Pedagogy is at last gaining the attention in English-speaking countries which it has long enjoyed elsewhere. But is it the right kind of attention? Do we still tend to equate pedagogy with teaching technique and little more? Now that governments, too, have become interested in it, is pedagogy a proper matter for public policy and official prescription?
In Essays on Pedagogy, Robin Alexander brings together some of his most powerful recent writing, drawing on research undertaken in Britain and other countries, to illustrate his view that to engage properly with pedagogy we need to apply cultural, historical and international perspectives, as well as evidence on how children most effectively learn and teachers most productively teach.
The book includes chapters on a number of themes, expertly woven together:
For those who see teachers as thinking professionals, rather than as technicians who merely comply with received views of ‘best practice’, this book will open minds while maintaining a practical focus. For student teachers it will provide a framework for their development. Its strong and consistent international perspective will be of interest to educational comparativists, but is also an essential response to globalisation and the predicaments now facing humanity as a whole.
The five studies in this book span the tumultuous period from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s. This was a time when the dominant educational ideas and practices of the previous two decades were being questioned and primary teachers were being catapulted from the Plowden era into the very different ethos of the National Curriculum.
The first four studies portray the ideas, practices and dilemmas of primary teaching at different points during this period. They also exemplify different approaches to classroom research, though all of them stay close to the interactions between teacher and child which are central to learning. They thus raise educational questions which are perennial and fundamental, rather than tied to policy or fashion. The final study uses a broader brush to provide a historical framework for understanding the particular blend of change and continuity which characterises English primary education as a whole.
Alexander's controversial and widely-read report on primary education in Leeds has now been revised as a major study of policy initiatives in primary education and their impact on practice. The book examines an ambitious programme of local reform aimed at improving teaching and learning in the primary schools of one of Britain's largest cities. It addresses important questions about children's needs, the curriculum, classroom practice and school management. When first published, Robin Alexander's report was hailed as `seminal' and `the most important document since Plowden' but it was also quoted and misquoted in support of widely opposed political and media agendas. This new edition retains Part I from the first edition, detailing the impact of Leeds LEA's programme for educational reform. However, it also provides a totally new and greatly extended Part II, which gives an insider's account of the sequel to the Leeds report - the government's 1992 'three wise men' report. There is also a new introduction.
Now, with Finnish Lessons 2.0, Pasi Sahlberg has thoroughly updated his groundbreaking account of how Finland built a world-class education system during the past four decades. In this international bestseller, Sahlberg traces the evolution of Finnish education policies and highlights how they differ from the United States and much of the rest of the world. Featuring substantial additions throughout the text, Finnish Lessons 2.0 demonstrates how systematically focusing on teacher and leader professionalism, building trust between the society and its schools, and investing in educational equity rather than competition, choice, and other market-based reforms make Finnish schools an international model of success. This second edition details the complexity of meaningful change by examining Finland’s educational performance in light of the most recent international assessment data and domestic changes.
This second edition details the complexity of meaningful change by illustrating Finland’s educational performance in light of the most recent international assessment data, including PISA 2012, TIMSS 2011, PIAAC 2013, and TALIS 2013.
In the midst of continuous local reforms and global changes, Finnish Lessons 2.0 encourages educators, students, and policymakers to look beyond their own borders as they seek successful solutions for their education systems, districts, and schools.
“Reminds us that a nation can consciously build an admirable school system if it pays close attention to the needs of children; if it selects and prepares its educators well; and if it builds educational communities that are not only physically attractive but conducive to the joys of teaching and learning.”
—From the Foreword by Diane Ravitch, author of Reign of Error
“Solidifies Sahlberg’s reputation as the most thoughtful international educational researcher of our generation.”
—David Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University
“Whether or not you have read Finnish Lessons, you should read and ponder this new edition right away.”
—Howard Gardner, author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed