The Edmondson Blog

The Institute for The Development of Innovation-Orientated Teaching Skills (IDIOTS) have issued a report laying out forthcoming far-sighted and progressive intiatives. Here are the highlights:
  • Teachers must discontinue their antiquated practice of penalising pupils who do not give so-called "correct" answers. The concept of "correct" answers is elistist as it discriminates against pupils who do not know them. Instead, pupils ahould be rewarded for demonstrating qualities such as imagination (for example, imagining 6 x 4 = 32) and original thinking (for example, the capital of France is Africa, or that Winston Churchill invented the potato).
  • The custom of grading pupils according to the merit of their work is devisive, as it fosters the outdated belief that it is better to be "clever" and "hard-working" than "stupid" and "lazy". All pupils should be awarded identical grades irrespective of ability.
  • To avoid stigmatising pupils, teachers should refrain from employing negative terminology. Instead of telling a pupil that his answer is "wrong", the teacher should tell him that it is "factually divergent from the norm". Instead of calling a pupil "disobedient" the teacher should call him "behaviourally unorthodox". Instead of writing in the register that the pupil was "late", the teqacher should write that the pupil's attendance was "deferred". And instead of telling a pupil he has "failed", the teacher should tell him that he has "passed".
  • The teaching of history will be abolished, on account of its backwards-looking focus on the past. In its place will be a new up-to-date and relevant subject knows as The Present, the study of which will consist of the continuous monitoring of Twitter feeds.
  • Pupils found to have plagiarised essays from the web will be awarded bonus marks for having demonstrated technological expertise.
  • Finally, teachers should not inhibit pupils' creativity by insisting that they follow arbitrary and obselescent rules; for example, punctuation, spelling, homework deadlines or the law.
Hat tip to Michael Deacon, writing in The Daily Telegraph.

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