Gerald Haigh: Revisiting the radicals for an antidote to toxic schools

Comment from Gerald Haigh (Times Educational Supplement) from Future – Transforming Learning spaces BSF and PCP Leadership Online: Gerald Haigh’s 5 Things to Think about column National College of School Leadership

Revisiting the radicals for an antidote to toxic schools

We’re constantly reminded, of  BSF/PCP projects, that “It’s not about the buildings”, the implication being that it’s about the deeper purposes of learning and of schools in society.
If you feel like really questioning the whole structure of education, start by reading Toxic Schooling, by Clive Harber, professor of international education at Birmingham University.

It presents the work of such well known radical critics of conventional schooling as Freire, Holt, Illich and Carl Rogers, their arguments developed and related to current practice by Harber. Much of it lines up with what so many educators are saying now about the way the traditional model of teacher as instructor and child as passive learner can stubbornly persist even when the surface trappings of buildings and technology are transformed.

A school community about to embark on the transformational journey could well start by passing this book around.
Toxic Schooling. How Schools Became Worse, Educational Heretics Press. £16.

Thanks to Gerald for flagging up this important new book from our publsihing partner EHP. He does this on the National College for School Leadership site. Let’s hope at least some of the nations current leaders may at least look outside the box and consider truly transforming our educational systems. Toxic Schooling will be officially launched shortly (November) at Birmingham University (details to follow).

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