Product reviews for Never Mind The Inspectors

Kenny Pieper, English teacher in a Scottish Secondary School
It might be a difficult truth but we teachers are often more conservative than we care to admit. We find change terrifying at times, seeking solace in our well-trodden lesson plans and comfort in the known. Why deviate from that path when it works? It works? Well, it depends who you ask, if you ask at all.

It would be easy to say, if that sums up your teaching experience, that Tait's book is not for you. However, this is exactly the book you should be reading. This short book, like the punk movement in general, questions every assumption we've ever had about our classrooms; every belief we've ever stood by; every truism we've ever thought true. It is often an uncomfortable book to read, but no less essential.

Peppered with quotations from the masters (Tait'll hate that), this book asks us to throw out everything we believe about teaching and start again. Punk learning, the author insists, is not a series of lessons but a -˜frame of mind'. On almost every page there is a moment when you simultaneously cheer in celebration and gulp with terror at the prospect of punk learning in your classroom.

Touching on the work of Hattie, Nuthall, Strummer and Bragg, amongst many others, Tait convinced me that, worryingly, everything I've ever done in class was wrong. That depressing realisation was quickly replaced by the verve and excitement at the prospect of punk learning. His uncompromising narrative leaves no room for doubt. -˜Please think carefully before you read any further.' The author's passion and integrity shines through on every page. There is a genuine commitment to the learning of his pupils rather than his own teaching which makes Punk Learning such a valuable book.
This is not a book which will leave you with a warm glow. It may even anger you at times. Who does he think he is, after all? However, there is no book like this on the shelves. There is no book which asks you to rip it up and start again. It'll make you think twice about those well-produced lesson plans you've just completed. And perhaps that's not a bad thing.
Passing control of the classroom over to the pupils might seem mad at first but, after reading Tait's book, it'll make perfect sense. As he says in the book, it works because he does it on a day-to-day basis and that's hard to ignore. Buy it, borrow it, steal it -”just read it. Take a risk and get some punk learning into your classroom. Stand back and watch -¦
Guest | 16/04/2014 01:00
Was this review helpful? Yes No (0/0)