Substantive and disciplinary knowledge have become the words around which curriculum is being organised in some schools. Pro forma’s are filled in enthusiastically, or not so, to justify curriculum choices to line-managers. And whilst these terms seem to work well in some subjects I’m not so sure the distinction works so well in the arts. … More Curriculum, Assessment and the Arts
The problem with the word ‘creativity’ is that it conjures up such a wide range of possible interpretations that it ends up serving no-one except those who wish to peddle it as a pedagogical aim and charge thousands of pounds for their talks in Dubai or Davos, or a school hall near you on an … More Schools Should Ditch Creativity
“In the popular imagination,” writes Tim Blanning in his wonderful book ‘The Romantic Revolution’, “Beethoven was the romantic hero par excellence: the lonely, afflicted, uncompromising, utterly original genius, ‘a man who treated God as an equal’…” This vision of creative minds echoes down the centuries. The tortured artists in their garret, often poor, wearing black, … More Creativity and Collaboration
When I was growing up a significant number of people on the left were intent on destroying capitalism. They loathed its focus on the individual and extolled the virtue of the collective. They were suspicious of new technology, worried that it would take away jobs. They were protective of their own and were intent on … More Lenin and Rand: Why the Need to Disrupt Our Schools?
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
If you click on the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) ‘Teaching and Learning Toolkit’ webpage the first thing you come across is: click on this and you are informed that: What is the point of this? Why should the arts even be expected to work for the glory of other, maybe, more important subjects? For example, I … More Arts Education has a “Low Impact”
To be cultured means to nail one’s colours to the mast, and those who fear what’s arbitrary in that (and run to theory for protection) fear culture itself. Howard Jacobson The importance of tradition, the great tradition, is not that it is the only possibility but it is the best one that we have. For … More Get Kids Cultured
Think how useless a teacher’s greatest labours are now, when he tries to lead one single student back to the infinitely distant and elusive Hellenic world, the true homeland of our culture, and an hour later that same student reaches for a newspaper or popular novel or one of those scholarly books whose style bears … More Pokémon Go! Must We be Servants of the Present Moment?
This morning I attended a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson in which he argued that the discipline of dance was as important as that of maths. Now, let me nail my colours to the mast, I also believe that every school should teach the arts as well as maths, humanities, languages, sciences, design etc. … More Is Dance as Important as Maths?
Yes, you can. I could finish this blog there. But, excuse me going on a bit, I want to look at how you might teach it by exploring the relationship between knowledge and doing. I suppose, for some, this is a chicken and egg issue, what comes first creativity or domain knowledge? Others argue you … More Can You Teach Creativity?