3 Comments

  1. Chris
    May 6, 2016 @ 7:40 am

    What a very informative post. I always suspected that Gove was overoptimistic about the ability, and willingness, of primary schools to deal with this. How much this mistake was due to free market ideology, and how much to being wary of repeating the entrenchment of errors that resulted from Blunkett’s top-down approach (the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies), is something I have wondered about before.

    Other countries – including Finland – use textbooks to deal with this problem. In Finland, teachers have autonomy, so they tweak and supplement, but most choose to follow the general scheme of work laid out in the textbook, and are pleased to have ready-made resources to hand. Finnish teachers also say that this reduces workload, allowing them more time to spend with struggling pupils. I know that teachers are involved in textbook creation, but don’t know exactly how that works.

    However, I suspect that an important factor in their success may be through keeping the academic “educationalists” out of the picture. In Finland, there appears to have been for some time an ongoing struggle between “educationalists” pushing for more progressive teaching methods, and actual teachers mostly using their autonomy to stick with traditional methods.

    Reply

    • Teachwell
      May 6, 2016 @ 8:17 am

      Thank you for taking the time to reply.

      I was of the impression that Finland has been more and more progressive these days! Mind you so much information comes second hand it is hard to know what teachers in those systems actually think and feel.

      I would say that Gove was off on a reforming zeal and didn’t bother to check or find out what the differences between primary and secondary were. I also feel that many talk about autonomy yet when given a load of we were simply unprepared in primary and have been struggling ever since. I suspect that many schools are still using the National Literacy Strategies and trying to add the new curriculum objectives in. I am going to blog about that separately.

      Reply

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