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The Pendulum Swings
Transforming School Reform
Since 1988, British education reform has been driven by what Bernard Barker shows to be a delusion. The notion that learning can be improved by five measures: performance tables, competition, poverty denial, best practice recipes and quick leadership fixes has proved to be wholly untrue.
As the pendulum swings towards a general election in 2010, this timely book argues that New Labour’s education policies have become the single biggest obstacle to school improvement. If policy makers don’t change their thinking completely, schools will be trapped in cycles of perpetual change that lead nowhere.
Discontent with failed, top-down reform and the prospect of political change have created a rare opportunity to reinvent British education policy, and to think afresh about how teachers and children should be encouraged to aim high. The Pendulum Swings explores alternative, genuinely transformative conceptions of leadership and learning and explains how they could become the foundation for a better approach to improving our schools.
Preface: Getting the Boys to Sing
1) Introduction: The Dynamics of School Reform
2) Must the Disadvantaged Fail?
3) Markets and Competition
4) Imagine an End to Failure
5) Bastards and Prophets
6) Best Practice
7) Progressive Alternatives
8) Transforming School Reform