FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 62 Number 1 2020

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

 

Celebrating Education

Gawain Little, Ken Jones & Jess Edwards. Editorial. Celebrating Education, pages 3-6 FREE ACCESS VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.3

Terry Wrigley. Pedagogy and Enlightenment, pages 7-18

Phil Wright. Pedagogy for Transformability: a challenge to ‘psychological prisons’ of fixed learner identities and claims of ‘pedagogic naivety’? Teachers’ Perspectives, pages 19-29

Catherine Gripton & Rupert Knight. Walking the Talk: moving forwards with sustained shared thinking and dialogic teaching, pages 31-40

Faye Worthy-Pauling. There’s No Time to Talk because the Evidence is in the Writing’: fostering talk in an evidence-driven primary education culture, pages 41-52

Tony Eaude. The Humanities as an Essential Element of a Balanced and Broadly Based Primary Curriculum, pages 53-64

Julian Williams. 'Mastery Mathematics' - but Who is the Slave?, pages 65-68

Fufy Demissie. The Philosophy for Children Pedagogy in a University-Based Initial Teacher Education Course: a case study of a 'disruptive' pedagogy, pages 69-78

Tim Taylor & Nicole Winter. Mantle of the Expert, pages 79-89

Penny Hay, Ruth Sapsed & Esther Sayers. Creative Activism: learning everywhere with children and young people, pages 91-106

Colin Richards. Being an Inspector is Not a Bed of Roses, pages 107-110

Paul Parslow-Williams, Gemma Watts, Emily Rowe, Zoe Cole & Jenifer Smith. How We Teach: the start of a longer conversation, pages 111-112

Gawain Little. Where Now for Pedagogy in England?, pages 123-136

BOOK REVIEW
Education and Democratic Participation: the making of learning communities (Stewart Ranson), reviewed by Patrick Yarker, pages 139-142 VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.139


 

Pedagogy and Enlightenment

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.7

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This article aims to connect and ground the innovative pedagogies described in this issue by looking at the meaning of ‘pedagogy’ in a holistic way. Drawing on a strong European tradition which originated in the German Enlightenment, it outlines deep principles such as independent thinking, criticality, freedom and social engagement. In particular, it draws on work by Wolfgang Klafki to update and adapt these principles to the urgent needs of a world in crisis. Klafki, for example, shows how education can be simultaneously challenging and learner-friendly, and how curriculum can be shaped to focus on the major issues of our time. The final part of the article challenges the reductionism of the set of ideas which underpin government policy, and the intellectual limitations of government-sponsored ideologues in their facile use of the concept of a ‘knowledge-based curriculum’

 

 

‘Pedagogy for Transformability’: a challenge to ‘psychological prisons’ of fixed learner identities and claims of ‘pedagogic naivety’? Teachers’ Perspectives

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.19

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This article shares the perspectives of 18 primary teachers reflecting on their exploration of a ‘pedagogy for transformability’. It highlights the social, emotional and academic impacts of this approach on children, and the pedagogic choices and thinking of the teachers involved in the project. The findings demonstrate the unequivocal potential for a ‘pedagogy for transformability’ to address many of the current challenges in the education system.

 

Walking the Talk: moving forwards with sustained shared thinking and dialogic teaching

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.31

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Dialogic teaching has enormous potential to harness the power of talk in developing children’s thinking but is sometimes challenging to enact within today’s policy context. Similarly, sustained shared thinking is an established and powerful practice with children in the early years but faces pressure within today’s educational climate. Though closely related, the two have been addressed largely separately until now. The authors argue for drawing dialogic teaching and sustained shared thinking together more explicitly by reviewing how they are similar yet distinctive, and by offering a continuum model for practice, throughout school, which takes a dialogic stance. They suggest that this more holistic approach may empower teachers to utilise these powerful forms of pedagogy. Establishing a continuum within which sustained shared thinking and the many pedagogies of dialogic teaching align may strengthen both perspectives in the face of outside pressures and help to clarify the position of productive dialogue throughout the curriculum.

 

‘There’s No Time to Talk because the Evidence is in the Writing’: fostering talk in an evidence-driven primary education culture

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.41

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Pressures on primary teachers to improve writing are often to the detriment of quality talk in the classroom. This is despite decades of research emphasising that knowledge and understanding are developed through such talk. Primary teachers’ experiences of incorporating the current Spoken Language national curriculum are often at odds with current policy: some are unaware of the statutory Spoken Language curriculum while others are left to negotiate for themselves how best to incorporate talk into their practice with minimal training and guidance. This article describes the affordances for all learners when talk is incorporated as a tool for learning, developing vocabulary and ideas, having a positive impact on children’s social and emotional development, and fostering engagement in learning and academic progress. Drawing on a recent Master’s study, the author explores the experiences of teachers as they incorporate talk into their practice, and identifies the enablers and dilemmas for teachers who place talk at the heart of their practice.

 

The Humanities as an Essential Element of a Balanced and Broadly Based Primary Curriculum

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.53

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This article explores why the humanities are an essential element of a balanced and broadly based primary curriculum. While history, geography and religious education make important contributions, the humanities should be seen more broadly as the study of one’s own and other cultures, and so including areas such as literature, philosophy and drama. Active ways of working, such as fieldwork, observation, interpretation and discussion, as vital elements of the education of the whole child as a critical global citizen, are emphasised. The need for young children to learn many different types of knowledge in enabling learning environments and for teachers to develop a range of pedagogical content knowledge is highlighted. The benefits of single-subject and interdisciplinary approaches are considered.

 

‘Mastery Mathematics’ – but Who is the Slave?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.65

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This article explores the development of ‘mastery mathematics’ – a significant development in mathematics in England – and opens up some questions about the intended and unintended consequences of the promotion of this approach by the government.

 

The Philosophy for Children Pedagogy in a University-Based Initial Teacher Education Course: a case study of a ‘disruptive’ pedagogy

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.69

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The fundamental aims and outcomes of higher education are increasingly at odds with the accountability and performative agenda in higher education. Pedagogical decisions are often taken with one eye on what students ‘want’ rather than what they ‘need’. In this article, the author shows how she framed her pedagogical approach in terms of what students ‘need’ rather than just what they ‘want’. The author outlines how she adapted Philosophy for Children, an inquiry-based dialogic pedagogy, to the higher education context, and why, despite the challenges of ‘data-driven’ practices, she continues to see it as a necessary pedagogy for higher education.

 

Mantle of the Expert

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.79

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In this article, Tim Taylor, a teacher and tutor for Mantle of the Expert, and Nicole Winter, a primary school teacher and course participant, discuss a long-form Mantle of the Expert course run by the National Education Union in 2018 2019. They conclude that, whilst the approach demands a lot from teachers in terms of professional judgement and investment, it has the potential to create a classroom ethos in which children are recognised as capable learners, invested in their own learning.

 

Creative Activism: learning everywhere with children and young people

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.91

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Creative activism is an approach to education that asks: ‘What can happen when we take learning outside the classroom and think of it happening everywhere?’ Two charities – House of Imagination and Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination – have been asking this question in their creative place-making programmes working with socially engaged artists and communities linked to primary schools in Bath and Cambridge. Young children and adults co-create and speculate about the future of their communities and environments in these different geographical locations. This article draws together the authors’ shared understanding of creative pedagogies and the value to everyone of working in this way.

 

Being an Inspector is Not a Bed of Roses

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.107

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School inspection has always attracted great controversy, but especially since the inception of the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). Over the years, many voices have entered the debate about inspection, but one particular voice has hardly been heard – that of rank-and-file inspectors themselves. This attempts to offer a glimpse of their perspective through an unusual lens.

 

How We Teach: the start of a longer conversation

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.111

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In this written conversation, the staff of a small rural school embark on an exploration of their developing pedagogies. They consider some of the sources of their individual theories and practice, and show how they work together to challenge and support each other. They acknowledge the community of adults and children to which they belong and from which their pedagogy grows. They explore the nature of relationships within this community of learners and consider how they might describe the knowledge that teachers need and develop in the course of their work. Throughout the conversation runs the thread of trust and the part it plays in releasing adults and children to work at the furthest limits of possibility.

 

Where Now for Pedagogy in England?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.1.123

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Forty years ago, leading communist educationalist and FORUM editor Brian Simon wrote a chapter entitled ‘Why No Pedagogy in England?’ In it, he argued that English education had failed to develop a science of learning, due to its class-divided history, and that the time was ripe for the development of such a science. This article revisits Simon’s arguments and tries to assess the extent to which they are still valid. It concludes that, whilst there have been substantial changes over the past 40 years, the basic contention that there is no coherent science of learning in England remains true. Further, it is argued that Simon’s criteria for the development of such a science once again hold, to a greater or lesser extent, and a way forward is suggested to prepare the ground for the development of a pedagogy to guide education in England.

 

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