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Showing posts from May, 2020

A thought on 21st Century Education

One of the educational buzzwords that I am attached to is ‘21st Century education’. I love it. And, while I am partly sure it is connected to my love of sci-fi and watching the Jetsons as a child, I think it encapsulates the idea that known-unknown that is how people will live and work in the near and far future. As a teacher, this interests me for several reasons. The first being that, as technology transforms our society at breakneck speed, this uncertain future is actually quite close. The second being that growing conviction that the way we educate children is not preparing them for this future.

A challenge for educators has always been how to make education as relevant as possible for learners; relevant not only for their future but also for their present. Contending with a society that is being rapidly transformed by technology, education has difficulty maintaining its relevance. I want to avoid cliched generalisations, but there is much truth in the idea that many of the jobs t…

New normal, but was it ever normal?

I’m a late thirty-something, I am a self-employed teacher, writer, lecturer. My working life is made up of temporary and short-term contracts, and most of the work that I do is self-generated. It relies me to be creative, flexible, endlessly innovative, patient and (an introvert’s nightmare) collaborative. We’ve not met, so before you paint a picture for yourself of me as a cross between Andy Warhol and Benjamin Franklin (just imagine the hair), I can also point out that working this way requires me to be happy to make mistakes (a lot, and I’m not usually happy about it), reflective (hello crushing self-doubt) and the rest.

This is becoming increasingly normal for fellow thirty-somethings who might find that description of working routines a familiar one. It is, however, a regime that probably horrifies traditionally-minded, nine to fivers. My mother, for example, probably does not think that the freedom to work in a cafe or in my pyjamas at home is enough of a trade-off for a proper…

BERA blog post on creativity and teacher identity

My first BERA blog post 'Teacher identity in a performative age: Coming to research through autoethnography' was published this week. In this piece I reflect on the themes of my recent MRes which explored the experiences of my teaching career using a personal, reflective research method - autoethnography.

The main question is how can teachers promote creativity - which thrives on risk - in a competitive education that prioritises performance.

The feedback to this post has been really positive. Please access my blog post here: https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/teacher-identity-in-a-performative-age-coming-to-research-through-autoethnography