FORUM
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Volume 56 Number 2 2014

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

 

TEACHERS RECLAIMING TEACHING

Howard Stevenson. Editorial. Teachers Reclaiming Teaching, pages 169-174 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.169 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS

The Heart of the Matter (heymisssmith), pages 175-176 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.175 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS

Debra Kidd. A Matter of Time: the effects of time on learning, pages 177-191

@cazzypot. Ofsted: little boxes made of ticky-tacky, pages 193-198 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.193 VIEW FULL TEXT

Colin Richards. Judging the Quality of Teaching in Lessons: some thoughts prompted by Ofsted’s subsidiary guidance on teaching style, pages 199-206

How to Be a Happy Teacher (heymisssmith), pages 207-208 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.207 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS

Matt O’Leary. Power, Policy and Performance: learning lessons about lesson observation from England’s further education colleges, pages 209-222

Phil Wood. Teacher Professionalism: subverting the society of control, pages 223-234

Sue Cowley. Does Two into School Really Go?, pages 235-243

Sharrot Academies (heymisssmith), pages 245-247 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.245 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS

Fiona King & Úna Feeley. Finding the Openings Amid the Closings: one school’s approach to taking ownership of teaching and learning, pages 249-264

Emma Ann Hardy. Teachers Are Doing It For Themselves: using social media for professional development and advocacy, pages 265-276

Brian R. Horn. Moments or a Movement? Teacher Resistance to Neoliberal Education Reform, pages 277-286

Reality Bites (heymisssmith), pages 287-288 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.287 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS

René Kneyber. Flipping the Educational System: putting teachers at the heart of teaching, pages 289-292

Tom Unterrainer. Standing Up for Education: organising at the local level, pages 293-298

Kevin Courtney & Gawain Little. Standing Up for Education: building a national campaign, pages 299-317

BOOK REVIEWS
Henry Morris: the Cambridgeshire Village Colleges and community education. Education from the Cradle to the Grave (David Rooney), reviewed by Clyde Chitty, pages 319-321
Ways into Hinchingbrooke Country Park
(Deb Wilenski, with Caroline Wendling), reviewed by Patrick Yarker, pages 322-325
Education under Siege: why there is a better alternative
(Peter Mortimore), reviewed by Derek Gillard, pages 325-329
The Decorated School: essays on the visual culture of schooling
(Catherine Burke, Jeremy Howard & Peter Cunningham, Eds), reviewed by Patrick Yarker, pages 329-333 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.319 VIEW FULL TEXT


 

A Matter of Time: the effects of time on learning

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.177

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This article looks at how time might be viewed differently in the classroom, drawing on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze in order to frame the exploration. It asks how teachers might become more attuned to difference, uncertainty and possibility in their classrooms and questions the wisdom of viewing the learning process in linear ways. The article draws on two examples of classroom practice – one a lesson observation and the other a lesson with a child struggling with his concept of self as a poor speller. It asks how those experiences might be differently viewed and acted upon if the teacher works as an artisan rather than as an architect.

 

Judging the Quality of Teaching in Lessons: some thoughts prompted by Ofsted’s subsidiary guidance on teaching style

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.199

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Lesson observations involving judgements of teaching quality are a regular feature of classroom life. Such observations and judgements are made by senior and middle managers in schools and also, very significantly, by Ofsted inspectors as a major component of their judgement on the quality of teaching in a school. Using the example of Ofsted inspection, but with arguments that can apply also to routine classroom observation by school managers, this article teases out what can reasonably be said about teaching quality based on observation. It reveals the importance, but also the limitations, of classroom observation. It stresses the tentative, context-specific nature of judgements and the need for observers to have relevant experience and insight into the complexities and imponderables of classroom observation that focuses on teaching quality. It does not deal with the different but allied issue of whether lessons themselves should be graded.

 

Power, Policy and Performance: learning lessons about lesson observation from England’s further education colleges

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.209

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Lesson observation has been widely debated in education circles in recent times. From politicians to practitioners, everyone seems to have a view on it. Surprisingly, however, very little empirical research has been done on this important area of practice. With this in mind, this article explores some of the findings from a national research project investigating the use and impact of lesson observation on the professional lives of thousands of staff working in the further education (FE) sector. The project, sponsored by the University and College Union (UCU), adopted a mixed-methods approach and was carried out over a year (2012-13). This article argues that lesson observation has become a central crucible in which power is exercised over individuals and institutions alike under the guise of measuring and improving teacher performance. It considers what lessons can be learnt about its current use and concludes with recommendations as to what needs to change to enable the education sector to make better use of observation in the future.

 

Teacher Professionalism: subverting the society of control

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.223

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The past 30 years have seen a series of major shifts in English education. Central to these changes has been the growth of data systems which now measure and control the work of teachers to a huge degree. This form of data-led surveillance was predicted in the work of Gilles Deleuze, a totalising process where data become more important than the individuals to which they relate. This article considers the ramifications of the development of a ‘Society of Control’ within education before arguing that teachers have begun to identify and occupy nomadic spaces capable of subverting State narratives and building new opportunities for professionalism. The development of teacher-led professional development and the use of social media have both led to new opportunities for professional dialogue and debate which are important in counteracting policy developments enacted by those outside the profession. Finally, it is suggested that responsibilities come with the creation of new spaces for professional dialogue and development if teachers are to move centre stage in the wider educational debate.

 

Does Two into School Really Go?

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.235

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Policy in relation to early years education is developing apace and is likely to be a significant issue in the 2015 election. This articles critiques current government thinking with its emphasis on ‘school readiness’. The article argues that the emotional and learning needs of young children are being neglected by a system that sees early years education as necessary to ensure ‘we can compete in the global race’. The article argues that we must resist the drive towards ‘schoolification’ and instead ensure that the long-term emotional well-being of children is the central aim of early years education.

 

Finding the Openings Amid the Closings: one school’s approach to taking ownership of teaching and learning

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.249

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Education is in challenging times, largely due to economic cutbacks on the one hand and growing demands on teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population on the other. Given these constraints, teachers’ desire and self-confidence to initiate and use their own imaginations to meet the diverse needs of their students is diminished. This article focuses on an approach that demonstrates how teachers in one school took ownership of their teaching and learning within these constraints, resulting in a more sustainable approach to teaching and learning for all students. The article draws on findings from a qualitative study in a large urban school in the Republic of Ireland in order to demonstrate how teacher agency can be fostered and developed over time. The analysis shows that teachers are ultimately concerned with what will work for their students in their classrooms, and consequently they will sustain practices that meet the needs of their students. This article argues that teachers are willing to use innovative and imaginative approaches to sustainability, and open to the idea, when empowered and facilitated to do so. Arguably affording teachers autonomy to be more innovative and creative leads to teachers taking ownership of their own teaching and learning, which can lead to more sustainable outcomes. The authors conclude that despite a global economic recession and increasing demands on teachers, there are openings within the closings where teachers can take ownership of their teaching and learning, which arguably results in more imaginative and innovative practices for sustainable futures.

 

Teachers Are Doing It For Themselves: using social media for professional development and advocacy

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.265

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Social media, such as Twitter and blogs, has opened up new possibilities for teachers to communicate. In the face of increasingly centralised policy agendas, social media has created spaces for teachers to talk to each other, share with each other and learn from each other. This article explores how teachers are creating their own spaces by using social media and how social media can support both autonomous professional learning and new forms of activism.

 

Moments or a Movement? Teacher Resistance to Neoliberal Education Reform

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.277

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Public school teachers in the USA are working in an era of intense interference from neoliberal reform policies. Corporate-driven forces are working to dismantle unions, narrow curricula, replace neighborhood schools with charter schools, tie student test scores to teacher evaluations and replace university-prepared career teachers with ‘elites’ from Teach for America who have five weeks of teacher training and a two-year commitment to teach in ‘high need’ schools. Nevertheless, teachers across the USA are engaging in social action to combat neoliberal reforms. This article examines instances of teacher action and asks: are these moments of teacher resistance or the beginning of a movement of teacher resistance to neoliberal school reform?

 

Flipping the Educational System: putting teachers at the heart of teaching

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.289

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This article describes an initiative led by two classroom teachers from the Netherlands to put teachers back at the centre of the educational process. The article argues that the educational system has become inverted, with those who are most influential (teachers) having the least opportunity to influence. The challenge is to ‘flip the system’ so that government and school leaders throughout the system are focused on supporting teachers.

 

Standing Up for Education: organising at the local level

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.293

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This article describes how one local teachers’ union branch has developed an active and imaginative campaign as it has challenged both national education policy and also the very specific attacks on schools in the community. By connecting local and national issues, and by linking struggles on pay and pensions to wider questions of policy, the local union has been able to engage both teachers and parents in broad campaigns that ‘stand up for education’.

 

Standing Up for Education: building a national campaign

http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2014.56.2.299

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Over the past four years, the UK coalition government has made significant progress in transforming the state education system. This transformation has its roots in a longer-term restructuring of education. This article argues that, in order to counter this attack, we need to build a movement around an alternative vision of education. Further, it argues that the Stand Up for Education campaign, through posing five key demands and a three-strand strategy to campaign for them, provides an opportunity to outline an alternative and build such a movement.

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