In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. – George Orwell

Here’s a taster of the next post on Cultural change…..UPDATE: Full post with examples etc is here

I was challenged by Andy Wallis (over a fortnight ago!) to give my suggestions as to how we should bring about a cultural change within classrooms. This was after he read the post about Alan November’s thoughts on cultural change in learning, so herewith my views. I need to explain that as a former soldier I am used to being tested EVERY year to ensure I retain and improve my skills so I can perform my duties and improve my leadership to ensure I am worthy of promotion. Every year I had to pass tests in first aid, firearms safety and use, shooting skills, Nuclear Biological and Chemical Warfare drills, driving tests on armoured vehicles, signals and communications equipment, physical and medical tests and so on culminating in long treks over boggy fields worldwide with what felt like a tank in my backpack! I therefore have to politely disagree with those who say they shouldn’t be observed /tested every five years or that since they have XX years experience then they don’t need training. Err no. The New York Daily News has stated that

there is basically no relationship between seniority and teaching ability. A wide and scarcely disputed body of research finds that teachers’ additional experience stops paying off after about year three.

We are ALL on a learning curve until the day we die and even then we’ll learn something new – I wonder if the answer to my final ever questions will be “42 “or not and i”s hell full of bars like the late great comedian Dave Allen claims?” We have to keep learning to keep up with our students for a start!

I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with Alan November’s view that we HAVE to stop spoon-feeding the kids and get them to learn for themselves, ie organise their own learning and also take responsibility for ensuring that they learn what they need and also to fill in the gaps! The theory is that teachers then become ‘Guides on the side’ rather than the ‘Sage on the stage’ that they are now. There are many problems with this wishlist though!

To be continued……

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