‘Educational inequality is the civil rights issue of our time’
Barack Obama, 2011
Our retention, training, curriculum and assessment aren’t strong enough
In 1807, radical journalist William Cobbett used an analogy to suggest that, just as his hunting dogs in training had lost the scent because he’d laid a false trail of red herrings, politics had become distracted. Some two hundred years on, the same could be said of the English education system and the fierce debates it often finds itself embroiled in: for trainee teachers, it’s a trail littered with red herrings.
One of the things that has most surprised me since starting as a trainee teacher is the sheer number of misleading diversions, which seem to distract us from what matters most: improving teaching and learning in schools and classrooms. Here are some examples of those debates that create more heat than insight: whether…
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