Self-Evaluation in the Global Classroom

By John MacBeath; Hidenori Sugimine | Go to book overview

Part II

Insights into the school experience from the Learning School students

So what did the Learning School students find? What did they discover that may enhance our understanding? What of their findings might penetrate the policy agenda? What should feed into professional development opportunities for headteachers, for teachers, for school governors or school boards and for parents?

The chapters which follow start with the place called school and how it is seen from a student perspective. The commonality of student experience is perhaps even more surprising than the differences. Students in all countries tend to like school, largely because it is a social place, a place to make friends, a compensation, in part at least, for the common feeling that school life is 'stressful' and 'difficult'. Schools have a remarkable similarity across the globe, especially secondary schools with their subjects, timetables, examinations, age-related cohorts, lessons, usually in the context of one teacher one class. We are led inexorably to question the value and effectiveness of that age-old way of packaging and transmitting knowledge, curiously inappropriate for a twentyfirst-century world.

What students appreciate about their teachers seems also to be universal in character. The world over, teachers are people who are themselves interested in learning, student-centred, people who make their classrooms relaxed as well stimulating places, enjoy a joke, vary their teaching and listen to their students' points of view. Judgements of teachers are made predominantly in the context of 'lessons', the well-worn, traditional structure of teaching and learning, but the exploration of lessons reveals how ineffective that can be for some students who find themselves left behind, disengaged, and in a situation out of sympathy with their learning needs and learning styles, studying subjects in which they have no interest and in which time hangs heavily. Teachers themselves profess to be caught, along with their students, in this trap, time rushing too fast past them to really engage with deep and meaningful learning.

As we move through these chapters we get progressively closer to how young people strive to make meaning of their classroom experience, each student living out his or her individual life in their classroom. We get a picture of what the school day means for them, peaks and troughs of motivation and of learning. And as we follow them from school to home we get a fascinating glimpse of

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Self-Evaluation in the Global Classroom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - The Learning School 3
  • 1 - The Story Begins 5
  • 2 - What We Did 15
  • 3 - Tools for Schools 27
  • 4 - A Lifetime of Learning (In One Year) 36
  • 5 - The Impact on the Schools 50
  • 6 - Expert Witnesses 65
  • Part II - Insights into the School Experience from the Learning School Students 73
  • 7 - A Place Called School 75
  • 8 - The School Day 84
  • 9 - Layouts for Learning 92
  • 10 - Subjects, Subjects, Subjects 98
  • 11 - Lessons, Lessons, Lessons 110
  • 12 - Who Do You Learn Most From? 117
  • 13 - Who Likes School? 125
  • 14 - Two Classes Compared 137
  • 15 - It All Depends on Your Point of View 149
  • 16 - A Life in the Day of Three Students 161
  • 17 - No Two the Same 175
  • 18 - Talking About Learning 183
  • 19 - Learning Out of School 203
  • 20 - Students and Their Parents 209
  • 21 - Lifelong Learning 219
  • 22 - Postscript 229
  • Bibliography 233
  • Index 235
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