Schools need to teach behaviour, or the most disadvantaged suffer twice This is a tale of two students. The first student is lucky. She comes from a close extended family, two affluent parents with spare income and time to invest in their child. She is read to on a daily basis, and reads to her parents and other family members. Because her family has time (and the inclination to do so), she is carefully taught millions of micro-behaviours that comprise the messy field of positive social interactions- she is taught how to speak confidently to adults, how to resolve disputes without aggression, how interact with her peers, and so on. When she misbehaves, she is patiently retaught what she should have done. By the time she gets to school she has already acquired a huge amount of cultural and social capital. She is already in the top quarter of the class for reading, writing, comprehension, arithmetic, and so on. She rarely gets into trouble because she understands the habits of formal gro…
Judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree and it’ll spend
a lifetime thinking it’s stupidAlbert Einstein
You’ll see this quote everywhere. Its memorable and tidy and superficially convincing. It’s often accompanied by the cartoon at the top of this post (in which the goldfish is in a bowl
on top of a tree stump, which makes me think damn that goldfish is a really good climber already).
Except Einstein never said it. It’s a perfect example of
how the Internet has resurrected the principle that a lie can get half way around
the world before the truth can get its boots on. A glib, seductive claim untroubled by veracity or evidence. This is how the video ‘I just sued
the school’ starts. It’s also very much how it continues.
Fans of 19th century educational clichés dressed
as slick, radical innovation are in for a treat, in a short film/ advert/
performance by hip-hop inspirational speaker
Prince Ea called 'I just sued the School System' released in 2016. (It’s already had over …
A couple of days ago I was chatting to a builder friend. He had a client who worried him. ‘Thinks that people are breaking into his house and moving things,’ he told me. ‘Showed me a tiny crack under the stairs. ‘That was them,’ he told me. ‘They drilled into that.’ But when I said that no drill could reach down there, he said, ‘Ah but they got special drills.’ When I asks them how they got into the house, he said, ‘They’ve got a master key.’’ And so on and so on. This guy never left the house, and no matter how you disputed his theories, he always had an answer. His beliefs were evidence proof. Nothing you could say would change his mind, and any evidence for against the premise would be enlisted as further proof. Which brings me nicely to the Michaela Community School in Wembley, where I spent a day this week once again boggling at their systems, their kids, and its buccaneer warlord, Katherine Birbalsingh, who makes Javert seem weak willed and forgiving. The title of this blog post…