FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 57 Number 1 2015

Archive

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

 

Patrick Yarker. Editorial. Political Re-education, pages 3-6 http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.7 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS

Stephen J. Ball. Back to Basics: repoliticising education, pages 7-9

Richard Hatcher. Labour’s New Education Policy Document: tensions, ambivalences and silences, pages 11-14

Melissa Benn. Bacc to the Future: why we urgently need a more coherent and exciting framework for learning, pages 15-18

Martin Allen. Rather Than ‘Two Nation’ Labour, a Good General Education for Everybody, pages 19-22 http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.19 VIEW FULL TEXT

Mary James. League Tables Must Go: there are better ways of ensuring a quality education for all our children, pages 23-26

Sue Cox. The Future of Primary Education, pages 27-30

Leena Robertson. Early Years: young children deserve the best possible start in life, pages 31-34

Sally Tomlinson. Labour Policy for Lower Achievers, Special Needs and Disabilities, pages 35-38

Dave Hill. A Socialist Education Manifesto, pages 39-42

Carol Hayton. An End to Selection at Eleven: the long battle to make Labour listen, pages 43-48 OPEN ACCESS

Andria Runcieman. Developing Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning through Lesson Study, pages 49-58

Patrick Ainley. English Higher Education: fees are only the half of it!, pages 59-66

Neil Mercer. Why Oracy Must Be in the Curriculum (and Group Work in the Classroom), pages 67-74

Julian Stern. Children’s Voice or Children’s Voices? How Educational Research Can be at the Heart of Schooling, pages 75-90

Richard Harris. My Thirty-four Years as a School Governor, with Reflections on Some Aspects of Curriculum Change, pages 91-95

Peter Mitchell. Inner London’s Education Authority: reflections on ILEA twenty-five years after closure, pages 97-102

Michael Armstrong. Marion Richardson: Art and the Child, a forgotten classic, pages 103-111

†Marion Richardson. Children’s Drawing, pages 113-116 http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.113 VIEW FULL TEXT

BOOK REVIEW
Double Harness: an autobiography (Robin Tanner), reviewed by Patrick Yarker, pages 119-123 http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.119 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS


 

Back to Basics: repoliticising education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.7

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This article is about the ‘who’ of policy rather than the ‘what’. It is a plea for debate and discussion about the purposes of education. It is an argument for replacing technocratic solutions with democratic ones. It is about possibility rather than necessity.

 

Labour’s New Education Policy Document: tensions, ambivalences and silences

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.11

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This article critically examines the Labour Party’s policies for local school systems, focusing on its proposals for regional Directors of School Standards, for academies and free schools, and for local democracy, and offers an alternative approach.

 

Bacc to the Future: why we urgently need a more coherent and exciting framework for learning

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.15

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Our current curriculum and qualifications framework is a ‘fragmented mess’ according to many of those who teach in, and lead, our schools. How can we change it with minimal disruption, particularly after four years of often destructive meddling from above? A number of individuals and groups at school level have been working to develop a ‘baccalaureate’ style approach to learning and accreditation which offers a genuinely comprehensive framework for a modern comprehensive system. To implement it would involve minimal disruption and public expenditure, merely large doses of pedagogic and political imagination and will. Can our politicians meet the challenge?

 

League Tables Must Go: there are better ways of ensuring a quality education for all our children

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.23

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Despite claims made for them, many current education policies have perverse consequences. If all our children are to benefit from the good education they deserve, we need: forms of accountability that do not rely on school performance tables of test results; a focus on standards that embody high expectations for all; the urgent creation of a College of Teaching; the establishment of a national board of education that sits above party politics and can plan long term.

 

The Future of Primary Education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.27

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In this article the author argues that an incoming government should establish a new values base for educational policy focused on the well-being and educational entitlement of all children rather than the education market. A new government must prioritise learning and teaching: rather than pursuing an ideological agenda and attempting to control how teachers teach, it should respect the knowledge and expertise of educational professionals. The author illustrates how the instrumentalism of free market ideology carries pedagogical assumptions that are inappropriate and detrimental to children and their learning. Government’s role, she suggests, should be to provide the right conditions for the development of education: the alleviation of poverty; the provision of equality of opportunity for all; and respect for the agency, voices and knowledge of the professional and wider communities, including children.

 

Early Years: young children deserve the best possible start in life

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.31

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That all young children should have the best possible start in life is a statement that tends to be met with universal agreement. This article, however, argues there are very many different kinds of ideologies that shape the kinds of ‘best starts’ early years teachers should strive for at a time when childhood poverty in rising and when early years settings are expected to promote a particular current type of ‘school readiness’. Another national challenge is the fragmentation of workforce that directly impacts on the quality of the early years settings. This article calls for more efforts to sustain good-quality practices, such as integrated early years centres, and regardless of cost to develop long-term solutions for all young children.

 

Labour Policy for Lower Achievers, Special Needs and Disabilities

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.35

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This article notes that the attempt to include all young people in education, an aim of Labour governments over the years, still relies on an expanded and expensive special educational needs ‘industry’. How to include all lower attainers and those with disabilities in the education system and the economy is a political issue for a Labour government. A start should be made on changing a competitive, hierarchical system that relegates many working-class children to lower levels of education and enhances middle-class fears for their ‘less able’ children.

 

A Socialist Education Manifesto

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.39

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In this article the author suggests a number of measures and policies that should be part of a socialist education manifesto. These specific suggestions address curriculum and assessment issues such as an anti-discriminatory curriculum for equality, funded education outside the school, the development of critical thinking and democracy in schools, and teacher education and qualifications. The author locates these policies within his own class background and autobiography.

 

An End to Selection at Eleven: the long battle to make Labour listen

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.43

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The author is a long-time advocate inside the Labour Party for ending selective education and the 11-plus. She outlines how Labour Party frontbenchers routinely ignore or deflect calls from Party members to stand up for comprehensive education in both word and deed. As UKIP, whose policy is to extend selective education more widely, rises in the polls, it is even more urgent that Labour makes the case for comprehensive success and offers a comprehensive future.

 

Developing Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning through Lesson Study

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.49

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The author, who teaches in a Norfolk comprehensive school, presents an account of her involvement with the new research practice of lesson study, and discusses its benefits as part of a continuing professional development programme designed to encourage teachers to become more reflective.

 

English Higher Education: fees are only the half of it!

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.59

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Tertiary-level educational provision is being increasingly fragmented by government policies, with malign consequences for students and institutions. As currently constituted, higher education works to entrench inequalities and devalue qualifications, while bipartisanship around the future of further education risks reprising past failures. What is needed is to replace market-driven expansion and competition with regional cooperation in order to reintegrate the system and rediscover the purpose of education at tertiary level. An expectation of, and an entitlement to, local/regional adult further and higher continuing education should be integral to school leaving. The system should be founded on a common general but not academic schooling up to age 18, linked to the assumption of democratic citizenship.

 

Why Oracy Must Be in the Curriculum (and Group Work in the Classroom)

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.67

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In this article it is argued that the development of young people’s skills in using spoken language should be given more time and attention in the school curriculum. The author discusses the importance of the effective use of spoken language in educational and work settings, considers what research has told us about the factors that make group discussions productive or otherwise and outlines the practical guidance that research can provide for teachers on such matters. On this basis, the author suggests that recent actions by the Westminster government to devalue ‘speaking and listening’ in the National Curriculum are seriously misguided, as also are the polemical attacks on group-based activity in the classroom mounted by government supporters.

 

Children’s Voice or Children’s Voices? How Educational Research Can be at the Heart of Schooling

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.75

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There are problems with considering children and young people in schools as quite separate individuals, and with considering them as members of a single collectivity. The tension is represented in the use of ‘voice’ and ‘voices’ in educational debates. Voices in dialogue, in contrast to ‘children’s voice’, are important and are of more value than can be described in the term ‘democracy’. The voices of children and young people are presented, from a study of aloneness in schools. Analysis of the voices suggests they were involved in distinctively hermeneutic work, and an approach to research that generates such hermeneutics might be called a form of ‘action philosophy’. This approach to research is surprising, and it can put voicing at the very heart of schooling, within classes.

 

My Thirty-four Years as a School Governor, with Reflections on Some Aspects of Curriculum Change

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.91

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This reflection does not pretend to be a scientific survey of curriculum trends but is, as the title suggests, a personal reminiscence of governorship across different phases of education, with snippets about the curriculum that my memory recalls.

 

Inner London’s Education Authority: reflections on ILEA twenty-five years after closure

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.97

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It is 25 years since the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) was abolished and management of education in central London transferred to 13 London boroughs. The author reflects on the experience of being an ex-ILEA head teacher, and of managing one of the new local education authorities in the immediate post-ILEA period. He begins by commenting on the role played by this journal in supporting dialogue between teachers and academics at a time of heightened debate about non-selective education.

 

Marion Richardson: Art and the Child, a forgotten classic

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.1.103

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Marion Richardson was a revolutionary art teacher and schools inspector. First published in 1948, her book Art and the Child is one of the most remarkable educational documents of the period between the first and second world wars. This article reviews Richardson’s philosophy and practice of art and suggests its continuing significance for the teaching of art today.

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