Michael Gove in 5 minutes

I was asked by a friend to give him a quick summary of Michael Gove’s policies. Here it is: Free Schools – most important – and other systemic changes Gove has made it possible for any primary or secondary school to become an academy. There has been HUGE take up, despite what the unions were …

Sir Ken Robinson – Do Schools Kill Creativity?

As soon as a friend or acquaintance becomes interested in education, it is not long before they send me Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity? Accompanied with subject-lines like ‘Been kept up all night by this…’ or ‘SO TRUE!!’. Once a fellow believer, my short time in education has convinced me of …

James Paul Gee

I recently came across James Paul Gee through David Smith. He is exactly what I was looking for: an eloquent champion of the beneficial role of computer games in learning. You can see him in two great talks here and here. Wikipedia entry here. Three points that resonated: “School is all manual and no game.” …

Tutoring: A fresh debate

I’ve just finished an article on tuition, and am boldly looking for a publisher! I thought I’d share it here: Tutoring: a fresh debate. Private tuition has entered the national conversation. For long a rather mysterious operation, the media has woken up to its rapid growth – especially after the Sutton Trust showed that 43% …

Repetition

I’ve recently moved house, and for the first time have all my books in one place. This evening was one of the first chances I have had to actually make use of them. I re-read some dog-eared passages from Richard Sennett’s amazing, rambling book The Craftsman. I’m glad I re-discovered this passage – a defence …

The Traveling School

I came across a student of the Traveling School on holiday this summer. I had been initially struck by how much she enthused about her education, and was fascinated to hear about this project. In their own words: The Traveling School started in the Spring of 2000 with a revolutionary concept generated by a group …

Michael Gove and the return to ‘chalk-and-talk’

I would really urge watching Michael Gove at the RSA on ‘What education is for’. There’s quite some possibility that this talk will act as one of the first big salvos in what is shaping up to be an increasingly divisive debate between the parties on education ahead of the General Election. It has galvanised …

Benjamin Franklin’s education

I’m re-reading John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education, a rollicking read, and feel compelled to quote the passages on Benjamin Franklin’s education. Frustratingly, JTG is quite footnote-shy so I’m going to have to take his word for it. Indirectly, this provides early anecdotal evidence for the key role parents play in a …

A Fresh Start

With the optimism of the summer and a new academic year, this blog is going to see some changes. 4 posts a week, A bit more direction I’ve felt myself lurch ever closer to the ‘club bore’ on matters of education; this blog (rather than the ears of bored friends) shall become by receptacle instead. …

Interactive learning: always a good thing?

This is too good, not to post in full: from David Smith. “There are 120 contributors [to a magazine feature that asked: ‘what do you believe is true, even though you cannot prove it?]. From these, I have selected Esther Dyson. I have her dictum, ‘Always make new mistakes’, as a fridge magnet and her …