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Book trawl... is this what education looks like today?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Grandsire, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    It is - If it has an impact on T&L, outcomes or behaviour/welfare...
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This thread is (almost) making me cry.
    A barely comprehensible nonsense of teachers with coloured pens and SLT with whips and Inspectors viewing it all through strictured toy kaleidoscopes; dotted about all this nonsense is a bunch of children waiting to fill their empty vessels with knowledge, and at the end of the day they go home equally empty but with a vigorous capacity to tolerate a bunch of adults stressing in meaningless circles around them.
    I hear first hand from my own child how this feels. "We made a poster" "We watched a film". "We did nothing because the kids were too loud".
    I don't think all the teachers notice how the kids are lacking because of this. Because the coloured pens, gotta use the coloured pens...might lost my job if I don't use the right coloured pens...
    BetterNow, JohnJCazorla and Alice K like this.
  3. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    One guilty pleasure of mine is marking their spelling workbook in a variety of colours - anything other than the official green pen I’m supposed to use. I get away with it because these books are never included in book trawls, for some reason. I’m a right maverick, me...

    The children’s progress doesn’t seem to be hampered by the riot of colour, whether I go for bizarrely boring (e.g blue, black) or totally threatening (red, for when I’m feeling really outrageous).

    It’s almost as if (...gasp of horror...) the colour doesn’t matter at all!!!
    BetterNow likes this.
  4. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    How can it not have an impact on T&L? To be effective in a new job takes time (and by that I mean all jobs, not just teaching). But if staff only stay a couple of years before leaving, they are not reaching peak effectiveness (not saying that they are completely ineffective but they won't have hit their best). That is why it is always concerning to be led by someone who never spends more than a couple of years in a job. Often their 'successes' are either the result of what previous people have done or short termism (and getting out before it falls apart).

    True effective T&L is long term and it is a flaw of Ofsted that they have yet to recognise this and indeed have often praised short term measures with long term negative effects.

    My local secondary school got good for T&L. Huge turnover since a new head known for short term measures and improvement that is suddenly lost just as he leaves (and he never stays long, he is already working with a new school ready for the jump) was appointed. Locals know better which is why many children go to the school in the next town which has the same Ofsted grade despite the inconvenience. Perhaps if Ofsted used turnover as one of their proxies, they wouldn't keep giving good+ to schools that only show 'improvement' for such a short time.
    BetterNow likes this.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    We notice, alright! Since teachers are no longer regarded as professionals, trusted to know what they are doing, they do not have any choice but to go along with these micro-managing 'teach by numbers' strategies, imposed from above. The students have very little role to play in their 'education' other than to regurgitate the 'right answers' into their books, so that their teachers can 'mark them in depth, using five different colours, to do so. These days, 'educationalists' seems to have confused the process with the outcome. Instead of identifying desirable outcomes and then finding ways to achieve them, processes are dreamt up and the outcomes rigged to justify them.

    Can you blame teachers for worrying that they might 'lose their jobs for not using the correct colour pen' when not doing so can be a contributory factor in the 'capability' procedures that might deposit them on the dole queue.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This is very astutely put.
    Pomza likes this.
  7. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    In many cases, completely true.

    However, good local leaders should be protecting their teaching staff from idiotic pseudo-science and baseless fads, not inflicting it on them and then monitoring its use with ticklists...

    I do everything to keep hose clowns and their snakeoil out of the schools I work with...
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Not always. I've known teachers whom were excellent before they'd even finished their qualifications. Likewise I've also come across to a few awful ones who had been banging away at it for years... This was also true in my previous profession - some people just possess natural aptitude for some things...

    Of course, I have also seen many teachers get significantly better as they have gained experience too...
    BetterNow likes this.
  9. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

  10. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    This sort of mentality drives teachers crackers.

    Teacher: (Demonstrates to a class how to use the appropriate tools to cut a piece of dowel rod to length).

    Observer: "Let me see! You've chosen to use a ruler, a pencil, and a saw. Would I be correct in thinking that this was your intention?"

    Teacher: (A little bewildered). "Yes."

    Observer: "You are aware that there are other tools, I assume? A hammer, for instance."

    Teacher: (Becoming more bewildered, wondering where this conversation is going). "Yes."

    Observer: "If you are, surely it begs the question of why you have not used it in your demonstration."

    Teacher: "In my judgement, mentioning tools that were not necessary for the task I was demonstrating could have proved a distraction, confusing the students."

    Observer: "Your reliance on your 'judgement' to justify your choice of teaching strategies might be considered presumptuous but we'll let that pass, for now. In this case, not using a hammer shows a paucity of imagination on your part, I think. Had you not considered designing an additional task with which you could have integrated its use with that of the saw, and the ruler?"
    NotAPowerRanger likes this.
  11. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter


    You realise that I'm agreeing with you, right?

    It's just that I blame local leaders, not government/Ofsted, for not having the initiative, intelligence and courage required to tackle this problem...
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You would.
    Pomza likes this.
  13. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Excellent to start and didn't get better? I'd be concerned at the leadership and management being shown there because everyone can get better. Note that I didn't say ineffective or rubbish or anything like that in my previous comments, just not hitting their peak. If you know people who peaked at their jobs when they started then I'd be wondering why these people aren't showing any development.

    Your inability to blame Ofsted is astounding. I've been in meetings where Ofsted officials have told leadership teams that these things are what they want to see. They may have stopped saying it but many of those officials are still in post and schools are still getting those grades.
  14. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I didn't say that - I just made the point that some are already very good to start with.'Experience' is only worth what one makes of it.

    I've been in recent meetings with inspectors and HMIs and also the national director! At no stage did they mention 'what they wanted to see...'

    Weak leaders who don't have the conviction or ability to justify and implement their (normally borrowed) initiatives tell staff 'it's what Ofsted want to see...' Strong leaders explain their ideas and the rationale behind them, are happy to be challenged and to explain their reasoning, take responsibility for ensuring staff buy-in and do not hide behind the 'Ofsted want...' excuse.
    BetterNow likes this.
  15. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    A Right (wing) pair of shiny toords!
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Sorry, it ALWAYS has an impact on T&L, behaviour and outcomes. Even the top schools are struggling to recruit and retain.Whenever I log in, TES asks me if I want to join their career search service.
  17. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    You seem to have ignored that I said they no longer say what they want to see. However they used to say it a lot and many inspectors used to also work as consultants where they would tell leadership teams to do these things. Those still working for Ofsted aren't allowed to do this anymore but they still award high grades to schools that continue to do the things that they used to advise. Schools used to challenge such judgements but no grades ever changed, just the wording of the report.

    Again feels like you only read part of what I wrote as I specifically said that I didn't mean they were ineffective but they will not have hit their peaks.
  18. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    If you agree that such practice is a thing of the past, surely you must feel that represents progress?

    If local management are not receiving such messages, what reason have they for imposing idiotic and counter-productive processes and practices on their teaching staff? The fact that somebody might have mentioned it ten or so years ago? Pretty flimsy, if that's the case...
  19. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Schools still routinely challenge the wording of Inspection Reports.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    The use of the term 'peak' suggests that after attaining this certain zenith, they go into decline...

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