each week since we started posting a year ago. If you flick through the material you’ll find we’ve used film clips, photos and links to relevant bits and pieces. But which has been the material which has supported your learning? Provided a contact? Given you a laugh? We welcome comments and ideas relating to the blog. And no, we didn’t solicit the below tweets.