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Stuck in the middle with you!

Miranda is a Primary Supply Teacher working in schools through Protocol Education in Manchester. Miranda shares her view on a recent article focusing on Britain's World standing. 

Stuck in the Middle with you!

So, despite rigorous testing of our children throughout their school careers, Britain is – as they used to say on Top of the Pops – a non-mover. We are occupying a stagnant position in the world-rankings for educational achievement, falling behind China and South Korea in Maths, Science and Reading. And if we are in a political party, we are blaming one another for our lacklustre results.
Old Govey says it’s too early to be his fault, Labour says that this proves that Tory reforms are doing nothing for anyone. Both parties throw in some idle wordson poor teaching standards – as if it is a given that crummy educators are at the bottom of all of this. Hands up teachers if you knew all along that it would turn out to be your fault? 

Hands up teachers if you knew all along that it would turn out to be your fault? 

One of the neglected facts from the survey is children’s happiness at school. The UK still manages to rank amongst the highest in the world in this regard. Those record-beating Koreans have some pretty anxious and unhappy children behind the astringent authority and culture of nth-degree home- tutoring. Is this really what we want for our children too?  An enslavement not even to educational attainment, but to results that stand like hollow and shaky scenery on the loose floorboards of the world stage.  For it’s not as though these international tests are above reproach anyway. There are suspicions that some countries are cherry-picking the best students to take them in the first place. There is also evidence to suggest that cultural differences and poor translations have an impact on the way that certain nations of students respond to the test questions. 

What is surely being lost in all the bombast is any debate on the core values of a child’s education. Are we really all about economic attainment above all else? Do the softer skills and abilities, such as social and emotional development, cultural awareness, civic engagement and achievements in the arts, really  have to take a backseat… or else we’ll be queuing up to buy bread in our miserable futures? 
Much, I think, can be learned from the Early Years curriculum’s approach. At its heart is a core belief thatlearning experiences need to be flexible enough to meet every unique child at the stage they are at. Learning isadapted to account for individual needs and preferences. 

Happily, we are all agreed that one- size-does-not fit-all at the outset of a child’s education. So then why do our  children need to go on to learn the harsh lesson that all they have to offer is their potential for singing  hollow notes from the same song sheet as everyone else in the world?

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Tags: Miranda, Protocol Education, Supply, Teaching, Learning,

Category: Australian Teachers

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