Confused about young people – spoon-fed and ill-prepared for the world of work

In The Times last Saturday (Sep 4th 2021) Rachel Sylvester presents two dichotomies: spoon-fed pupils facing a high-tech future and questions about the purpose of schools. Should they provide knowledge or skills? Resolution of these dichotomies might be easier were we to acknowledge our confused approach to young people.Since I began teaching in the nineteen-seventies the …

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Children ignored

A long article in today’s Times deals with a dramatic rise in the divorce rate. It considers the age at which people marry, and the age at which they get divorced. It considers where they live and in what sort of accommodation; apparently outside lavatories are now a thing of the past. There is one …

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Could Marcus Rashford learn from this lad or should he simply go home?

At Barking Station in East London, in the late seventies, we were returning from an afternoon trip to the theatre, a group of my fifteen year-olds from Barking Abbey School. There we were greeted by members of the National Front, one at each of the staircases leading up from the platforms, handing out leaflets telling …

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Protecting Pupils in School

A recent report spoke of the need to protect younger pupils in secondary schools and talked about “behaviour management,” “educational technology training” and “controlled environments,” more appropriate for prisons rather than schools.Schools invite the trust of parents and with this trust goes the expectation that schools will keep children safe and make good use of their time in school. There is of …

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Correct English – cultural oppression?

In her Times comment piece on April, 13th Melanie Phillips wrote, “Correct English, it appears, is a tool of cultural oppression,” and reported one lecturer who saw notions of accuracy as based on unequal relations between teacher and taught.  Perhaps we should ask whether those advocating the abandoning of elitist academic accuracy would happily undergo surgery …

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Protecting younger pupils in secondary schools

In a recent report on the need to protect younger pupils in secondary schools  (The Times – Tuesday May 4th 2021) there are references to “behaviour management,” “educational technology training” and “controlled environments,” more appropriate for prisons rather than schools.Schools invite the trust of parents and with this trust goes the expectation that schools will keep children safe and …

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