Good Teaching and Learning: Pupils and Teachers Speak

Good Teaching and Learning: Pupils and Teachers Speak

Good Teaching and Learning: Pupils and Teachers Speak

Good Teaching and Learning: Pupils and Teachers Speak


Government intervention in the control of school has changed as the 1990s have proceeded. Beginning with policy innovations centred on the system, the concerns are with the classroom and such issues as teaching methods and skills of good teachers. The quality of learning and the quality of teaching are designated categories of evaluation in the inspection of school's performance.


This book is about the participants’ views of learning and teaching in British comprehensive schools. It derives from the spoken views of pupils and teachers collected in ten schools over a period of five years in the mid-1990s, a time when government was dramatically changing the whole pattern of control of state provided education.

The background policy context

Beginning in the 1980s, public policy for education had seen increasing system intervention by government, by way of both much legislation and frequent exhortation declaredly aimed at securing greater effectiveness from its schools. This represented a significant shift from the previous three-quarters of a century, generally characterized as a national system locally administered. For the best part of a century following the Industrial Revolution, the state schools could be seen in broad terms to have provided a 20 per cent elite for employment in various leadership roles and a similar minority of technicians, craftsmen and clerical workers to make, repair and service the machines or clerk the commerce of Britain and its Empire. Priorities in public education were to change dramatically, however, in response to the ‘global economy’ and ‘information technology’ revolutions which became evident by the 1980s; the many instead of the few henceforth needed to be maximally educated, and the link between public educational provision and economic performance strengthened.

Whereas in past decades an essentially passive compliant labour force equipped with litte more than the basic three Rs had been required, the ‘information society’ demands maximum cognitive achievement together with creative and social skills from all its children if the country is to compete successfully in a global economy. Hence, in both the uk and many other countries since the early 1980s, public policy for education has seen greater prescription of the curriculum and the introduction of national testing, more financial control devolved to the individual school in parallel . . .

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