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Mike Fleetham Mike's Thinking Classroom Blog


On Educational Reform

Here's a confession: I read very little educational news and only have a few educational books on my shelf. Instead I focus on diverse topics, publications and updates and THEN apply these to my work with children, teachers and schools. Lately I'm learning about Architecture and Boxing. Both offer a rich seam to mine for ideas, tools, techniques and ways of thinking.

That said, I do know the key educational issues, trends and events of the month but stay distant enough to keep things in perspective. Most of the time. 

My good friend Ann O'Hara has a knack for seeing things in context and for offering sound comment. So I sit up and pay good attention when she speaks, especially on topics where it's difficult to stay neutral. Ann's words this morning:

You may have all read the white paper and all the analyses but the link here offers useful, factual info.

I always look for the positives in any change but I will need a lot more time to find these and talk with conviction to school leaders about them. For now, my thoughts are below:

It seems that all we have learnt about improvement in schools, leaders, and teachers is to be re-written in a reactive response to policy-created shortfalls in finance and  diminishing numbers of skilled, enthusiastic professionals. The moral purpose of education is to provide the best for the children in our care. If the way forward was building on all we had learnt about what secures learning and progress, for children, teachers, leaders and schools, I may have more faith in this vision. But sadly, for me at least, this seems a 'low cost' vision, driven by distributing and reducing financial costs, rather than offering a creative,developmental vision to benefit the children of today who will need to succeed in the world of tomorrow. What cost for their futures?

Thanks Ann, pithy, relevant, considered. I have a space on  my shelf for you....

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