I wrote this book after I retired. It tells it how it is.
Here is an extract.
The Future of education
Britain is renowned for its innovation, creativity and invention. It was not for nothing that the industrial revolution started up here. That is what we are good at. That is what our education system needs to foster.
We seem to be at a perennial cross-road.
We have people harking back to the past and people looking forward.
I’m in the forward thinking group. I believe the world has changed. There is a whole new technology out there. We need an education system that reflects this and prepares students for that world. We must enable our students to compete with the rest of the world. Our country’s economy depends on the skills of its citizens.
This is the age of computers, I-Phones, Wikipedia and the World Wide Web. There is no need to remember information. It is there at your finger tips. There is no need to write up experiments; you can record them on your phone, fill in tables on your phone and look up whatever you need.
This is an age that really favours creativity, innovation and invention. All we have to do is harness the technology and free the imagination. We let all that passion and enthusiasm lose on the world and help guide it. Students love to learn. It is human nature. We have to nurture that enthusiasm. All too often it is present in primary school and dies the death in secondary. That is because the students are stifled by the process of education.
I am all for seizing the future. I wish I had access to those resources when I was in the classroom.
Some schools are banning phones because they see them as a distraction. I argue the opposite. I would embrace them whole-heartedly. I would have the students using phones in every lesson. I can imagine science lessons with endless investigation and experiment; with students recording on their phones and beaming their results and conclusion through to the teacher.
How motivating! Newton would have loved it!
That’s the future! Surely that’s the future!!!
Review: In this autobiographical account of his life as Head Teacher of Beverley Grammar School, Chris takes us through many of the failings of the post-war education system to the much superior, more flexible teaching of the twenty-first century. Along the way, he enthuses about rock music, leadership vs management, and – particularly – the kids. If you can make every lesson fun, every child feel cared for, and every staff member nurtured, attendance and results will pretty much look after themselves. You can pass every Ofsted inspection with flying colours, and your school can become best in class (no pun intended).
I was at college with Chris, and it didn’t seem to me then that he was destined to be a head teacher of a secondary school – a music critic, more like. He has done education a great service by showing you can be a rebel and get results too. I hadn’t expected to enjoy this book as much as I did; it has extraordinary energy and a lust for achievement. Every teacher should read it! 8/10 (October 2014)