Tuesday, 10 November 2015

M for Macchietta


It's a complete muck-up. We've got our micros mixed up with our macros and a massive mess at the meso level, and while we're all mired in misdirection, many are muddled by the mulitudinous messages making claims about what matters. May I offer this maquette as the maiden moment of a manifesto mainly aimed at mitigating the manifold manifestations of this modern dilemna, and maybe marking the commencement of a march towards a meeting of minds?

Musings Upon Macrophagic Myopia
The cells designed to protect the body of education have begun to attack it 
and its vision is impaired.

An Adventure 65 Milliseconds In The Making

Mesdames et Messieurs! Morassic Park! Where moronic meddlers have manipulated and mutated the memetic make-up of MPs to make the Morganosaurus Rex. A Machiavellian master of maintaining mutually incompatible mindsets simultaneously, she is a menacing amelioration on former ministers.

Welcome to a magical world, where STEM can be lauded as the future of education, while the Ebacc, devoid of Technology and Engineering, is marketed as the way to better educate all young people.

Welcome to a mathematical world where a target of 90% is an achievable ambition from a baseline of 22% and everyone must be above average.

Welcome to a measurable world where national, high-stakes tests are said to improve learning, and teacher assessment to be a hindrance to it.

Welcome to a militarised world where squads of super-teachers will parachute into classrooms to combat under-achievement, and fill the gaps left by traitorous deserters who abandon their profession students for lack of grit resilience commitment.

Acronyms: Teachers love'em, apparently.
In the macro world of Morassic Park, being seen to respond to the concerns of students parents teachers researchers voters newspaper readerships is key.  Moral panics are excellent indicators of what must be done, and ought to have been done yesterday.  If policies are not rolled out quickly, heads will reshuffle. In Morassic Park, what matters is efficiency, stoopid.

In the macro world, accountability is to the Prime Minister and his director of strategy, and measured against the delivery of ideological ambitions and manifesto promises control of the backbenches. If you can't do more with less, you need to appear to be doing it.  In Morassic Park, what matters is the election, stoopid.

In the macro world, policy is led by the needs of business and those needs are best expressed through international league tables. If the tax rate workforce is not competitive, companies will go elsewhere. In Morassic Park, what matters is the economy, stoopid.

Morgan: What motivates her?

But no, Morganosaurus Rex is no Machiavelli. She is a macchietta like the rest of us. A speckle. Armed with a little sketch in her mind of what education is and should be. A ridiculous person. Ridiculous by dint of the preposterous power she is able to wield and the sheer egotism of anyone ever believing it can be done well.

The holder of the Secretary of State's job starts with accountability measures that run counter to the desired behaviours that might lead to a real, positive change in education. Regardless of personality or underpinning ideology, reforms that are not informed from the ground up and that exclude teachers from the process will not ensure that excellence is the norm in every classroom. Witness the exodus. Witness the travesty of this advert. Witness the morass that educational reform has been stuck in since the inception of the national curriculum.

Let us dream!

Imagine teachers leading the teaching profession, reform and the pace of reform.

Imagine an entire education system with teachers at the top, and layers of support below instead of pressure from above.

Imagine the lowest rung of the pyramid is an office in Whitehall.

What would a Secretary of Education's job entail in this context?

To be continued...

Part 2: Mesoteric Societies (Give Him A Mask...)
Part 3: Micro brewing (Ideas Are Bulletproof!)

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