Few teachers escape the influx of headlines when PISA results are released every three years. Even fewer teachers miss how countries at the top of the rankings are hailed as the saviours of education – whether it is mastery, lesson study or professional trust and autonomy.
One teacher, however, asked herself, ‘What does it look like in the classroom?’ With this simple question, former teacher and education consultant, Lucy Crehan, began her quest to discover the teachers, students and parents behind the scores.
‘As I read about “top-performing” countries and their education systems from rainy England, I craved a more holistic, visceral understanding of them,” she writes. This craving led Crehan across the world, visiting Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, Finland and Canada.
Crehan listened, observed, researched and interviewed. The result of her journey is her book, Cleverlands, where she brings together all her findings and discusses key themes – from early years education, to intelligence, universal standards and teacher training.
Clevelands is a worthy book with which to launch our monthly book club. We will be discussing it on Thursday 14 September 2017, kicking off with a Twitter chat from 7pm to 8pm followed by 24 hours of discussion across Twitter, Facebook and our website, and would love to see as many teachers as possible taking part. There are three ways you can join in:
- On Twitter, use and follow the hashtag #CCTbookclub
- We will start a thread on our Facebook page, where you will be able to comment
- Feel free to comment in the comments section below this article.
You can talk about anything that particularly struck you in the book, and Crehan will also be joining us for the Twitter chat so feel free to come armed with plenty of questions.
We will start the discussion by talking about the the five principles Crehan outlines for high-performing,equitable education systems. These include:
- Get children ready for formal learning
- Design curricula concepts for mastery (and context for motivation)
- Support children to take on challenges, rather than making concessions
- Treat teachers as professionals
- Combine school accountability with school support (rather than sanctions).
There’s something for everyone so please do join us with your ideas, thoughts and views. As Crehan writes: ‘Education has the ability to nurture talent, inspire passion, increase social mobility and provide a framework for the adults of tomorrow to develop into knowledgeable, creative, community-minded citizens.
Let’s talk about how we make that happen.