Education

Fundamental British tosh

Issue section: 
Author: 

The government’s Prevent strategy is inherently racist and it attempts to turn teachers into agents of the security services. Ümit Yildiz looks at the problems with enforcing a spurious notion of “British values”.

Paul Gilroy wrote that “racism does not, of course, move tidily and unchanged through time and history”. While on the surface “acceptable” racism in the UK has shifted its focus from colour to creed, culture and religion, its tools of operation remain the same: the judiciary, the police, the education system, the media, namely the British state itself.

Following the attacks on 11 September 2001, already growing anti-Muslim racism was normalised by the US administration and successive British governments.

Making Workers: Radical Geographies of Education

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Geographer Danny Dorling quotes that in an 1879 testimony to a select committee of the British parliament one petitioner said, “Geography, sir, is ruinous in its effects on the lower classes. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are comparatively safe, but geography invariably leads to revolution.”

Katharyne Mitchell is able to use the geographer’s skill at looking at the changes in the system, both over time and spatially, and is able to draw the links between ideology, causes, and effects.

Teachers' victory on trans rights

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

At the National Union of Teachers conference in April a historic motion was passed supporting positive positions on transgender rights and committing the union to fully implement the recommendations of the Gender Recognition Act.

Over recent years arguments have taken place about transgender rights both on the left among feminists, and on the right. These have often been specifically about the right of transgender people to self-identify and have access to single sex bathroom facilities.

Signs of recovery

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The junior doctors' dispute has combined with teachers’ anger and the Tory crisis to present new opportunities

The government has stumbled into a key trial of strength with junior doctors, who by the end of April had taken five rounds of escalating strikes, including a full walkout without cover. As the BBC’s health correspondent wrote after the full walkout, “this is going to be a fight to the bitter end…both sides have been briefing about how determined they are not to give ground. But who will break first? Ministers or doctors?” The answer will have far reaching consequences.

Rethinking Education

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

This is a timely and incredibly useful new publication. With the fight now on to defend all our schools from wholesale privatisation we need the ideas in this book to consider what is wrong with the “exam factory” model of education, what the alternative would look like and why it is worth fighting for.

FE: not just a one day wonder

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Further Education lecturers in Scotland won a stunning victory in March after just one day of planned all-out strike action. Lecturers' union activists Donny Gluckstein and Penny Gower draw out the lessons we can all learn from their methods of organising.

In October 2014 the Further Education Lecturers’ Association (FELA), a semi-autonomous section of the EIS teachers’ union in Scotland, called for national bargaining to bring equal pay to the level of the highest paid college. In March 2016 strike action began and after just one day these demands were won, along with a pay rise for all and no deduction for striking. By 2019 wages will have risen by 11 percent on average, with the lowest paid lecturers seeing an increase of at least 33 percent. We need to learn the lessons.

A vision for education

Issue section: 
Issue: 

There is a growing rejection among parents and teachers of the narrow rote learning advocated by the Tories. Jacqui Freeman looks at alternative approaches focused on engaging children.

In February Tory prime minister David Cameron and secretary of state for education Nicky Morgan declared war “on mediocrity” and “on illiteracy and innumeracy”. Bold words for a government whose flagship Academy and Free School programmes have been shown not to improve standards more than comprehensive schools and which has presided over a 25 percent increase in the number of teachers leaving the profession.

Anatomy of a strike victory

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The current spate of local disputes provides a glimpse of the potential for a fightback. Donny Gluckstein reports on the successful strike at Edinburgh College.

The strike of further education lecturers at Edinburgh College has been described as "a classic example of how to conduct a strike" by the executive of the EIS, the Scottish education union. The bare outlines of what happened make impressive reading.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Education