2011 Abstracts Stage 2

Anarchism: the Path to Freedom

Aims: 
To highlight the impotence, invalidity and ineffectiveness of our current economic and political systems. Whilst illustrating the detriment this causes to our social and personal lives.
To promote Anarchism as a means to securing greater freedom and liberty whilst overcoming the problems of our current system.

Kropotkin – A collection of Revolutionary writings.  
Nietzsche – Thus spoke Zarathustra  
Chomsky – On Anarchism

2007 Abstracts Stage 3

What would Chomsky and Foucault say about the National Literacy Strategy? Is there a universal way of acquiring language?

Chomsky maintains that children acquire language due to the principle of Universal Grammar. The child responds to the evidence in his or her environment and creates a core grammar. Children are open to acquiring any human language but ends up acquiring one in particular. Chomsky’s Projection Principle, Binding and Government principles are innate structures within the language faculty in the child’s mind. These principles are reinforced with what the child hears in his or her environment and are present from the beginning of their life. Rather than the child going through a learning process to possess these principles, it is more the case that they are applied; the child’s grammatical competence automatically incorporates them. By contrast, Foucault maintains that discourse is a regulated set of statements and refers to a set of unwritten laws and practices. Foucault distinguishes between discourse and reality—’discourse’ is a system through which we perceive reality; the term can by no means be substituted for the term ‘language.’ I have divided my project loosely into the following chapters: Background, aims and evaluation of the National Literacy Strategy — has the NLS changed in the period 1996-2006? Has it achieved its aims? How is the NLS implemented at Key Stage 1? Is it effective for children with S.E.N? Chomsky’s language acquisition and his idea of Universal Grammar, versus theories that language is acquired through social interaction — which is more convincing? Are Chomsky’s ideas of Universal Grammar relevant today? What would he say about the NLS as it is used today? Is Foucault’s discourse consistent with Chomsky’s ideas? Is Foucault useful when dis- Some primary literature I have used: Chomsky, N. Reflections on Language (1976) Pantheon Books: Great Britain; Chomsky, N. and Foucault, M. The Chomsky-Foucault Debate on Human Nature (2006) The New Press: New York; Chomsky, N. (Ed. N. Anshen) Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin and Use (1986) Praeger Publishers: New York; DfEE The Implementation of the National Literacy Strategy (1997) Government Publishing; DfEE National Literacy Strategy: Review of Research and other Related Evidence; Hardman, F., Smith, F., and Wall K. An Investigation into the Impact of the National Literacy Strategy on the Literacy Learning of Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Primary Schools University of Newcastle Upon Tyne