Top Ten Things I've Learned From This Blog: Number 9 Everything works in cycles

In my opinion education ministers are all simply trying to make their mark, and that's why there are so many reforms. Whatever reforms originate from them and make their way down to the likes of us, they always go in cycles. So what’s the point of even changing them?

The most obvious way in which this happens in education I think is at one end letting students discover their own path through learning and at the other making them learn things by wrote. The first has it’s advantages because students retain more with less effort, but it is impossible to teach fundamental and simple concepts that way. The latter way of working is good because it is conducive to good behaviour but it does not inspire those ‘hard to reach out to’ students.

Can’t we just do a bit of both? Instead of endlessly cycling from one extreme to the other, arguing the toss this way and that, forcing teachers to completely change the way they work right from scratch every few years.

I don’t see any balance in this industry, and this constant moving of the goalposts effects consistency and professional development in an extreme way. At all times there will be someone who disagrees, which seems pointless when it seems perfectly possible to integrate the two sides most of the time.

With that example I gave you, students could learn traditionally and by wrote the fundamental principles of a subject, and then be encouraged to participate more in complex activities as the topics become more complex themselves.

Can you think of any more cycles that teaching goes through regularly?


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