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Dark Puss

I wish I was like Furnivall, and I wish more of my students had the mindset of Andy. Perhaps if I could achieve the first the second would follow.

David Nolan (dsc73277)

This style of teaching sounds appealing to me too. I was always most impressed by the teachers who, first and foremost, wanted to inspire their class members with an interest in their particular subject.

Sadly, it seems this is no longer considered best practice. According to an item on this morning's BH (BBC Radio 4), the primary characteristic of a good teacher is one who sets demanding goals. They featured a music teacher who did sound quite inspiring when teaching her subject, but personally I felt uncomfortable with her setting getting into Oxford as a goal for her year 7 (first year secondary in my era) form group. Similarly, there was a maths teacher setting goals relating to GCSE several years in advance.

Of course, my discomfort with this approach may simply reflect my personal preferences and prejudices. I've always been far better at engaging with subject content than with setting goals, which may explain why I excelled at school and university but have subsequently (by certain measures) under-achieved in life.

Despite all that is said about exams getting easier, I don't envy today's generation of school and university students at all. The competition to get on seems very tough to an outside observer.

I'm currently reading Inheritance too. I look forward to reading a full review should you feel inclined to write one.


I like the comment above! I can think of a few teachers like this, was lucky obviously.

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