is research the next big thing?

Looking for the new way forward or Teachers will NEVER do what you ask them to do…..

I like Billy Bragg. Or the 20-year-old me likes Billy Bragg. The one that is still me in my head until I look in the mirror before I go to work on a Monday morning. Not the one that looks back at me from an unflattering photo snapped by my kids on the iPad as I sit on the train travelling to London. I like him because his music made me think I was able to change the world. Sometimes on my best days I still think I’m going to do that.


So on the first Saturday in September I venture to the big smoke to take part in the next big thing? Something I can get on board with. Something that will help drive up standards and improve children’s life chances. Something that will be different. It’s school based so that ticks a box. It has been organised by practitioners so that helps. The costs are low and I have chosen to do it so it should have some impact or so I think.

So why am I left asking so many questions and what will I do differently this week?

In this new world order the questions below still puzzle me.

  • Who provides the support to help teachers get better? In a coordinated way? So that all students can thrive?
  • How is it distributed fairly?
  • Who helps headteachers improve what they do?
  • Have we got access to too much information?
  • Why are there so many teachers feeling victimised in the profession they entered to make a difference?
  • Why do we use so much Jargon?
  • Have I just signed up to the next big thing which will be laughed at in the next 5 year?
  • Why are modern schools so badly designed?
  • Why have I not visited the children’s museum before?
  • Who provides the direction for our profession?
  • What are the motives of those who try to fill the gap provided by the dismantling of the Local Authorities?
  • Why do we spend so much time comparing ourselves to different countries which are very different?
  • What is our fixation with targets and numbers?
  • Why should I be think in my wildest dreams it is a good idea to introduce performance related pay in a profession that people don’t choose to enter for the money?
  • Why am I here?

I listened to the introductions and marvelled at the numbers who had turned up. I watched the movements of the masses scurrying to the next session. I heard claim and counter-claim. Professionals mocking the work of others whilst suggesting there is the best or better. It was beginning to feel like a small soap opera with the sub plots appearing everywhere.

Politicians sparred. Gurus strutted. Flesh was pressed and OFSTED flattered.

So what am I going to do:-

  1. Focus on developing local networks where teachers are able to help each other
  2. Encourage more people to learn from each other by talking about what they do
  3. Remember to keep things simple.
  4. Stay focused on helping teachers get better at what they do in the classroom ……

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