Friday, January 05, 2007

The Gilbert Review

Although it sounds like a cartoon, this is actually a report which the Government commissioned and Alan Johnson will be listening to:

Its central recommendation is 'Personalised Learning' which we looked at in the last posts. Here are the others, with my own flippant comments.

1) All schools should set out how they are making personalised learning a reality. Personalised Learning doesn't sound very realistic in a class of 30 to me.

2) Feedback from pupils should be used to design lessons. Can you imagine this? "Today we shall be using the medium of football to teach quadratic equations..."

3) Parents should get more information, such as lesson plans on the internet. Why?

4) Teacher training should be revised, outstanding teachers might have sabbaticals to enhance their skills. Teacher Training should most certainly be revised and they should stop taking the hopeless cases. I like the sound of sabbaticals too (like in Australia) but do you get paid whilst you're away? (In which case would anyone come back?)

5) A group should be set up to distinguish effective innovation in teaching from "fads and fashions" Presumably to make sure that only the fads and fashions are adopted.

6) Pupils not progressing as expected should be entitled to extra support, such as one-to-one tuition, in or out of school. Sounds great and I shall be only too pleased to provide this at £35 per hour.

How much did they pay for this report?


Robert Moir said...

A group should be set up to distinguish effective innovation in teaching from "fads and fashions"

Now I'm all confused. It isn't every day you get the people behind these whitepapers and quangos actually writing themselves out of a job.

Dave said...

1. Who is going to pay for it?
2. Who is going to staff it?

Robert Moir said...

Ah "staffing".

When people are ranting on the local radio about how some basic standard of behaviour or other should be "tort in skool innit" I often find myself fighting an urge to ring in and ask what, precisely, they are suggesting is dropped from the current roster to make room for "using a knife and fork studies" or "why spitting is bad training week"

John C. Kirk said...

Regarding point 3, I think it sounds reasonable if it will encourage parents to be more involved. For instance, if they know that Maths homework gets given out on a Tuesday, they can tell their kid to do it before watching Eastenders.

(Of course, I can't speak for the people who wrote the report, so they may have had something different in mind.)

Bill Sticker said...

Lesson plans on the Internet? Holy boondoggle Batman!

Erm, excuse me, this is going to mean that we assume most parents are bright enough to understand a lesson plan. My wife tells me this is not a likely scenario.



StyleyGeek said...

Hah. It sounds exactly like what we already have to provide to our students at university level. And look at how well that's working... [Insert irony here]

Anonymous said...

Simple answer to all this P.C crap, if we want to improve education we need to stop pandering to the needs of every child and go back to teaching methods that were employed in the 40's and 50's along with their forms of discipline!

Sam said...

"Pearsonalised Learning" my arse! This is all part of the hidden agenda to de-skill those all-too-expensive teachers, and replace them with an army of unqualified hangers-on and an array of half-arsed computer courses.

Stu Savory said...

"Today we shall be using the medium of football to teach quadratic equations..."

Perfectly feasible. Think of drop kicks on non-level playing fields.
There's a quadratic equation for you! Let gravity (and levity) work FOR you ;-)


purplejunky said...

"1) All schools should set out how they are making personalised learning a reality. Personalised Learning doesn't sound very realistic in a class of 30 to me."

I'm so glad a 'real' teacher thinks this too! I'm currently training at Exeter and although the course is great some of the government rubbish we have to pander to is ridiculous.

Why can't they just let us get on with what we are good at without interfering.

Plus I really agree with robert moir's point. We are not surrogate parents! They say people who can't, teach. Well I think people who can't, have kids and think they don't have to lift a finger in getting them to become polite, intelligent, healthy people.

Don't even get me started on the stupid parents that were passing 'maccy d's innit' through the school fence because their kids don't know what a vegetable is!!!

Prof Scrub said...

Dear hard working teacher,

As a professor of old school medicine, I would certainly recommend some form of trout slapping exercise. Although I use this form or memory aid on my students, I advise using such a trout and delivering a tight slap to Alan Johnson with it.

Your trout wileding educationalist,
Prof Scrub

lilyofthefield said...

The requirement to rewrite every lesson plan and resource onto a template for inclusion on the school's internet site was one of many last straws responsible for my leaving first, that school and shortly after, teaching altogether. Apparently it was going to enable parents to check up that we were teaching their children proper innit.

Anonymous said...

As a newly qualified F.E Lecturer, I have recently quit after I was only given "Key Skills" classes to teach instead of my real subject which is Media Studies. Although teaching in secondary is bad spare a thought for your F.E counterparts. Most are on part-time contracts which means we don't get ANY holiday pay, and even the ones on full time contracts only get between £17-23,000 a year. F.E teachers' don't get the yearly incremental pay rises secondary teachers get. Plus colleges generally get all the crap that secondary schools kick out. Just spare a thought for us as we don't have your resources or funding either.

flutters said...

didn't this working party's report into education end with the recommendation that a working party should be set up to review the way the NC is delivered? They have achieved nothing and have recommended that they have another bash at it...

anyone know how to apply for a job tinkering at the edges in the home office?

Anonymous said...

Frank. I am a parent and not a teacher and I’d like to try and answer your question 3. Why should parents get more information, such as lesson plans on the Internet?

I’m a middle-class parent with two children at school, a boy and a girl. We’re not wealthy enough to opt out of state education and go private so we have got our children into a good local school.

Now I try to help my children as much as I possibly can with their education, within the limits of working full time. We spend at least an hour together each evening (often much more) doing something fun and hopefully educational at the same time. It could be working on some maths, exploring Google Earth, playing football outside, playing Cluedo or reading a book together or any number of things.

Now I would like to try and make things relevant and topical to the things they are currently working on at school. But other than what I can find out by asking the children I really don’t have much idea what they are working on. Seeing the lesson plans for the term would help me enormously.

Now you might say just ask the teacher. Well, I have tried this and the attitude of the teacher was so appalling that I am unlikely to ever approach them again.

So if lesson plans were to be posted on the Internet, it would help me immensely. I can spend individual time with my children making sure that they have properly understood the topics that they are currently studying at school in a way that is clearly not possible for the teacher in a class of 30.

So it would help me (by offering guidance as to what topics to work on). It would help the teacher (by relieving some of their workload in a large class) and it would help the children (by ensuring that they properly understand a topic before the class moves onto the next).

So from my point of view as a parent I cannot see any disadvantages to posting the lesson plans on the Internet.

Kronos said...

Lesson Plans for parents?

total kibosh

Anonymous said...

Lesson plans for parents?

Total Kibosh.

Get these people who come with these ideas to try and implement them whilst trying to teach.