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, […]

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 […]

Charismatic Qualities & Their Regeneration

“Once charismatic qualification has become an impersonal quality, which can be transmitted through various and at first purely magic means, it has begun its transformation from a personal gift that can be tested and proven but not transmitted and acquired, into a capacity that, in principle, can be taught and learned. Thus charismatic qualification can […]

“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 […]

On Why ‘The Schools We Need’ Have Never Been Progressive

“Opening with the foreboding words, “Failed Theories, Famished Minds,” Hirsch explains, “What chiefly prompts the writing of this book is our national slowness . . . to cast aside [the] faulty theories that have led to the total absence of a coherent, knowledge-based curriculum, but are nonetheless presented . . . as remedies for the […]

The Politics of Education Research & “What Works” Randomised Controlled Trials

“Political and ideological differences, or perceived differences, are often argued-out explicitly, but sometimes the conflict is carried out via “proxies”. In the case of the deep divisions about educational policies and practices, for the past couple of decades the battle has been pursued on both fronts – explicitly, but also via proxies in the area […]

Education Myths

With so many myths in education, it’s a wonder anyone learns anything at all: Seven Myths About Education 8 Myths That Undermine Educational Effectiveness Myths in Education, Learning and Teaching 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools 10 Myths About Education in the US and What It will Take to Fix Our Schools […]

Why Must We Repeat The Mistakes of Education’s History? Edmond Holmes On The Revised Code of 1862

Below is an excerpt from the writings of Edmond Holmes a notable Irish educator and former Chief Inspector of Schools in England of a century or so ago. In What Is And What Might Be: A Study Of Education In General And Elementary Education In Particular, 1911, Holmes retells the story of the Revised Code […]

‘You are to be in all things regulated and governed,’ said the gentleman, ‘by fact.’

Hard Times Charles Dickens CHAPTER II MURDERING THE INNOCENTS Thomas Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir—peremptorily Thomas—Thomas Gradgrind. […]

‘In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir; nothing but Facts!’

This year is the 160th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, and it remains as relevant to battles over education and schooling as ever. CHAPTER I THE ONE THING NEEDFUL ‘Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing […]

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