Tag Archives: reform


“What is the purpose of education?” could as easily be rephrased: “What is education?” Are we discussing the system of schooling by government, ways of raising children as ‘useful’ members of society, deciding what should be taught, or something completely different?
Not every child is going to be a genius, but after 10,000+ hours in school they ought to be leaving as successful learners of something… Continue reading


Education reform is about changing a product. It will be more effective, instead, to focus on promoting learning as a continuous process built on content if we want to bring about a real and lasting transformation… Continue reading


I want to talk about normalized percentages. “What makes these irrational?”, I hear you say. Their application to examinations and assessments is what.
The big change for students completing A-levels this year was the introduction of the A* – an attempt to increase the value of the ‘gold standard’, as I see it. Unless of course you are taking Maths, Further Maths, Further Maths (Additional), Statistics, and Use of Maths AS. No AS will have the A* grade available.
“We can’t rely on A-levels any more.” [Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College quoted in The Sunday Times].
Lower tier students (oops, I mean foundation…) are expected to work proportionately harder to achieve the higher grades than those doing the higher tier.
Does a C at GCSE mean they did enough to get 60% of each question correct but not reach the final answer of any of the problems? Or am I just being silly?
I have one word which I feel would address most, if not all, of these issues: portfolios.
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Having never had to run a department, let alone a school, I wonder how apprehensive the management teams are about sudden changes. I also wonder how those of us who are not in management positions can best support our colleagues.

Whilst many situations may be new to the management of schools, people have been managing businesses for years: running meetings, controlling budgets, hiring and firing people, etc. Perhaps the time is ripe for schools to get some wisdom from local businesses, since some of their students may be future employees or business owners. The way things appear to be headed in the UK, to me as a recent returnee, seems to be that school = small business!

Try to empathize with the people around you, whatever their position or status, if you can start to see the world through their eyes, then times will certainly become more interesting and less worrying.

Aristotle summed it up in one word: φρόνησις Continue reading


This was the guest post I was asked to contribute following #edchat on 13th July 2010 (17:00 – 18:00 my time!). It will be interesting to see what kind of response, if any, it provokes. I must admit it is … Continue reading