Which ed­u­ca­tional opus says the most about you?

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - MICHAEL TIDD -

SOME­ONE POSTED a pho­to­graph of the 1999 na­tional cur­ricu­lum on Twit­ter re­cently – you know, the one with wire bind­ing and fancy pic­tures on each sub­ject page?

What en­sued was com­men­tary from the more “ex­pe­ri­enced” among us. “Ha, you think that’s a na­tional cur­ricu­lum? I re­mem­ber when you needed to hire a small van to carry home all the fold­ers,” was the gist.

I’m of the gen­er­a­tion that was sub­jected to the many at­tain­ment tar­gets of the orig­i­nal cur­ricu­lum at school, but never had to teach it. It strikes me that we can each be dated by the old­est ed­u­ca­tion tome we own. Which is yours?

Plow­den Re­port (1967)

There’s every chance you’ve re­tired now, or maybe you’re still keep­ing your hand in with a bit of sup­ply at a fa­mil­iar vil­lage school. There’s no doubt teach­ing isn’t what it once was. You may well han­ker for the in­te­grated days with a class of 38. The thought of be­ing with­out a teach­ing as­sis­tant brings you no fear; the only thing that does scare you is an elec­tronic reg­is­ter.

Cock­croft Re­port (1982)

You’re prob­a­bly not the maths sub­ject leader any­more. You’ve long since moved into se­nior lead­er­ship, or maybe into some­thing dif­fer­ent, but you’re still a math­e­ma­ti­cian at heart. All this talk of mas­tery is amus­ing, not least be­cause so much of what you hear touted as in­no­va­tive prac­tice now is ex­actly what you were do­ing 30 years ago. And the cir­cle con­tin­ues…

Na­tional cur­ricu­lum fold­ers (1989)

You’re no doubt bat­tle-scarred from your ini­tial en­counter with this beast. You cling to the files like a for­mer smoker might keep an old lighter: as a me­mento to say you sur­vived. You’ve seen cur­ricu­lum doc­u­ments come and go since, and taken each with a greater pinch of salt. When new teach­ers com­plain about how much con­tent is in the cur­ricu­lum, you have learned to con­tain your guf­faws.

Lit­er­acy Strat­egy (1997)

You’re in league with the devil. What’s wrong with you? Maybe it’s a sort of Stockholm syn­drome? You prob­a­bly still twitch if the first part of your les­son takes even a sec­ond more than the 15 min­utes al­lo­cated. You’ve taught from hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent books – but mostly only pho­to­copied ex­tracts. Hav­ing a whole class reader is a great ex­cite­ment, but also feels like cheat­ing.

Ex­cel­lence and En­joy­ment (2003)

You haven’t re­ally read it, have you? It was prob­a­bly given to you on teacher train­ing or in your for­ma­tive years, and just the ti­tle was enough to make things sound bet­ter than they were. You will have stopped now, but for a while you found your­self in staff train­ing ses­sions ask­ing “but what about Ex­cel­lence and En­joy­ment?” You prob­a­bly com­plained at the loss of Every Child Mat­ters, too. You’re not a fan of the new cur­ricu­lum, but you’ve learned to sub­vert it.

Na­tional cur­ricu­lum (2013)

Wait…you bought a hard copy? Good grief. That clear sign of keen­ness sug­gests you were very new to the pro­fes­sion when the cur­ricu­lum ar­rived. You’ll have col­leagues who wouldn’t com­mit un­til the last minute, telling you tales of the dis­ap­pear­ing Rose cur­ricu­lum – which will mean noth­ing to you. You try to avoid con­ver­sa­tions about how much worse things are, es­pe­cially with that old cur­mud­geon who keeps go­ing on about 10 dif­fer­ent fold­ers! Don’t worry: your time will come.

Michael Tidd is deputy head at Edge­wood Pri­mary School in Not­ting­hamshire @Michaelt1979

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.