75 years  

The Colonial Dept 1927-1953

Inaugural Lectures
Academic Resources
The Present
Photo Gallery
About this cd/links

Lyn Skinner : student 1949/50

Lyn recalls the useful advice offered to him on teaching, particularly how to make science lessons memorable:

"I remember that when I was at the Institute of Education Mr Harrison, the lecturer on teaching methods, who was a very down-to-earth sort of chap, told us things that were very useful. For example, he said that if you have a boisterous class of boys, 10-year olds, you don’t spend your time turning your back on them. He said the thing to do is to write half a sentence and then swiftly turn round and you will catch the boy who is throwing the pellets at the other boys.  He also said something like this: ‘Suppose in a science lesson you want to give a demonstration to the whole class on the loss of weight of a body immersed in water, as discovered by Archimedes.  Don’t dip a little brass weight in a teacupful of water. Do it on as big a scale as you can. Dip a brick in a bucket of water’.   In Ghana, when I taught some training college students, I remembered this advice.  I decided to do a demonstration about oxygen and combustion. No relighting a glowing splinter of wood in a test tube full of oxygen would do.  Instead I stuck a piece of burning sulphur the size of a walnut into a three litre flask of oxygen.  The result was spectacular. In an instant the flask was transformed into a brilliant white hot ball of fire. In the same instant the whole class vanished under their benches. The following week I said I proposed to set fire to a tin can filled with hydrogen. As one man they took to their heels before I could strike a match. I thought that they had rather untrusting natures and that it was best not to dwell on what Mr. Harrison’s comments might have been if he had been observing my lecture."

Back to Recollections 1927-1952

Back to Recollections overview

Home | Histories | Recollections | Inaugural Lectures | Academic Resources | The Present | Photo Gallery | About this cd/links

 Copyright details. Help using the CD.

Compiled and edited by Clare Bentall and Angela Little. First issued Spring 2005.