Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Jamie olivers dream school

Came across an old forum post I wrote about the first episode of this, I thought it may be of some interest here so I copied over...... Make of it what you will.

I watched this and thought it was quite interesting. The problem that David Starkey had is that he would have been taught in a day when throwing around insults like that by the teachers would have been acceptable, if a student had answered back they'd have probably been caned, unfortunately this doesnt really promote respect for differences in the community, and Starkey was a prime example of that. If I'd have said anything like that to my students then I'd expect to be in for a disciplinary by the end of the week.

Callow was interesting, he took a genuinely nice approach to the students, which they responded well to to begin with, however you can see he started struggling as different students lost interest etc...... I noticed in the previews it looks like he has a shout at them at some point, which of course they wont respond to.

I liked rolf's approach too, he's quite good humoured and doesnt really have any fear, but what he pointed out, and i think is probably true of schooling in general is the class was too big to pay each and every student enough attention in the time allowed.

That professor was ace, full on kill or cure technique there, the ones that stayed, fascinated and will be talking about that for weeks, the ones that didnt, shocked, and will be talking about that for weeks...... whichever way you look at it job done...... I loved the fact they just suddenly cut to him with a rotary saw cutting a pig in half with all their shocked faces in the background.

Ellen was always going to have a reasonably easy time, taking a small group of students out to do something that most likely they've never done before, is probably well out of their comfort zone, and she did it well by not insisting on doing all the helming etc, making cups of tea and dinner for them. I've got upmost respect for that woman, and this completely re-affirmed that.

I think the key points that could be taken from this is what can be done when you give people the resources and the freedom they need to teach they can do a good job, however in Starkey's case he probably took the wrong tact, and it flew back in his face a bit, but as was mentioned in it, he's an old school bloke who has probably only ever given guest speeches in university. But we'll never be able to do that in schools because there is not enough funding, and teachers aren't allowed to be properly inventive because their accountable to the numerous piece of paperwork to constantly fill in showing that students have acheived the measurable targets. In short it really isnt the students failing themselves, its the system that fails the schools and doesnt allow them to do what they need to do.

One thing that I think is going to be problematic for most of them is that technology has basically bred kids to multitask, and people who embraced technology etc have picked up that skill too, this is something I dont think will have been picked up by 'teachers' yet, but at the same time. The other point is about someone mentioning on the thread earlier about the students having computers/phones etc, they'll be there voluntarily, they're all over 16, you cant confiscate items like you can at shools, and tbh all confiscation will do is make them find more inventive ways of concealing what they're doing, and I think Jamie Oliver and the head realise that.

I dont know if anyone remembers a program featuring a teacher called Phil Beadle, but I thought his approach could really bring a lot to the classroom, however we still end up stuck with this out of date system which really does no-one any favours.

If we had a system of training teachers that literally that basically outlined what they need to do to maintain professionalism, how to do their paperwork and then let them get on with what they wanted to do for a few months, and if it was clear they were idiots get rid of them, and if not let them stay, I seriously think long term we'd have much better success rates in schools. I think thats what this program will actually end up commenting on the most, the idea that restricting the curriculum in order to bring it into line with every other school in the country is actually failing about 50% of the students who are attending school.

Anyway here's David starkeys guide to burning a heretic

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