FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 59 Number 3 2017

Archive

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

 

Against Segregated Education

Patrick Yarker. Editorial. Against Segregated Education, pages 305-308 FREE ACCESS VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.305

Melissa Benn & Jane Martin. The 'Patron Saint' of Comprehensive Education: an interview with Clyde Chitty. Part One, pages 309-324 FREE ACCESS

Diane Reay. The State Education Is In: recognising the challenge of achieving a fair educational system in post-Brexit, austerity England, pages 325-330

Emma-Louise Williams & Michael Rosen. My Secondary Modern: stories from the invisible generation, pages 331-343

Stewart Ranson. Democratising Comprehensiveness: a prospectus, pages 345-355

Michael Fielding. On the Insistent Possibility of Comprehensive Secondary Education, pages 357-360

Mike Davies. A World We Never Had: the forgotten quest for a comprehensive school curriculum, pages 361-371

David Taylor. Taking off into a Strong Headwind: creating truly comprehensive, human-scale secondary education against the prevailing gales of performativity, pages 373-379

Derek Gillard. Labour and the Grammar Schools: a history, pages 381-393

Susanne Wiborg. The Politics of Blocking Equality Reforms in Education: a study of organised interests in England, 1965 2010, pages 395-411

Max A. Hope. Reframing 'Attainment': creating and developing spaces for learning within schools, pages 413-422

Luke Abbott. 'Mantle of the Expert' as a Route to Irresistible Learning and Transformative Teaching, pages 423-431

John Blanchard. Checklists for Learning: when, why and how to pay attention, pages 433-444

Patrick Yarker. Segregated Education and the FORUM Archive: six decades of writing against the grammar/secondary modern divide and in favour of comprehensive education (including The Grammar/Secondary Modern Divide: a table of articles from the FORUM archive), pages 445-463

Madeleine Holt. 'The Human Side Takes Priority': remembering Kathleen Mitchell, pages 465-469

Mary Jane Drummond. Mabel Barker, Unknown Heroine, pages 471-476

Lorna Shires. It's All About the Teacher: why that 'truth' might not be all that it seems, pages 477-482

Margaret M. Clark. Literacy Learning in the Twenty-first Century: how much have we learnt?, pages 483-493


 

The 'Patron Saint' of Comprehensive Education: an interview with Clyde Chitty. Part One

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.309

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FORUM invited Melissa Benn and Jane Martin to interview Clyde Chitty, a brilliant and effective classroom and university teacher, one of the most well-known advocates of comprehensive education, a long-standing member of FORUM's editorial board, and for two decades co-editor of the publication. It was Michael Armstrong who called him 'the patron saint of the movement for comprehensive education', in a card written to Clyde when he stepped away from regular duties with the FORUM board. In three 45-minute interviews, conducted at Clyde's home, Clyde shared reflections with us on a working life as a teacher-researcher who notably campaigned for the universal provision of comprehensive state education. In this article, which comprises Part One of the interviews (Part Two will appear in the spring 2018 number of FORUM), Clyde's unshakeable conviction that education has the power to enhance the lives of all is illustrated by plentiful examples from his work-life history.

 

 

The State Education Is In: recognising the challenge of achieving a fair educational system in post-Brexit, austerity England

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.325

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This article examines the problem of the wider economic and political context for any project aimed at achieving a fairer educational system. The consequences of the current status quo can be seen in diminishing funding and rising inequalities. The author argues that the answer lies not in tinkering with an unjust education system but rather in big, bold initiatives that are transformative rather than incremental.

 

My Secondary Modern: stories from the invisible generation

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.331

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One of the least recorded and analysed aspects of English and Welsh education is the personal experience of millions of people attending secondary modern schools following the 1944 Education Act. Since 2012, Emma-Louise Williams and Michael Rosen have hosted a moderated blog for self-selecting personal testimony from anyone involved. So far, some 90 people have contributed posts or comments and the blog has received approximately 100,000 views. This article reviews the material while bearing in mind its particularity.

 

Democratising Comprehensiveness: a prospectus

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.345

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This article begins with a proposal to recreate the neighbourhood school as a comprehensive campus that stretches across a segment of a city or county in order to ensure children and young people experience class and cultural diversity in their learning.

 

On the Insistent Possibility of Comprehensive Secondary Education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.357

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This article reflects on the two subsequent articles - the first by Mike Davies and the second by David Taylor - that provide exhilarating challenges to the diminishing and demeaning status quo of current education policy and practice in England.

 

A World We Never Had: the forgotten quest for a comprehensive school curriculum

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.361

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Recently the spectre of increased selection has raised much attention, frequently associated with 'fairness' linked to a meritocracy - reminding us of the tension between the principles of equality of opportunity and access as the key driver of the comprehensive school as against the principles of equal value and respect. Whether the public's interest and imagination can be galvanised to support and celebrate the comprehensive ideal of equal value will have a profound and defining effect on the future of comprehensive schools. This article is an exploration of some of the issues, especially relating to the curriculum.

 

Taking off into a Strong Headwind: creating truly comprehensive, human-scale secondary education against the prevailing gales of performativity

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.373

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Stanley Park High was designated a Building Schools for the Future 'One School Pathfinder' in 2006, and charged with being innovative in all aspects of schooling. This article, which prefaces a number of forthcoming contributions about interconnected practices at the school, focuses on the journey of reform, one that has rightly challenged the dominant and compliant view, and that embraces the progressive tradition of comprehensive education in order to unleash the innate creativity of our students and the professional capital of our teachers.

 

Labour and the Grammar Schools: a history

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.381

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This article outlines the Labour Party's attitude to selective secondary education from the creation of the party in 1900 to the present day. It notes early calls for comprehensive schools; seeks to explain why the post-war Attlee government was so committed to the tripartite system of secondary schools; recounts the failure of the Wilson governments in the 1960s and '70s to legislate for a fully comprehensive system; describes the assault on the comprehensive ideal led by Tony Blair and Andrew Adonis; and concludes with an account of Labour's response to Theresa May's proposal to bring back the eleven plus.

 

The Politics of Blocking Equality Reforms in Education: a study of organised interests in England, 1965 2010

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.395

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This article investigates how vested interests, particularly the teacher unions, responded to the British Labour government's school reforms designed to increase educational equality. Two significant reforms introduced to this end were Circular 10/65 on comprehensive education and the Learning and Skills Act of 2000 on the City Academies. The circular was intended to put an end to the selective, tripartite school system, and the City Academies were new schools aimed specifically at improving educational standards for low-performing children in socially deprived areas. The teacher unions, particularly the National Union of Teachers (NUT), fought against these reforms. Their objection to the reforms is all the more perplexing considering the fact that the NUT has expressed staunch support for equalising the school system and providing special measures for poor children. The investigation, which utilises political science theories on organised interests in education, education policy research, and primary source materials amassed from the NUT archives, analyses why the teacher unions' objection contradicts their efforts to block educational inequality.

 

Reframing 'Attainment': creating and developing spaces for learning within schools

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.413

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This article, based on a keynote presentation given at a conference in Tasmania, examines the notion of 'attainment' and argues that a narrow focus on standardised test scores is highly problematic for those concerned with social justice. Using examples from the Freedom to Learn Project, this article presents two case studies of schools that 'think outside the box'. These schools use ideas which act as a disruption to mainstream thinking in that they challenge many assumed norms in education: that children need to be taught; that teachers are experts; that classrooms need to instil discipline; that the essence of learning can be assessed; that 'standards' can be equated with test scores. The article argues that part of the task of those wanting to reform education is to create spaces within education; spaces where students, staff and school leaders have freedom to think differently, to learn differently and to behave differently. It ends with a glimmer of optimism for UK schools as the Chief Inspector of Schools has recently criticised those who 'mistake badges and stickers for learning itself'. This could be a green light to re-frame the 'attainment' discourse so that it works in the interests of all children and young people.

 

'Mantle of the Expert' as a Route to Irresistible Learning and Transformative Teaching

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.423

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This article is an attempt to re-imagine the professional positioning of schooling, learning and teaching by offering an account of approaches adopted by 'Mantle of the Expert' practitioners.

 

Checklists for Learning: when, why and how to pay attention

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.433

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This article gives an overview of the author's book Inside Teaching: how to make a difference for every learner and teacher (Routledge, 2017), and focuses on how checklist processes can be used to help clarify and guide purposes and ways of working. The intention is to be systematic and explicit without being bureaucratic and moribund. Effective decision-making in learning and teaching is seen to be associated with choosing when and how to pay attention to what matters most. Underpinning the discussion is a twin assumption: teachers also learn and learners teach. What applies to learners usually applies to teachers too, and vice versa.

 

Segregated Education and the FORUM Archive: six decades of writing against the grammar/secondary modern divide and in favour of comprehensive education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.445

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Scores of articles in FORUM have engaged for almost sixty years with a range of substantive issues relating to the grammar/secondary modern school divide, and to the movement for comprehensive reform. These articles constitute an invaluable resource for campaigners and historians. Highlighted and introduced here are half a dozen such articles drawn from a group of fifty listed elsewhere in this issue. All fifty are freely available in the online archive via the FORUM website (www.wwwords.co.uk/FORUM).

 

'The Human Side Takes Priority': remembering Kathleen Mitchell

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.465

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This article is an extended version of the obituary for Kathleen Mitchell, innovative headteacher, which appeared in the Guardian.

 

Mabel Barker, Unknown Heroine

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.471

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An account of the life of Mabel Barker, teacher, rock climber and pioneer outdoor educator.

 

It's All About the Teacher: why that 'truth' might not be all that it seems

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.477

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This article explores the contextual detail behind a widely used quotation about the differing impact of teachers. It finds that it originates from a single paper in the USA, and that it is unclear how the quotation arises from a very specific data set from a very specific context.

 

Literacy Learning in the Twenty-first Century: how much have we learnt?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2017.59.3.483

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Languages differ in the way that speech and meaning are represented in written form: in English, the correspondences are variable. Thus, in learning to read in English there is need for an approach that combines alphabetic decoding and a mastery of sight vocabulary. Teaching children to read should develop from an analysis of the skills and knowledge young children bring to the learning situation. When they start school, some children can already read with understanding, yet frequently their needs are overlooked. England is only one of the countries where evidence from research is being ignored, simplistic tests are driving the curriculum, available resources are being spent on commercial products linked to the tests and schools are being ranked by the percentage of children who pass such tests.

 

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