Sometimes I feel like I am living in the movie Groundhog Day. No, I do not mean the monotonousness of this monthly (or rather bi-monthly) review, but rather how Britain has now entered another lock-down due to the rise of infection of coronavirus. Happily, however, the college remains open and so the impact on education – although with its pressures – has not been as ruinous as in 2019-20.
So, if we are to stay indoors, what better way than in catching up on the posts on this blog over the past two months. September and October have seen a return to a sense of normality with face-to-face teaching, and although I have not posted directly regarding this experience, a couple of posts are related to what has been covered in the classroom.
The Day of Potsdam relates to the early recap sessions for the second year A-level students (in the AQA Democracy & Nazism module), which outlines a key – and sometimes overlooked – event that helped seal Hitler’s rise to power. Whilst with the first years, we studied the impact of the First World War on German politics and society. This year I set some initial academic reading for the group: a chapter about Germany’s rise in the pre-1914 period from Paul Kennedy’s book on the rise and decline of world powers. Although the chapter was a tough read it helps highlight Germany’s pride prior to their war defeat, and in the post about the 1912 Reichstag election I further comment on the key issues facing Germany and the Kaiser during this period.
From the Politics classroom, we covered the extension of the franchise (which includes the 1832 Reform Act and the widening of universal suffrage in the 20th century). Earlier this year I commented on the rather forgotten 1948 Representation of the Power Act, and in October I wrote a post about the 1872 Secret Ballot Act. Now that I’m onto covering the origins and ideology of British political parties I hope to post in the near future about the likes of the Conservatives or Labour, or random minor parties such as the Wessex Party.
Other posts during September and October included the next instalment in the English Monarchs FA Cup series, another post about my family history (the so-called Wildman motto), as well as a couple of more random ones that outlined the 1859 Pig War and an overlooked little statue in Plymouth’s Central Park.