Product reviews for How To Teach

Patrick Ainley Professor of Training and Education, School of Education and Training, University of Greenwich Introduction/ Foreword to Phil Beadle How to Teach The BT, NQT and Teach First Bible, Crown House 2010
Some time ago Phil Beadle came to see me with the idea of writing a PhD. As with all such applicants, I asked him if he really didn`t have anything better to do with the next four or five years of his life. Luckily he did and this book is the result. It is much more readable than most PhDs since Phil`s writing is as engaging as his teaching. It is also very funny; there is a chuckle or a hoot-out-loud on every page - and how many books on education can you say that about?! As well as its supreme readability in presenting a cast of characters in situations all too well known to anyone familiar with what Phil calls `the surreal parallel universe of the classroom`, it is also remarkably practical. For the trainee and newly qualified teacher it will, like Everyman, go with them and be their guide. At the same time, like the best of PhDs rewritten for publication, it presents a complete picture of what English state schooling has become in recent years. Not only in secondary but also in primary schools, in further education colleges and even in universities, where in seminars and lectures I find myself using many of the tricks of the trade that Phil imparts to the overwhelmed and overseen pedagogue. In this way How to Teach presents not only an invaluable practical guide but is also a classic source for those seeking to understand the strange version of learning and teaching that our society has inflicted upon its young in its persistent obsession with what it calls `education`. `Why are we doing this?` asks Phil`s `poor, industrially alienated student`, accredited and assessed towards endlessly receding horizons from which any mirage of regular and rewarding employment has long vanished. If, as he admits, Phil is unable to answer this `not unreasonable question`, his book explains how the modernised and monitored, tested and target-driven culture of accumulating accreditation grinds on, `gentling the masses` as it selects a one dimensional minority while rejecting the majority who fall at every fence. But more than that, it shows how - beneath the weight of centralised inspection and audit and beyond the latest snake-oil solutions of `learning styles` or `left and right brain gym` derived from dubious neuro-mythologies - teachers still strive to retain and develop their expertise in helping students to understand themselves and the increasingly mad world we inhabit. Together with our students we can then learn from the past to alter our behaviour in the future. This critical transmission of culture down the generations is after all what institutionalised learning at all levels is supposed to be about. With insightful humour and practical wisdom, this book offers methods applicable in any classroom to regain that purpose and hope for education.
Guest | 11/03/2011 00:00
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