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Teaching: should it be scrutinised or standardised?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, May 22, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Teaching styles and approaches, should they be sacrosanct? However, it seems autonomy, creativity and aptitude are being pushed out in favour of more rigid scripts and structure:

    ‘…These failing schools then become projects for high-flying executive headteachers who see standardising the pedagogy as a simple and efficient way to run them.

    This leads to teachers who have vibrant personalities, who have the potential to bring flair into their classrooms, starting their careers being told how to teach each core subject with extreme rigidity. When they are observed, if they deviate from the path, they are slated and "supported" with a type of conversion therapy that ensures that they follow the dictated style, path, content. If they don’t, they’re "failing" as a teacher.

    This is a terrifying development, but it's becoming a more prevalent course. I have seen great teachers with fabulous ideas about how to impart knowledge to their children shackled with an inflexible pedagogic approach.’

    Samantha Shearer is a deputy head in England.

    What are your thoughts on this issue?

    Teacher_abc123 likes this.
  2. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    Idiot heads want conformity. If you can reduce teaching to a mechanistic 'put unit A in slot B' type activity you don't need to hire people with much / any knowledge (more money for them), the units can precisely match to things in the exams (better grades, which some interpret as better education), and when teachers break because of, well everything, you can easily slot a new content delivery unit in with minimum fuss (handy when teachers keep breaking).
    It is the ultimate aim to get rid of all those annoying teachers and let computers do it all. Lots of cash saved for executive salaries and perks.
  3. rideemcowboy

    rideemcowboy Occasional commenter

    What characteristics do we value / wish to encourage most in our students?

    Independence, creativity, originality, application of knowledge to solve problems, transferring knowledge from the known to the unknown, risk taking, empathy, respect for diversity, trust?

    Or would your list include - compliance, following instructions, repetition.

    The culture of the school is set from the top, if not, the teachers will need to work extra hard to override.

    Take a look at your school’s mission statement. What is it that should be perpetuated? Unless the tenor is to produce factory workers it should provide enough ammunition for an interesting community discussion.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    In 30 years in the classroom I think I can confidently say I have never had two identical classes. Even the same class of kids a year later will be different. How you can expect a one size fits all lesson to work with this is impossible to imagine. The teacher needs to be able to tweak the lessons (sometimes during a lesson) for every class. A script will not work.
  5. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Neither, both are flawed. I don't work in teaching anymore. I work in a highly paid profession. I am not standardised nor scrutinised.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    There needs to be an element of oversight. There needs to be a level of standardisation. In my world the standardisation is called the national curriculum and the scrutiny is called death by observation or "ofsted are coming!!!!"
    However I believe the best teaching occurs when a thoughtful teacher has planned activities for the needs of their class. As @blazer says, no two groups are the same.
    bevdex likes this.

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