Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Education, education, education

The Times Education Supplement recently published an article which has spread rather rapidly over the web. It is well worth a read:

We were both shocked by the article. Talk about a lack of ambition for the pupils under his care.

I find the first couple of paragraphs staggering:
It is 4pm. My weary colleagues and I are slowly unwinding in the maths office, when there is a knock on the door.
"Could I have a quick word with Jonny, please?" says Michael in a bright, nervous voice. I don't sigh, but inwardly I think, "Is that my 'quick' or yours?"
The Michael in question is a pupil, and Jonny his maths teacher. Michael is concerned that he will not get an A-grade, and Jonny thinks he is worrying unnecessarily. Perhaps a justifiable concern; but what follows is, in my opinion, utterly unprofessional. Instead of encouraging the pupil he chooses to so exactly the opposite, and gives a spiel *against excellence* that would dishearten and discourage many bright children.

The idea that a teacher reacts this way to an inquisitive pupil is flabbergasting. Then again, it was at 16.00, and no-one works past that hour, do they?

I think that the author has a kernel of an idea that he articulates particularly badly - that children are being put under too much pressure. Yet his article goes much further and shows a worrying lack of concern for the pupil.

I can only hope that few teachers think like the author. And I am amazed that the Times Education Supplement published it - it reflects so badly on the teacher in question and the profession.


Alan Sloman said...

Interesting. But, where have you been? We have missed you!

David Cotton said...

Hi Alan,

I've been rather busy - haven't even done much walking in the last few months. Then again, if you have to have time off walking, then winter's the time.

Normal service will (hopefully) resume shortly...