Thursday, 25 June 2009

Warning: unplanned life ahead

In Recommendation 1 of the recently published Badman review of home education, we read this:
At the time of registration parents/carers/guardians must provide a clear statement of their educational approach, intent and desired/planned outcomes for the child over the following twelve months.

Guidance should be issued to support parents in this task with an opportunity to meet local authority officers to discuss the planned approach to home education and develop the plan before it is finalised. The plan should be finalised within eight weeks of first registration.

Hello Mr Badman and Mr Balls. When I taught in an actual school with penned up human beings who clawed at the windows on sunny days, desperate to run outside, play, be alive, I doggedly stuck to the lesson plan that I had so carefully prepared, and it was of this type of reproduced crap.
Teacher led introduction of new topic how language varies (15 mins): 1. according to context and purpose [for example, choice of vocabulary in more formal situations] 2. between standard and dialect forms [for example, in drama, the effect of using standard or dialect forms] 3. between spoken and written forms [for example, the differences between transcribed speech, direct speech and reported speech]. With support, children conduct brainstorming session (15 mins) to create wall display on types of talk. Teacher led wrap up session (15 mins) on what we have learned about types of talk in preparation for written exercise in lesson 2.
I knew this would tick boxes should OFSTED drop from the skies, dribbling with the forthcoming pleasure that if I didn't deliver some goods pretty quickly they could point the finger of fate in my direction and denounce me as a BAD BAD TEACHER. So basically I protected my job, fed the kids garbage and became little more than a dead delivery vessel for prescribed knowledge sanctioned, regulated and inspected by the government.

Making teachers perform pointless exercises is nothing more than making them count number plates to keep them busy. Shoving it in front of parents is an attempt to make teaching sound professional, because we hope it will confuse the average How's-Joe-doing parent. And for the kids? Sorry - educational consumers - it is a load of arsetwaddle acting as a facile replacement for real-world experience and real-world interaction and nothing more than containment.

But now I home educate, we can kick this shite into the long grass - and then go jump up and down on where it landed.

Out here in home education land we may discuss language use in real-life contexts with real-life human beings because we are part of this society, community and city. And we can do that when and where we want because it has arisen as part of being alive.

So you can shove your vacuous planning. Today the weather is superb. I take Shark, Squirrel and Tiger swimming at the outdoor lido. And hey! THAT WASN'T EVEN PLANNED.

But do you know what the local council plans to do with this wonderful lido and community resource?

Close it down and sell it to a developer so they can meet the government's new homes targets and build another housing estate.

We are told this is a better future than the one we sought.


mamacrow said...

I wrote a reply so long - and I wasn't even half done - I've transposed it over to my blog as a post! xx

Merry said...

*emits exasperated sigh at life and moves to Gritland*

sharon said...

Life in a free country eh? It'll be HE uniforms next!

kellyi said...

whole review is driving me slowly insane.

Rebel Mother said...

They just cant get it right can they!

Beggar's belief!


Grit said...

thank you for your comments folks. i think i need an unplanned break from this badman review. perhaps i will photoblog kittens instead.