After a lifetime of dedication to the cause of education,
I’m feeling much frustration at the machinations of an administration,
And the implementation of education policy based upon the fiction that all learners have a disposition
To arrive at the same fictional destination at the end of a phase of exertion;
By that token, many don’t arrive in Early Years “school ready” so have even further to travel!
For some the cause of celebration,
For others a feeling of desolation,
Being told they’ve missed the accumulation of marks,
In addition, subtraction, diction or story creation.
(The other subjects aren’t measured, so don’t count)
The prescription of specified method; by default the proscription of others,
Feels like the confiscation of tools which worked in the past, and still do,
Especially where the curriculum needs personalisation.
The thinking teacher’s invention or adaptation of an idea,
Helped the visualisation, by the learner, of complex concepts,
From which the child’s own imagination could indulge in acts of creation,
Exploration and experimentation, sometimes of invention,
Often through collaboration, supported by the intervention of an aspirational adult,
Determined to harness the combination of exertion and deliberation,
With a soupcon of consolidation, to arrive at a destination,
Worthy of celebration and appreciation.
The demonisation of a school of thought,
Seen as the antithesis of tradition,
Has allowed a faction to develop, determined to create a new fiction,
Tradition good, progression bad, in contravention of common sense.
Real education is a balanced, nuanced affair, an oscillation between the two extremes,
Teachers selecting the best tools for the job, just like any master craftsman,
Dedicated to the cultivation of a living tradition.
Education is the sharing of the accumulation of understanding across time and space.
The world in which, without direct explanation, they learn to walk, talk, look and explore.
Their natural disposition to be curious, enjoying exploration, experimentation, discussion,
Expanding vocabularies and concepts through vocalisation,
In environments where error is the cause of reflection, adaptation and active intervention,
To ensure correct interpretation.
It starts with parents and the home, continuing with a school’s help.
The teacher organisation of the available space and resources,
Coupled with their interpretation of records, their perceptions;
Anticipation of the disposition of each child,
To decide whether individualisation of challenge will be needed.
Good teaching is a complex action, where the reactions of the learners can help or hinder the flow.
Good learning requires exertion on the part of the learner, in the clear knowledge of the destination,
Or direction of travel, the co-creation of a visual map,
For a specified duration.
Intervention may lead to the need for consolidation or reinterpretation, to avoid a period of disaffection or alienation, both unhelpful to learning.
Celebration of outcomes might include the admiration of peers,
An appreciation of effort, capability or talent.
Good learning is only a competition with oneself.
Self-awareness, self-belief, self-reliance,
Being responsible for oneself, for how others and the environment are treated.
Just getting better every day.