A Little Learning: Broodings from the Back of the Class by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves

This vigorous choice brings jointly journalist and broadcaster Libby Purves’ reports as journalist, guardian, governor and previous scholar of part a dozen different colleges from Bangkok to Tunbridge Wells, showing her eclectic and provocative critiques and ideas on instructing and studying. This selection of the easiest of her writing within the Times academic Supplement covers - occasionally thoughtfully, occasionally satirically - every thing from nationwide coverage to the oddities of headteachers and the restrictions of IT.

Education pros through the years have acquired her outsider view with enthusiasm, laughter, idea and coffee fury. From ministerial insanity to the pitfalls of uniform and the vagaries of youngsters, this ebook is devoted to the leisure of a cadre of execs Libby as soon as deliberate to hitch, until eventually she misplaced her nerve. it truly is devoted, with thank you and admiration, to all lecturers.

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Extra resources for A Little Learning: Broodings from the Back of the Class

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However wild a party animal you may be at heart, howeverfull of ‘needs’ and ‘issues’, however loose and carefree and multi-coloured your natural personality, if you’re a teacher you have to can it. You have to dress in respectable clothes, keep order, count heads, moderate your language, and watch your behaviour – as they say in business – 24-seven. On the face of it, the affair of Big Brother contestant Penny – otherwise known as Lisa Ellis – of the Sarah Bonnell community school is just another example of this harsh rule.

Speaking as a seasoned chairperson of such conferences (they like an amateur in the hot-seat), I can tell you that the journalists always go for the second row, as near the exits as they can; that the front row is full of caringprofessions who have sunny natures and nothing to hide; that headteachers like to be surrounded by other headteachers like wildebeeste huddling for safety at a watering-hole; that the intent women in the middle whose hands shoot up simultaneously like synchronised swimmers are school nurses; that the man who ignores the flat writing-surface on the arm of his chair to scribble secretively on his knee is from the Office for Standards in Education; and that if you take a question from the back, it almost always turns out to be a really, really angry Scot who begins ‘I’ve been teaching for 20 years .

The suggestion is that this is a mere commercial decision, and will prevent anyone large from applying to the store. But the more I thought about the idea, the more strangely attractive it was. It may well backfire on the firm, with increasingly long (and wide) queues forming as those who feel the need for a bit more exercise in their life apply to work for Wal-Mart. Think about it. Rather than being stuck for eight hours on a till, sitting on your ever-spreading bum, swiping barcodes and pushing the conveyor-belt control, life would become varied.

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