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Never Mind The Inspectors Paperback – 19 May 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Thinking Press an imprint of Crown House Publishing (19 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781351120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781351123
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 1.3 x 14.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


If learning is, as Dylan Wiliam says, `a liminal process, at the boundary between control and chaos`, then surely we can all learn a great deal from punk. Never Mind The Inspectors is much more than a greatest hits package from Tait Coles` inspirational blog, and exemplifies Greg Graffin`s definition of punk as `a process of questioning and commitment to understanding that results in self-progress and, through repetition, flowers into social evolution`. Smash up the PowerPoint-centred `Outstanding` lessons and rock the classroom with learning that is `active, challenging, meaningful, public, collaborative and self-emancipating ` --Roo Stenning, Head of High School at St Andrews International School, Bangkok

Although I suppose the publishers of this book were expecting something that is purely educationally based, the spirit behind Punk Learning goes far beyond this. Tait not only challenges the reader to consider what they do within the classroom, he delves much deeper than this by demanding more of you as an individual within the grander scheme of things. References to artists, lyricists, philosophers and musicians lead to you questioning the very things that you stand for: those values and principles that sometimes lie dormant due to the pursuit of those levels of progress. When criticising the system that so-called educationists have created, however, Tait makes it clear that he`s not interested in simply making it better. Instead, he wants to smash it up and replace it with something of true substance. Yet he wants us to create whatever that may be by using our own thinking, our own understanding of what works, and our own sense of authenticity. Throughout the book, Tait presents us with alternative ways to the much maligned 20 minutes for progress, and these are accompanied by practical classroom methods and examples. Far from being a conceptual notion that some bloggers on Twitter bang on about, punk learning is alive and breathing and it's being played out with his students in Bradford, UK. Tait Coles has produced a remarkable book. Anything that results in personally wanting to tear up, rewrite and rethink your own educational practice after reading a little over 150 pages is a remarkable thing. And this is how I justify such a statement: Never Mind the Inspectors Here's Punk Learning is actually more than just a book - it is a philosophy, a manifesto, a paradigm shifter and a great big two-fingered salute to the existing status quo. Tait's so-called `staffroom corner huggers` and the `outstanding` glam teachers who wear `aluminium foil and make up` better watch out! --Jamie Portman, Vice Principal, Darton College

Ever since I first met Tait, he has been a self-professed learning geek. This book charts his journey through a frustrating time in modern education, when school leaders and teachers have been encouraged to jump through hoops (visible and invisible) in order to prove their worth. In his book, Tait gives practical examples on how to bring learning, and his students desire to learn, back to the fore. Tait speaks with passion about his musical role models which were, and are still, prominent in the punk movement. Punk is not a fashion it s a state of mind, just as learning should be the state of mind in today's classrooms rather than repetitive, inspection-driven pedagogies. Tait develops the idea of students taking ownership of the things they want to learn about, rather than the things they are told they should this is a big idea and, at its heart, challenges the status quo of modern society. To summarise, Tait manages to balance the role of a twenty-first century school leader with a refreshingly revolutionary approach to putting learning first. This book should divide opinion; it will empower and inspire some, whilst others will find it unfathomable and unrealistic. --Chris Mason, Assistant Principal, BBG Academy

About the Author

Tait Coles is a teacher, Vice Principal in a Bradford Academy and an educational speaker. He is a classroom maverick and a respected radical of modern teaching. Previously, Tait has been Assistant Head Teacher at a comprehensive school in Leeds and was Head of Science in one of the many challenging school in Bradford. Tait is the creator of Punk Learning; a manifesto that challenges the orthodoxy and complacency of teaching and allows students to be central to a critical educational culture where they learn how to become individuals and social agents rather than merely disengaged spectators who have their 'part to play' in the Neoliberal ideology of modern schooling. More details of this can be found on his blog You can follow the development of this work and contact him on twitter @Totallywired77.

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