Showing posts from January, 2013

The Intellectual Abyss in education: Suzanne Moore, and why everyone's an expert

There is an intellectual abyss in the educational debate so deep you could lose a school bus down it. I’m reminded of this every time someone writes about evidence-based research in education, and clearly doesn’t know what that means. Worse, they invoke it like a totem, when all they seek to do is justify their own superstition.

This feature by Suzanne Moore, for instance. I’m sure she is wise and admirable, but it’s a joyless donkey ride across the greatest hits of armchair fantasy edu- football. It’s what I imagine Michael Rosen’s rosary sounds like. Perhaps cautious after the recent harrowing experience of being defended by Julie Burchill, she’s having a go at a safer, softer Aunt Sally, accusing the beastly Gove of ideological dilettantism. There is a painful contradiction beneath this claim: Gove, the amateur, the journalist who knows nothing about education, put in his place by Moore, the amateur, the journalist, who apparently knows so much more than he. Someone, somewhere, is pu…

Would you like a tissue for that? Why teachers make terrible therapists


Everybody be cool. Why the EBC is nothing to be scared of.


The Laugh of Khan: if this is the future, then classrooms really are fl*pped.

This week's TES leads with a story on the rise of the Khan Academy. This is a not-for-profit on-line project that seeks to provide free access to short videos on a variety of subjects to anyone who wants to look at them. And there's nothing wrong with that. I've seen a few of them, and they're perfectly serviceable little shorts talking about primary/ secondary level maths, computing, a little history and so on. 3,600 videos in all. As far as that goes, I clasp them to my bosom. Personally I find them as entertaining as watching Miranda, but then I suppose I'm not the target audience for either.

The problem is- and it is a problem- that I frequently hear it hailed as the future of education/ the saviour of education/ the model for the 21st century century and so on. And I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

The Khan Academy. Motto: 'It is our mission to accelerate learning for students of all ages,' which is the most boring thing I have ever read outsid…