thinking out of the educational box

September 26, 2006

Interesting report in the Times: “A truancy-hit college will lengthen its hours and add online teaching to entice bored pupils. CHILDREN at a school with one of the country’s worst truancy records are to be offered 24-hour teaching. The headmistress claimed “The Government is encouraging us to think ‘out of the box’ and that is what we are doing here…This system is simply adapting to the demands of the modern world and how they live their life. The idea of a 24/7 timetable is that we look at what is best for the children and their educational needs.”

I hear that the John Prescott Community College in Bageshot has introduced a scheme whereby the teachers are taught by the pupils. Commented headmistress Ms Courtney Tearaway (15) ‘it’s an example of thinking outside the cage that the Government wants’. She gave examples of some of today’s lessons: music and literature (bums and Vampires in the songs of the Frozen Monkeys) , contemporary language (today’s passage for translation: ‘Safe, man. You lookin buff in dem low batties. Dey’s sick, man. Me? I’m just jammin wid me bruds. Dis my yard, innit? Is nang, you get me? No? What ends you from then?’); video games, media studies (techniques of happy slapping), sports (how to nick someone’s trainers), sociology (what’s uncool about parents). Asked if the school would be introducing Shakespeare in text speak, Ms Tearaway replied ‘Who’s interested in what some dead guy wrote? You could make a film out of it and it would be just as boring.’ Truancy among teachers had fallen, she claimed, after a successful ‘bricks through window’ operation. She also pointed out that marks in school tests had improved dramatically after the pupils introduced corporal punishment for teachers. ‘It really works,’ Ms Tearaway said in defence of this controversial practice, ‘and anyway it’s fun. Nobody’s dead yet so I don’t know what the fuss is about.’

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