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Showing posts from September, 2012

Emotional Intelligence. It doesn't actually exist, does it?

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Emotional Intelligence (EI) has appeared on my radar this weekend, as a few teachers asked me the best way to teach it. The problem is:
I don't think we can teach it. I'm fairly sure we can't assess such a thing anyway. And I'm also pretty sure that it doesn't exist anyway.  So, you know, that makes it rather hard to advise on it.

 Why do we want to be arbiters of children’s emotions? The moral flaw in the EI argument is that it presumes a level of authority over the individual that we might genuinely balk at accepting: authority over their feelings. Who am I to tell someone else to feel? How long, for example, is it appropriate to grieve? If someone loses their life’s companion, and then starts to drink, or mope, or hide from the world, we might hope and advise them to get busy living again, but really, who gets to decide what the appropriate reaction is? If someone subjected people I love to torture, I hope I would have the integrity to avoid rampaging in reveng…

Department of Justice and Education criticised for tough new rookie Judge assessment

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There was outrage last night as Chief Judges in the Hall of Learning approved a harsh new system of formal assessment for rookie teachers. Dubbed 'Block War', prospective teachers will be paired with a more experienced mentor and assigned to a day in one of Mega-City's toughest schools, with the simple message- last a day.

Judge Dredd, one of the most prominent advocates of this form of in-at-the-deep-end training, only had this to say yesterday: 'It's all the deep end,' before arresting the reporter for obstructing a GTP program.

The program, one of many new reforms brought in under the coalition of chief Judges Cameron, Klegg and Fergee, has prompted angry reactions from many teachers, who have accused the Chiefs of letting the profession down.

'This system is completely without justification,' said one blogger from Stephen Twigg block, who didn't want to be named for fear he would be transported to the prison planet of Titan and transformed into…

Wilshaw 'Not Satan' shock dunking reveals: why good teachers needn't take umbrage

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Did you read the latest? The Head of OfSTED claimed that teachers were lazy, bolted on the bell like Usain Bolt on poppers, and wants teachers to earn salary hikes by working their fingers into a jammy paste, like white mice barelling round an exercise wheel. What a bastard.

Except he didn't. If you read how his interview was reported, you'd be forgiven for thinking that he had, though. There is an uncomfortable spectacle in debate, and one that I see regularly in my sixth formers: polarisation, then calcification, as what could be an exploration of the truth devolves into the more comfortable territory of binary brawling. Wishaw has become a victim of this, and some now can't listen to the man without hearing the words 'I hate teachers and all they stand for' buzzing in their ears like reverse subliminal messages from Old Nick on a Judas Priest album.

A cursory examination of what he actually said, rather than a game of Chinese Whisper outrage, reveals something…

Twilight of the GCSEs; new balls, please

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Is anything much happening in the world of education? I've been finishing a book, so I guess someone would have told me if anything had ha-

Ah. Did someone order the Ragnarok? 

Michael Gove appears to have been inhabited by the demons of Legion. Rarely have I seen a politico in such a balls-out, damn-your-eyes-for-a-Christian mood. They call D-Cam Flashman? I see more of Tom Brown's dastardly polyglot nemesis in the eyes of our current SoS than in the countenance of our fey premier. I can imagine him, plotting in his hollowed out volcano underneath the Isle of Dogs, chuckling away with Anthony Seldon as they dip kettle chips into the tears of martyrs and wonder how they can annoy the Guardian any more. 'And then,' he'll say, wiping away the tears of mirth, 'And then we'll make them memorise the periodic table. CAN YOU IMAGINE THEIR FACES? AHAHAHAHAHAHAH.'

'Consultation?' he'll say in my Holodeck version of reality, 'Consultation? How&#…