So, Miss Pedagogy, what’s the issue?
Well, Mrs Head, it hasn’t quite turned out as I hoped.
Well, remember the exercise we did on the last training day, when staff were putting post -it notes on sheets of A3 telling us what sort of learners we would like to see?
Yes – you told me you would steer it round to Claxton’s Rs – resilient, resourceful, reflective and reciprocal.
Yes, but look at this?
Hmm, I see what you mean. Hardworking, academic, modest, respectful. Miss Pedagogy! We can’t put those words on our prospectus!
Quite, Mrs Head. But it gets worse. You remember the guru who came to talk to the staff about learning styles? And how we were going to get staff to seat students with cards saying what their preferred learning style was? Well, they’re refusing to do it. Some of them have found some research in the blogosphere which says learning styles are a myth.
Hmm – this is partly your fault, Miss Pedagogy. It was you who told them they had to engage with research.
But I didn’t mean that sort of research! I meant it like the old days, when we would tell staff the research and they would try it out on a class. But when Mr Verynaive did that, someone said that his conclusions were not necessarily valid and mentioned something called the Hawthorne effect, which I hadn’t heard of. And then, when I told them that knowledge was of little importance in the 21st century, someone quoted some other research which said that it was!
Damn these modern researchers! In the old days, we could always accuse those who didn’t rush to implement an idea of being Luddites. Really, Miss Pedagogy, you must find a way of stopping them reading these seditious blogs! When I was telling them that all learning should be active, someone said that they had read something which contradicted the idea! The impudence! Never used to happen. I’ve had Mr Dataman in tears. Remember his brilliant idea of subdividing the sublevels to create subsublevels?
Oh yes, Mrs Head, how can I forget! The staff were going to input data at the end of every day and make up action plans for every child who was one subsublevel below their target. This forensic use of data was going to transform progress! We spent £6000 on it.
Yes, but now levels have been abolished he doesn’t know what to do! And then, when we thought we’d get round it by issuing subject checklists and success criteria, some one said that Assessment for Learning had now been questioned by a prominent academic and even had the nerve to tell me that Dylan Wiliam never intended staff to write aims and objectives on the board every lesson!
Oh Mrs Head, that’s shocking! How can the poor children learn without copying their aims and objectives?
I know, Miss Pedagogy, I know. Sadly, it’s the world we live in today…oh well, let’s get on to the next item on the agenda. Now then, 21st century skills…………