Anyone who has ever heard Debra Kidd speak or read her blog will expect this book to be provocative yet empowering, and it doesn't disappoint. It is laced with her sharp-witted political insights, deep pedagogical understanding and fierce passion to fight for the best possible education we can offer children: one where they thrive and love knowledge and learning.
At a time of divide and conquer, when teachers are beginning to turn on each other and “have become complicit in the act of dream slaying”, you would expect this to be a morbid reflection. Yes, at times, it is not an easy read because we are all challenged to take a long hard look at our practice: there are some difficult home truths, “we are architects of our own oppression”. However hope runs all the way through. Debra helps us imagine a different system: “reconceptualising” the future, present and past for our pupils; encouraging us to take a long view of learning: to “make it matter”. She challenges us as readers, as well as the politicians, to create change together. Debra is not dictating to us to rise up without instruction; she continually urges us, “Let's-¦” and offers endless suggestions on where to start.
Throughout she acts as an informed signpost: pointing us to likeminded thinkers to strengthen her argument, inform us and sharpen our resolve. Her incredible depth of knowledge is evident in the relatively huge bibliography.
Revolution is a hot topic at present: many are donning the symbolic beret and offering alternatives, without actually doing anything concrete. This book further proves what a true teaching revolutionary Debra Kidd is and the proactive bright light to lead us out of these dark times-¦even if she is a bit “argumentative and nowty”.
So here, when she calls for us to rise up as “pedagogical activists”, take the oath, find our “authentic teacher self” and reclaim our vocation, we should listen and act-¦let's!