The Perfect Storm : Gove’s Teacher Shortage

Something hideous this way comes. It’s a teacher shortage. Nothing new there, I hear you say. But this one is going to be  a cracker, and it’s one which has been manufactured by Gove and his fellow travellers.

All commentators appear to be in agreement that we’re already undergoing a teacher shortage. The reasons for this are manifold, but let me lay out what I see as the causes of the approaching storm. There are two aspects to this, recruitment and retention, both of which are heading in the wrong direction. Continue reading

The Growth Mindset : Telling Penguins to Flap Harder ?

I’m not sure whether this particular blog might lose me friends. It’s not intended to, but I’m going to stumble into an area where I know some people have very strong views. It was prompted by a post-parents’ evening trawl through some blogs, and I came across this blog by Dylan Wiliam :

I’m generally a fan of Dylan Wiliam, although I once tried to joke with him on Twitter, and I’m not sure my humour survived the transition to 140 characters. If I made any impression, it was almost certainly a bad one. Oh well. In any case, it’s not actually his blog on feedback which is at issue here – it’s a good piece, and I agree with the central message about marking/feedback. The bit I want to write about is this :

“Students must understand that they are not born with talent (or lack of it) and that their personalities do not determine whether or not they are “good at math” or “good at writing.” Rather, ability is incremental. The harder you work, the smarter you get. Once students begin to understand this “growth mindset” as Carol Dweck calls it, students are much more likely to embrace feedback from their teachers.”

The thing is, I disagree. Continue reading