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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers: The Michaela Way Paperback – 26 Nov 2016
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This book should be banned. If a parent of a teenager gets hold of it, they'll ask why their son or daughter's school can't be as good as Michaela. And the uncomfortable truth is, it can. Every school can. --Toby Young, Director, New Schools Network
Michaela has only been around for a couple of years, but already it has changed the way many people think about education. This book explains how, and shows the incredible things that can be achieved by a small group of people with vision, energy and passion. --Daisy Christodoulou, Head of Assessment, Ark Schools
This book explains how this iconoclastic Free School became unashamedly knowledge focused. You meet the pupils - they are happy, well behaved and incredibly knowledgeable. This school is driving social mobility every day. --Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards
From the Back Cover
“This book lucidly explains the philosophy behind Michaela’s approach, and its arguments are incontrovertible. Michaela is the model free school that all our schools should imitate.” Roger Scruton
“Michaela is an inspiration – a revolution in education – giving kids the knowledge, the grammar and the confidence to achieve anything in their lives.” Boris Johnson
“Katharine Birbalsingh and her team are inspirational teachers from whom we all have much to learn. This book is their testament and my gospel.” Michael Gove
“An engrossing read – a totally different school. The ideas are pragmatic and philosophical, familiar and challenging – always passionately argued.” Doug Lemov
“Michaela is a trailblazer. This book, like the school itself, should catalyse debate across the UK about why and how we choose to teach our children.” Tom Bennett
In Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers, more than 20 Michaela teachers describe what makes Michaela unique.
– How do didactic teaching, drill and memorisation boost motivation and academic achievement?
– How do we get pupils to be considerate, kind and caring to each other?
– How do we ensure new teachers are just as respected as veteran teachers and so stay in the profession?
This book addresses these questions and more, cutting to the core of how we educate our children and how we see the world.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers is a call to action for everyone in education.See all Product description
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Definitely give it a read, but be prepared that there may be some chapters that are of little interest.
A really good book to make you think about what is possible, if you have a team of teachers working together with the same vision. Fantastic read.
I agree with other reviewers who have said that this book is self-congratulatory and damning of other school systems at the same time. The book does just imply that other schools are wrong, it states it again and again. This book is passionately written, shouting down all doubters and bullishly challenging.
I can see why people might give the book either 5 stars or 1 star - it's a "marmite book" for want of a better phrase. But then again, I imagine the school garners polarising views too. I found it a fascinating, but frustrating book to read. Not because the ideas are 'controversial', but because Michaela sounds at times more like a military camp than a school.
I have no doubt that the teachers who work there (and wrote the chapters) enjoy working at Michaela, and it sounds like many had poor experiences working in other schools, but it comes across as almost cult-like. "This book is their testament and my gospel" claims Michael Gove (written in the blurb). The combative writing style and provocative chapter titles, amongst other things, put me off the book and prevent me from recommending it more highly than 3 stars. But if you're fed up of the secondary school system (as it stands) this book may be right for you. However, be aware that this book should come with the same kind of health warning that any self-righteous, bombastic preacher or politician should. Any detractions, failings or negative comments are omitted. Research which disagrees with the schools philosophies are only briefly mentioned and phrases such as "many studies show" (without actually mentioning them in detail) are frequently used to support their 'controversial' policies. So, if you're going to read it, don't forget that it was written in a figurative echo-chamber by writers wearing rose tinted glasses.