FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 51 Number 3 2009

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CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

Editorial. The 2009 White Paper, pages 271‑272 doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.271 VIEW FULL TEXT
Clyde Chitty. The Question of Admission: the RISE Report, pages 273‑275
Mike Baker. Is Choice of School Just a Mirage?, pages 277‑278
Howard Stevenson. Feeling the Crunch: education policy and economic crisis, pages 279‑287
James Porter. Extravagant Aims, Distorted Practice, pages 289‑298
Colin Richards. ‘O Rose, thou art sick’, ‘O Testing, thou art malign’: a critique of two official reports (with apologies to William Blake), pages 299‑303
Mary Jane Drummond. The Rose Report [continued]: ‘the invisible worm’, pages 305‑307
John Wadsworth & Rosalyn George. Choosing the Right Approach: New Labour and the care and education of young children, pages 309‑317
Patrick Yarker. This is Determination’: grassroots opposition to Academies, pages 319‑322
Tiffany Prince. Science Education and Religion in the post-Darwin era: an historical perspective, pages 323‑332
Anna Carlile. Sexism and Permanent Exclusion from School, pages 333‑345
Chris Searle. ‘Strong in their Minds’: young people’s poems across an ocean, pages 347‑362
John Igbinomwanhia. Explorations of Lifelong Learning Ethics, pages 363‑375
Derek Gillard. Lessons from the Past: the importance of educational history, pages 377‑390
Clyde Chitty. Chris Woodhead: a new champion of eugenic theories, pages 391‑394
Clyde Chitty. How ‘Edu-babble’ Turns Pupils into ‘Customers’, pages 395‑396


 

The Question of Admission: the RISE Report

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.273

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This article examines the findings of the recent London School of Economics RISE Report looking at policies relating to secondary school admissions in England.

Is Choice of School Just a Mirage?

doi: 10.2304/forum.2009.51.3. 277

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This article points out that, in the United Kingdom, parents have a right to state a preference for a particular school which is not the same as a right to choose.

 

Feeling the Crunch: education policy and economic crisis

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.279

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The global capitalist crisis is impacting dramatically across nation states and their economies. Although a complete collapse of the system appears to have been avoided by decisions to take co-ordinated interventionist action to shore up short term demand, governments have generally rejected the more radical actions required to address the fundamental issues posed by the crisis. This is likely to have significant and long term consequences for education policy. In this article the importance of understanding the relationship between education policy and the wider economy is emphasised, as is the extent to which the shape of the former is increasingly driven by the imperatives of the latter. The article begins by exploring the relationship between education policy and the economy, and then identifies ways in which the current economic crisis is likely to shape education policy in the short and medium term. It argues that whilst the consequences for education policy are likely to be deeply damaging, there are new opportunities to reassert the case for education as a public good based on the values of local democracy and economic stability.

 

Extravagant Aims, Distorted Practice

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.289

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In the decades after the Second World War, the British Government had a democratic, independent and locally administered education service that was recognised as crucial to the post-war political, moral and economic recovery of the country. However, since that time, the independence of schools and local communities has been increasingly usurped, central government has taken detailed control of education and a distorted economic metaphor has been applied to every aspect of the service. This article outlines key aspects of the story and urges a sustained response.

 

‘O Rose, thou art sick’, ‘O Testing, thou art malign’: a critique of two official reports (with apologies to William Blake)

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.299

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Two official reports were published in 2009, each potentially important to the immediate and medium-term future of primary education and each (in the author’s view) potentially damaging. The conservative nature of the reports’ proposals are outlined in this article as are the opportunities missed for a fundamental reappraisal of the primary curriculum and its assessment.

 

The Rose Report [continued]: ‘the invisible worm’

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.305

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While Colin Richards’ article is a trenchant analysis of the big themes and missed opportunities of the Rose Report, this response examines some of the small print. It concludes that the document is disfigured by many minor blemishes, and is also fatally flawed by a crude misapprehension of the nature of progress and the purpose of education.

 

Choosing the Right Approach: New Labour and the care and education of young children

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.309

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Early Years provision in England has historically been fragmented and under-funded. In seeking to address this situation, New Labour has developed a range of Early Years initiatives with the principal aim of tackling poverty and disadvantage. This article traces the recent history of Early Years provision and critically explores the extent to which New Labour has been effective in unifying services, raising the status of Early Years practitioners, addressing under funding together with challenging disadvantage and social exclusion.

 

‘This is Determination’: grassroots opposition to Academies

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.319

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This article reports on current campaigning against the British government’s policy of opening hundreds of Academy schools.

 

Science Education and Religion in the post-Darwin era: an historical perspective

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.323

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This article is part of the author’s current research into science teachers’ perspectives on the theory of evolution and its teaching in the classroom. Anti-evolutionary views have recently become very prominent in the context of science education, with almost one third of science teachers in the United Kingdom agreeing that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the science classroom. However, these are not new views. Indeed, they have been around since the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859. The article focuses on the main anti-evolutionary movements which arose in the 20th century such as the ideas leading to the Scopes Trial, Flood Geology and Neo-creationism. It analyses the reasons for the emergence of these movements with the aim of understanding the conditions which motivate the development of fundamentalist religious ideas. Conclusions are drawn about why this debate still persists today and about the impact this has had on science education. One might ask: ‘Why are the polar ends of the spectrum so prominent in the public arena?’

 

Sexism and Permanent Exclusion from School

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.333

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Focussing on narratives collected during a two year participant observation research project in the children’s services department of an urban local authority, this article addresses the intersection between incidents of permanent exclusion from school and assumptions made on the basis of a young person’s gender. The article considers gendered class reproduction through the choice of GCSEs; gender normativity in single sex schools; and the relationship between domestic violence and sexual aggression in incidents of school exclusion. It finishes with an account of some of the work being done to develop the professionals’ support strategies and young people’s self-management skills necessary to tackle these effects.

 

‘Strong in their Minds’: young people’s poems across an ocean

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.347

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This article stresses the quality of universality within young people’s poetry. The writer uses the poetry mainly written by children of Pakistani origin living in Pitsmoor and Fir Vale in north-east Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, as a stimulus for the creative writing of children of the Mohawk nation in the reservation school of Tyendinaga Territory in Eastern Ontario, Canada. The similar qualities and themes of both sets of poems illustrate both the internationalism of the imagination, and a critical consciousness within children that stretches across oceans.

 

Explorations of Lifelong Learning Ethics

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.363

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The methodological approaches that were used in this research were ethnographic, quantitative and analysis of post-compulsory education policy documents 1945‑2007. The article aims to explore the issues of ethics in lifelong learning, and an alternative approach to the analysis of the impact of lifelong learning policy, by focusing research attention as follows: first, on the contests between the meaning of inclusion in lifelong learning to lifelong learners and the meaning of inclusion in lifelong learning to the state, and second on the ethical concerns facing lifelong learners. Finally, the ethics are explored of the practice of inclusion in lifelong learning through the ethical dilemmas that face teachers and advisers of lifelong learners.

 

Lessons from the Past: the importance of educational history

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.377

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For the past twenty years, the training of teachers in England has consisted of little more than instruction in ‘delivering’ the National Curriculum. In this piece, Derek Gillard argues that there are now encouraging signs of a resurgence of interest in the history of education. He reviews the new edition of Clyde Chitty’s Education Policy in Britain, which looks at the history of education from a political perspective, and summarises the content of his own website, which is devoted to the history of Education in England.

 

Chris Woodhead: a new champion of eugenic theories

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.391

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Eugenic Theories are clearly alive and well in present-day society – or this is at least true of those theories relating to the passing on of abilities and talents from one generation to the next. This depressing thought was prompted by a reading of Chris Woodhead’s latest book A Desolation of Learning.

 

How ‘Edu-babble’ Turns Pupils into ‘Customers’

doi:10.2304/forum.2009.51.3.395

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The Report of the Nuffield Review of 14‑19 education, described by its Lead Director Professor Richard Pring of Oxford University in the last number of FORUM (Volume 51, Number 2 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2009.51.2.197), highlights the increasing use of what can be described as ‘edu-dabble’ by sectors of the education establishment.

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