Neglected voices
Pages 11

An often-observed characteristic of the history of education in the UK is the fact that, in spite of regular overhauling of policy and practice through national legislation, so much of the experience for children and their teachers stays the same. Commentators have sought to explain this ‘continuity in pedagogical practice’, across sites and over time and have located it in the ‘power relations, in educational institutions and processes, that remain untouched by the majority of curriculum and other reforms’ (Gore, 2001: 167). Part of the powerful mythology of school is the notion that it can be altered, changed and improved, that reasons for past failures have been identified and that the school of the near future will not resemble the past. Developments in educational technology, especially in the application and use of computers in learning, have given further credence to the message, carried in recent government policy rhetoric, that schools can be ‘transformed’ (DfES, 2002). The belief, held by young people that it is possible and vital to transform schools was certainly present in Blishen’s selection.