We’re (still) Not Scared

Politicians in the latest attacks on Higher Education have stated that we should be “accountable” for what we teach. I am not shrinking from the veiled threats here; this is not a bear I am frightened to meet. Indeed I don’t think I’ve ever taught about Brexit except to deplore the disjuncture between Fundamental British Values and recent reports of increasing xenophobia and homophobia.

However, in case we are to face a purge from those who see themselves as our Lords and Masters (sc. to include our Ladies and Mistresses) here is a list of possible offences (they are bit inconsistent, and I have deliberately mixed them up so no priority is visible) I may wish to have taken into account:

I am a traditionalist; I believe, with the founding mothers and fathers of Early Childhood Education, in the role of the imagination, in art, in play and being outdoors;
Funding is linked to taxation of society and intimately connected to society’s duty to work for the good of all;
Libraries are a good idea;
It’s not down to Reception;
Knowledge is a vital component in education;
Staff-student ratios are key to interactions, themselves key to quality;
There is no single action that makes children readers;
Children’s rights are human rights;
Schools as organisations are on the whole staffed by people with energy and vision;
Class and social capital matter;
Qualifications do not ensure quality;
School uniform is about control;
English spelling has evolved under a number of influences that are not always internally consistent;
Some children’s lives are deeply shit and even where that is not our fault as educators it is our responsibility;
You can learn more about children’s learning by going out for a walk with them than by quizzing them about how they match data projections;
Planning and data may inform but are not in se quality at any level of teaching;
Developmentally appropriate practice is an ethical position, not the whim of “middle class do-gooders;”
Skills and attitudes are vital components in education;
Children’s chances are not improved by debates that distract teachers: trad/prog is too often poisonous timewasting by the pedagogologues;
Reading high-quality children’s literature is enlightening for adults as well as children;
Politicians (of any persuasion) who seek to pontificate about education should be invited to spend considerable time in schools that have not been smartened up for their arrival.

Bite me.

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