We all know David Starkey was a terrible teacher… don’t we?February 19, 2013
In the midst of the completely unedifying ideological battle over the teaching of history, a letter appeared in the Guardian from one of the “experts” who we are all meant to listen to. Most of it is just insult, responding to previous insults, responding to yet more insults from people whose lack of professional courtesy shocks me, and I’m an anonymous blogger. If historians wanted to give politicians every reason to ignore their views on the curriculum, this is the right way to go about it.
But what actually annoyed me was this bit:
Ferguson boasts that he’s “written and presented popular history”, but being a telly don doesn’t equip you for the realities of the classroom, as David Starkey found to his cost in Jamie’s Dream School.
This is a reference to David’s Starkey bust up with a bunch of difficult teenagers while trying to teach on the TV programme “Jamie’s Dream School” – reality TV not classroom reality – which I’ve seen trotted out again and again as an example of bad teaching, or how being an expert won’t help you teach.
Of course, this whole incident was based on a television programme trying to show the most sensational footage. What if it had been cut to show the quality of the teaching rather than the difficulty of the students’ behaviour?
Well we have an answer to that question. Here is just the teaching from that infamously terrible lesson.
OFSTED would no doubt disagree, but I think that’s pretty brilliant.
Worth bearing in mind if you are ever told that the best route to behaviour management is through good teaching.