Unsquare dance ...

Less Dave Brubeck, more a chaotic shambles. I have to grin and bear it whenever I see an unsquare dance take place within education.

Chatting to someone I recruited into further education sometime in the last millennia. I was entertained by their tale of lesson observation. Due to their technical nature and still working in the sector (as an ISP amongst other commercial interests) they are the kind of person most colleges would consider an asset. With this in mind they predominantly teach at the higher education level.

So, along comes observer, using an Ofsted model of observation to witness a higher education lesson in action.

Some of the students were working on their own HE learning; which is normal as well as others engaging in the lesson. Which is also normal. In a post 18 post level three world, the process of learning and engagement becomes student lead, not teacher managed. The experienced academic facilitates the exploration of knowledge, understanding and all the clever stuff. This is something that has been happening since the 1300's in some well known cathedral cities.

As you may have guessed, the observation, using a flawed model, could not see this imposing a 'child development' model on what should be more akin to 'cognitive apprenticeship'. Constructivist ideas, wrong model, facepalm.

So my friend is a little pissed off, not at the abuse of theory, instead at a rubbish observation in the entirely wrong context. Chances are that the college in question will eventually lose another of their dwindling expertise in our sector and allow the students to suffer.




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