In a piece for the Guardian the esteemed educationalist Sir Tim Brighouse writes: “Margaret Thatcher’s neoliberalism underpinned Baker’s 1988 reform bill, which meant a prescribed national curriculum and tougher accountability, along with diversity in school provision and autonomy.” This seems to uncover a contradiction at the heart of neoliberalism – on the one hand it … More What is Neo-liberal Education? On Zuckerberg and Personalisation
Apparently there are now 1,700 fewer drama teachers teaching in UK schools than there were in 2010. I don’t have any information as to how accurate this figure is and what the figures are in the constituent nations of the United Kingdom nor how it compares to other subjects, suffice to say it adds to … More Drama in Decline
“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
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.
Lord Nash, speaking at the Challenge Partnership national conference, titled his talk: ‘what is relevant in business to education?’ According to the TES, he said that: “…too often teachers have confused their individuality with their professionalism… Being a professional means embracing accountability, standardisation and consistency, although of course we want our teachers to be inspiring.” He went … More Schools Are Not Businesses. A Message to Lord Nash.
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
Managerialism is the idea that quantifiable administrative approaches are the correct way to run institutions. Efficiency is all and it can sometimes be value free in that what works becomes more important than what’s right. Employees become pawns in the game of delivery and the idea of management as neutral and post-ideological holds sway. The sociologist Max … More Remove Managerialism from the Classroom
We are living in interesting times… The future is glimpsed through a glass, darkly and, indeed, there may be dark times ahead. A concatenation of unfortunate events are all that is needed for the future to not be as predicted. One minute all is good, the next you are knocked over by the proverbial 48 … More Time to Ditch ‘Those’ 21st Century Skills
In her Essay on the Banality of Evil Hannah Arendt wrote that: The nature of every bureaucracy, is to make functionaries and mere cogs in the administrative machinery out of men, and thus to dehumanize them. Now, I’m not meaning to imply that bureaucrats are evil, but looking at this quote, away from its context, … More The Banality of Character Education
As April is the cruelest month I take a jaunt down by the river and see how things are progressing, so much building is going on, people moving in, putting plant pots on their balconies, and a bike on the nineteenth floor. Down on Greenwich Reach potential purchasers are promised property that combines: “…brilliant architecture, … More Schools, Business and ‘Providing Intelligence’