Santa’s Post-Christmas Performance Appraisal

Hi Nick. Take a seat. Thanks for coming. How’s the family? Reindeers doing well? I heard Rudolph was nursing a cold. Hope he’s okay. Now, look the reason we’re meeting today is to review this year’s performance and is part of the new performance appraisal system we have set up. All staff, the elves included, […]

Management, Research & Masquerades

“But what if effectiveness is part of a masquerade of social control rather than a reality? What if effectiveness were a quality widely imputed to managers and bureaucrats both by themselves and others, but in fact a quality which rarely exists apart from this imputation? The word that I shall borrow to name this alleged […]

Ball Bearings & The Scientific Selection of Workers

In most cases (particularly when the work to be done is intricate in its nature) the “development of the science” is the most important of the four great elements of the new management. There are instances, however, in which the “scientific selection of the workman” counts for more than anything else. A case of this […]

“Stick close to your desks and never go to sea / … you all may be rulers of the Queen’s Navee”

Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore Sir Joseph Porter, KCB: When I was a lad I served a term As office boy to an Attorney’s firm. I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor, And I polished up the handle of the big front door. Chorus: He polished up the handle of the big front […]

Andreas Schleicher’s Very Special Education

Andreas Schleicher works out of the OECD in Paris, and is best known for the the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), “a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.” According to a January 2010 presentation given to the Quality of Childhood Group […]

John Dewey on the “Commercialised” Use of Applied Science

“It is an incident of human history, and a rather appalling incident, that applied science has been so largely made an equivalent of use for private and economic class purposes and privileges. When inquiry is narrowed by such motivation or interest, the consequence is in so far disastrous both to science and to human life. […]

Lessons from London Schools, Self-Promotion and the Myth of Education Research

We were a little undecided as to whether or not to write this post because of the youthfulness of those involved in Lessons from London Schools: Investigating the Success (LLS), the study that we will critique, and not wanting for youthful enthusiasm to be overly dampened by what is to be said about the LLS […]

4 Reasons Why Teach First Might Be A Good Idea (& 22 Reasons Why It Might Not)

Given recent political limelight-sharing speeches, and education news media puff pieces, we thought it important to restore some balance to the current largely light-touch media debate on Teach First. We also thought that it would be useful to collect all the various arguments for and against Teach First in one place. What follows therefore is […]

Where’s Wally? How To Spot A Corporate Education Reformer

A further excerpt, this time from the writings of another strong critic of the corporate education reform movement, Leonie Haimson (@leoniehaimson), who leads Class Size Matters in New York City (“a non-profit, non-partisan clearinghouse for information on class size and the proven benefits of smaller classes”) and who was a co-founder of Parents Across America […]

A Teach First Primer: The American Experience

What follows is a summary of the concerns raised by Andrew Hartman (@HartmanAndrew), teacher of history at Illinois State University and author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School, regarding the alternative teacher certification organisation Teach For America. Teach For America (TFA) provides the model for Teach First in the […]

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