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A belated note on 14 years of blogging

March 25, 2021

Last October (on the 24th) I reached the 14th anniversary of my first blogpost. From the 24th to the 26th I wrote a blogpost every day. This distracted me from my usual practice of writing a blogpost about the previous year’s blogging, and I remained distracted for quite some time and I haven’t really been blogging lately.

That time has come to catch up. In my 14th year of blogging I wrote about:

Teacher Autonomy

Exclusions

Internal Exclusions

Behaviour

Achievement For All

CPD

Exam grading in a pandemic

Reforming the education system

Principles

RSE guidance

I think this probably accurately reflects the education debate in that time. Progressive education is losing the debate in terms of pedagogy and curriculum, with schools embracing a knowledge rich curriculum and moving away from inquiry learning. It is gaining ground in the debate over discipline with perfectly normal practices like exclusion and internal exclusion being demonised, and all manner of outdated therapeutic ideas being suggested as alternatives to setting and enforcing rules. The “Culture War” is impacting on education, with progressives being the first to claim that only their ideas can fight racism. The government’s manifest failures over replacing exams during a pandemic has also opened the door to those who wish to introduce less fair methods of assessment.

In other news

  • I appeared in this podcast with Greg Ashman which is well worth a listen.
  • I was reported to the police for warning my Twitter followers about an online troll who contacts teacher’s schools if she disapproves of what they say on Twitter. While I eventually established that warning teachers about this is not illegal, it took time and the support of The Free Speech Union to do so.
  • I was offered a permanent contract at my current school, which I accepted after years of temporary contracts with different schools.

A further distraction from blogging was the US Presidential Election. I became fascinated with the attempts to overthrow the election by alleging fraud. In particular, I studied the way false information was introduced and disseminated on MAGA Twitter. I spent a lot of time seeing what happened when I corrected factual, and in particular, statistical inaccuracies on the part of people alleging fraud. Reflecting back on this time, seeing how conspiracy theorists reject facts as propaganda and appealing to the idea that nobody but partisan actors disagrees with their account of events, made me consider if any part of the education debate shows the same tendencies. Does anyone spread false information? Does anyone invent statistical anomalies to suggest a non-existent problem exists? Does anyone use only “approved” media sources? Does anyone suggest completely lunatic solutions to problems that don’t exist? Does anyone identify “experts” who are actually complete lunatics?

I think the answer is that the MAGA of edutwitter is the anti-exclusions movement. They do spread false information. They do attack the motives of everyone who challenges them. They do suggest crazy alternatives that would never work. They do get their claims uncritically accepted in more partisan parts of the media. For that reason, I intend to spend a lot more of my time on Twitter just getting the facts about exclusions out there. There appear to be as many people on edutwitter who think ethnic minority students get excluded at a higher rate than white British students as there are people on US Twitter who think Pennsylvania counted more postal votes than they sent out.

I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I could mention. Thanks to all the support from my social media followers. And thanks to my fiance. Gwen, for totally supporting my avenging.

One comment

  1. […] Teaching in British schools « A belated note on 14 years of blogging […]



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