For me it is how we achieve these things. It is because I care that I cannot accept many of the fashionable left wing approaches to our childrens education which Gove, Gibb (onderwijsminister) and others rightly reject. I have been teaching long enough to have seen several of the latest educational gimmicks whistle down the school corridor. Remember how interactive whiteboards were going to change our lives? And whatever happened to Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PL...TS)? And the RSAs Opening Minds project which encouraged a dumbed down competence-based curriculum that is still found in some progressive schools. Bad educational ideas always cause the most vulnerable children from the most disadvantaged homes to suffer the most whilst literate children from wealthy, literate homes will always escape a sub-standard education.
Aristotle was teacher to Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC. He modelled timeless virtues that should be in every classroom: an emphasis on imparting knowledge in an inspirational way, reading and writing, and teaching that encourages pupils to think, really think. It is rumoured that Alexander slept with an annotated copy of Homers Iliad under his pillow, so inspired was he by his school days. I do not know what Aristotles classroom management was like but I bet he could hold the attention of Alexander and his classmates. I train history teachers for the Cambridge PGCE and always emphasise zero tolerance of even a single pupil talking (even quietly) when the teacher is speaking to the class. Are these Conservative values or just good teaching?
Nick Gibb (onderwijsminister) wants to restore knowledge to the heart of the curriculum, to pass on the best that has been thought and said, to ensure exams are worth taking, and to keep the best teachers in the profession by reducing onerous and pointless tasks. The next time you sigh in a staff meeting as you are asked to do something pointless, ask, Is this from the Government? Chances are, it originated on your headteachers desk.