Friday, September 02, 2005

Begging the Whistle-Blower!

There are plenty of ex-teachers in the HE community around here. They are, naturally enough, fully aware of the pitfalls of schooling. They see that despite even the very best of stated intentions, schools, more often than not, become suboptimal environments for learning. They are also fully aware that children do not learn in effective way when they are coerced, (since coercion involves being forced to enact a theory that is not active in the mind), and that dealing with large numbers of children who have not necessarily chosen to be there, means that coercive structures necessarily evolve.

So it is always interesting to see what happens when circumstances demand that one of these number must return to their previous profession. One friend is doing precisely this. In the course of the return to this work, she has been given a book list which makes, at times, risible reading.

A brief synopis of one apparently seminal, mandatory text: educational theories about the optimal nature of active learning have reached the schooling community. This is the good news. The bad news is that the schooling community have no idea whatsoever what to do with this information. The book starts with the premise of asking yourself why you would want to teach, and ends with the idea that it is just best not to trouble your pretty head about it!

Am trying to persuade friend to guest blog as an up to date whistle-blower on schooling educational theory, but she is short on time.

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