In her thoughtful essay ‘The Crisis in Education’, Hannah Arendt addresses the difficulty of teaching in the modern world. If you go into teaching with the sole purpose of making a real difference, changing the world one child at a time, you might end up doing nothing of the sort. A revolutionary or radical attitude … More The Need for a Progressive Attitude
I asked Terry Eagleton what he thought the difference between modernism and post-modernism might be. He suggested that in modernism God was not quite out of the picture, he was just around the corner. In the post-modern, however, God had gone, He was never there. What on earth would a post-modern classroom be like? Lyotard … More The Post-Modern Classroom.
Trying to fit a personalised curriculum around the desires of a child is a dangerous idea. If we only ever follow the extreme individualisation where the child’s own innate tastes are paramount we might never move out of McDonalds. The argument for personalisation goes hand in hand with the idea that much that is studied … More The Dangers of a Personalised Curriculum
Despite the person, who came to my school talking about how they arrived at estimated grades, saying that they should never be used as ‘target grades’, the school informed us that the data generated was to be used as a target grade for every pupil. A grade set by English, maths results at key stage … More Shoot the Target Grade
Every subject is different, it has its own rhythms and constraints around which a positive classroom culture can be created. Getting changed for PE, putting on lab coats, getting out exercise books and pens, all these seemingly mundane rituals are an essential part of creating a positive working atmosphere. In the drama room I have … More Creating a Classroom Culture: The ‘Centre’
A level results day is always a bittersweet day for me, school left me when I was sixteen and by the time many of my friends were getting their A level results I was working on a market stall selling, amongst other things, whoopee cushions and fart powder. Both products with clear results. But I … More A Level Results Day and the Polymathic Adventurer!
If everyone smoked twenty cigarettes a day the difference between those who got lung cancer and those who didn’t would be almost 100% heritable, even though the cause would be almost 100% environmental. Heritability depends on our environment. It is argued by Plomin that IQ is up to 70% heritable, if all children were to … More Nature or Nurture? Free Will and Education.
An article in Schools Week reports: A free school in Newcastle that does not teach humanities, arts or foreign languages has been branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in its first inspection. The education watchdog singled out the “unacceptable” absence of subjects at Discovery School, which also omits physical education, … More STEM and the Narrow Curriculum