Thinking Allowed: on Schooling Paperback – 15 Apr 2013
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Experience of working alongside Mick Waters as a member of the school improvement team within a local authority enabled me to review this book with added awareness of Mick s professional and personal abilities. He stimulates thinking and offers practical perspectives gained from a breadth of experience at the coal face . His voice, that challenges many aspects of current thinking, offers a practical and realistic approach to address key issues faced by staff within schools and colleges. Current key foci of inspection teams is to raise aspirations and challenge pupils and students to improve achievement and performance. Mick, in his own inimitable style talks realistically on p179 onwards, unleashing aspirations and sending the human spirit soaring..... aspiration is than simply upbeat slogans A brilliant book encapsulating all of Mick s abilities, experience and skills to stimulate staff and students to think outside of the box. --John T Morris BA(Hons),MEd,MPhil,CertEd, Director, JTM Educational Consultants
Mick Waters is a calm, seasoned voice in the rising clamour of debate on the future of education. Drawing on his long experience in classrooms and in national policy, Thinking Allowed offers a wise, well-informed and practical perspective on the challenges that face education and how to meet them. Unlike many passing politicians, Mick Waters has spent his life in education. This insightful, compassionate book distils the essence of what he has learnt and what we can learn from him. An essential read. --Sir Ken Robinson
Mick Waters has produced the right book for the right time. He penetrates to the heart of the many open discussions we are having about education today. We may not agree with all he says, but we cannot help but be stimulated to think at a deeper level by reading this book. --Dr Anthony Seldon, Master, Wellington College
From the Back Cover
One of the UK's most influential education figures tells it how it is.
Is the school system fit for the purpose of helping the pupils of today achieve their potential?
How has schooling developed over time and where might it be going in the future?
Do national politicians improve or stifle schools?
What matters in teaching, learning and leadership?
Mick Waters uses the experience he has gained from a career in which he has both worked in schools and had major roles in shaping education policy at local and national level to offer a unique perspective: that of someone close to the classroom, but with an ability to see through innovation, policy and practice. Mick tells it how it is, explains his beliefs and sheds light on progress and problems in the school system.
Mick Waters is a calm, seasoned voice in the rising clamour of debate on the future of education. Drawing on his long experience in classrooms and in national policy, Thinking Allowed on Schooling offers a wise, well-informed and practical perspective on the challenges that face education and how to meet them. Unlike many passing politicians, Mick Waters has spent his life in education. This insightful, compassionate book distils the essence of what he has learnt and what we can learn from him. An essential read.
Sir Ken Robinson
Mick Waters has produced the right book for the right time. He penetrates to the heart of the many open discussions we are having about education today. We may not agree with all he says, but we cannot help but be stimulated to think at a deeper level by reading this book.
Dr Anthony Seldon, Master, Wellington College
If you have ever heard Mick Waters talk and been inspired and influenced by what he has to say then this is the book you have hoped he would one day write.
Iain M Erskine, Head of The Fulbridge Academy in Peterborough
In this highly readable book, Mick gives a brilliant review of the good, the bad, and the plain old ugly of the current educational landscape.
Andrew Chubb, Principal, Archbishop Sentamu Academy
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Top customer reviews
If Education also had a governing body that covered all staff involved with schools, colleges, universities etc., they could research which methods and styles of teaching matched the children's abilities to learn.
Governments seem to think that any system from a foreign country, even the USA which has a worse outcome of children reaching University level, is worth looking at even when they fail. They rarely ask the experts in our own country, e.g. Mick Waters, a previous Chief Education Officer.
For anyone joining our Education system I would recommended to read this book, and anyone else with children, or grandchildren at school, would benefit from his wise words.
If parents have worries about anything that involves their children, I would ask that they have a word with the class teacher, and if not satisfied, to ask to speak to the Head of the school. School days are short, many children leaving school at 3.30pm. Take out assembly, lunch and playtime breaks, and the day is very short. To expect a teacher to cover everything that is currently required in such a short time is impossible.Teachers try their best, but everyone that I know will confess that they simply cannot do everything that they are asked to do.
Many parents feel anxious that their children are facing a very different world in the future, and they want to help their child, if only they knew how. Many parents do, of course, but if you are reading this, and you would like to help your child but are perplexed by all the different opinions, do ask your child's class teacher if you can help in some way.
Loved the book, and Mick Waters would make an excellent Head of the National Council for Schooling, as he would like to call the governing body. Personally I would call it the National Education Council, thus bringing in Universities, and their research department.
Teachers are professional people, qualified, and tested to make sure they are proficient. The teaching profession could be a real power to change peoples lives if they were given the right recognition.
It reviews the purpose for schooling; it explores how we have used schooling to strive for equality. And then with all the money spent, it explores all the mechanisms for accountability...Ofsted, league tables.
What I love most is that Mick constantly reminds us how accountability measures and political ideologies have had a negative effect on the realities for learners.
But it doesn't stop there. Mick Waters goes on to suggest ideas for a way through the different issues.
I have been advocating that new Zealanders read this book as a warning of what we should not do!
The clarity of writing and inclusiveness of commentary parallels that formerly offered by Ted Wragg and so should also develop government vision, but that may be expecting too much! In the absence of coalition action, schools should use this as a launch pad for decisive, inspirational action for the benefit of their children, especially the qualities v leadership grid offered.
Do not mistake this obvious openness and kindness as easy, but it brings the fun,smiles and joy back to teaching.
Mick Waters' is the voice of common sense, but based on a career in education that has taken him from working in schools to the top leadership levels both locally and nationally.
This is one of those books that you can dip into rather than reading from the first chapter to the last. I found the chapter in assessment and the one on inspection especially illuminating, with the former explaining how it all went wrong, and the latter making the very sensible suggestion that schools should be judged simply as being either good enough or not good enough (for an explanation of why anything else is so confusing as to be pretty much worthless in my opinion, see Levels in Computing? I thought they'd gone!).
The book is well-structured, setting out the issue, saying what has happened and why, and drawing on a range of educational research. Each chapter ends with a bullet-pointed section on what should be done.
This is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it for any teacher who wants to know more about what the research says and about what has gone wrong in certain areas, and why.
But with a good level of challenge to our thinking and practice in and outside of the classroom.
Hope this influences current curriculum review and get us back to having a true set of high level curriculum aim?
A must read!
Most recent customer reviews
Keep the politics out of education and leave it up to the professionals to deliver a world...Read more
Like the way it is laid out so you can dip in and out as you wish.
A must read for all leaders in education.Read more
A very measured, honest and fair account of the current situation in education.Read more
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