This week I wrote a piece for The New Humanist about attending anti-abortion rally in Missouri. This is the first published piece I’ve written as an adult about anything other than education. Though it is still about learning. I attended the rally as part of my studies and, as with most things in my life, it was coloured by my experiences of a teacher and the damage we do when we limit children’s questions. Normally I stick rigidly to secondary education (often being reluctant even to veer into primary) but the experience was so heady I wanted to share it with others.
The second piece was for Edapt and is about ways we can stop politicians tearing up prior education reforms. Nothing is more demoralising for teachers than having their hard work on one education initiative insulted, torn up, and then unthinkingly replaced with something else while also being told that you must smile and put in maximum effort on this second, third, twenty-fifth ride on the merry-go-round.
I therefore suggest 3 reforms (possibly via the proposed Royal College of Teaching) that might help stabilise education:
- An independent curriculum review board
- Independent reviews of policy documents
- A “education reformer’s manifesto” with agreed guidelines for future reform
All three are widely optimistic but I refuse to bow to people who tell me that there’s no way of imagining a better future. I never bowed when my kids told me that certain grades were impossible, or that something was too hard for them to learn, and I’m not about to start listening to education reformers who say they hold that same standards for their kids but refuse to hold such aspirations for political change!