Exam Factories, yet…

Education academic Professor Alan Smithers has said at the recent NUT conference that “unlike previous governments (New Labour) has taken upon itself responsibility for ‘delivery’ through targets and pressure from the centre. “Schools have been reduced almost to factories for producing test and exam scores. “But scores are not the product of education in the […]

John Taylor Gatto

The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991 “Call me Mr. Gatto, please. Twenty-six years ago, having nothing better to do, I tried my hand at schoolteaching. My license certifies me as an instructor of English language and literature, but that isn’t what I do at all. What […]

3 Cheers for Angela Mason

The ongoing trial of Angela Mason, accused of professional misconduct for secretly filming the antics of her pupils, is typical of current Edumonolith thinking. Rather than applaud Mrs Mason for reminding the public that pupil behaviour remains a serious issue and still plagues the day-to-day lives of those in the firing line, the local authority […]

Racism in the ESOL classroom

Recent influxes of economic migrants has highlighted the importance of not just Skills for Life but Values for Life. That is, the harbouring of outdated and offensive attitudes needs addressing and it currently isn’t it. In our classrooms of late there have been several racist incidents, cleverly nuanced admittedly, but racist nevertheless. The Government is […]

History of the exam Pt 3

Why are there so many exam boards? The Edumonolith is the supplier of patronage, we know, but is it really necessary to have exams tailored to every level. Learning doesn’t happen in such a cosy way so why then do we still persist with levels and grades? One exam level to join them all, please. […]

Guinea Pigs

WE hate exams. Really, really, really. When teachers become lab scientists and learners become lab rats then you know something is wrong. Testing DOES NOT equal learning. What testing only achieves is assess the environment of the students i.e. their parents, peers, school, subculture and social class. By grading students you are simply putting into […]

Home Schooling Misinformation

Interesting reading on the Beeb. Reported that there are now 34,000 students being taught at home. They say there is a dispute regarding the figures. But, are we to believe that these figures are any less reliable than those quoted elsewhere? Are the DfES deliberately sowing the seeds of suspicion in our minds so that […]

Notes on Notes on a Scandal

We are fairly unimpressed by the message carried by this film and see this as another teacher-bashing exercise. We couldn’t remember any positive portrayal of anything connected to education: kids were unruly, teachers apathetic and/or depraved. The head fared no better and wouldn’t have been out of place in The Office. More seriously, any discussion […]

National Curriculum yadda,yadda,yadda

News today that a new curriculum will as they put it ‘excite learning’. Really? Sounds like the end is nigh for the Curriculum. If, with all the changes that have taken place, it still isn’t ‘exciting’ then maybe it needs wholesale reform. We know, why not get rid of it, stop telling teachers what to […]

Key Worker Rip-Off

The much-heralded ‘assistance’ to public sector workers is actually no more than a great swindle as among other things 25% is taken from any increase in value. This must be the most lucrative finance deal around. Why are teachers, nurses and policemen and women being treated as common debtors and a licence to print money? […]

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