Archive for the SecEd Category

Schooling Scotland

Schooling Scotland

Danny Murphy was headteacher in Crieff High, Lornshill High and McLaren Academy. He was crucial in establishing the Scottish Qualification for Headship and has written thoughtfully but incisively on Scottish educational dilemmas. His new work, Schooling Scotland (Argyll Publishing) is the latest in the Postcards from Scotland […]

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A bitterness over the reforms?

A bitterness over the reforms?

In the supermarket recently I was surveyed on my shopping experience. After the usual questions about ranges of products and value for money, the employee from the marketing company carrying out the survey, having checked my age, finally asked my occupation. “Retired, at least semi-retired,” I responded. […]

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Advice for young teachers

Advice for young teachers

Forty-two years ago, having newly graduated, I commenced a post-graduate Diploma in Education course at Edinburgh University to qualify as an English teacher. My older daughter, having worked in retail management for the five years since graduating, has newly started the same process at Glasgow University. I […]

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Education a key battleground in debate on Scottish independence

Education a key battleground in debate on Scottish independence

The Scottish and English education systems have always been separate. Knox’s aim of a school in every parish was never comprehensively achieved but the concept of education accessible to all children irrespective of family wealth has long been part of the Scottish educational tradition. Scottish universities were […]

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The teaching of creationism

The teaching of creationism

Scottish educationalists have always looked to England and English education. We look for whatever is best in the English system and seek to avoid its occasional errors. Recently, we have watched much that emanates from the English Department for Education with trepidation, especially if it directly articulates […]

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Are you on your staff’s side?

Are you on your staff’s side?

“At a time of great transition in our profession, many teachers appear to be at their breaking point. In my home state, a teacher recently published a letter to the editor of our largest newspaper, explaining why she is thinking of quitting her job. How can leaders […]

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Kicking the hornet’s nest

Kicking the hornet’s nest

There’s a flurry of debate in Scottish education over standards. The suggestion is that they are being dumbed down. The surprise is that the debate’s catalyst was a letter to the press from a school student. S4 student, Flora Scarabello, wrote to The Herald last month (on […]

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The case for grammar

The case for grammar

I teach an adult evening class in formal writing skills. It is for learners who are under-confident about the daily writing tasks essential in work or other situations. This is the second term I’ve delivered the class. A fascinating pattern is emerging. In both classes the composition […]

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A bureaucracy working group?!

A bureaucracy working group?!

Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) was initially welcomed by countless teachers. It has increasingly been mired in disputes. Workload and resource issues have particularly enraged teachers, who are reeling from reduced funding, new examinations, faculty systems and the abandonment of traditional subject departments. Against this background the […]

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The structure of learning

The structure of learning

Hard economic times have an impact on schools, usually, but not inevitably, for the worse. A recent conference on the links between learning and the spaces in which it occurs, illustrated innovative responses to keeping our school estate in working order, to replacing buildings no longer fit-for-purpose, […]

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