chapter  4
27 Pages

Improvement or control? A US view of English inspection

In the United States, the classroom is normally a secret place. Even though it is full of people, what goes on is rarely reported, and even less often used to discuss what teaching is and might be. As generations of reformers have lamented, anything can happen when the teacher closes the door, and so the most carefully constructed reforms are undone when teachers revert to old and familiar practices. And the price of privacy falls on teachers, too, as their life-work is so rarely discussed and their own perspectives ignored in public debate. The nature of teaching is, sometimes and fitfully, the subject of reform efforts punctuating business as usual, but it is not the stuff of daily conversation in most schools.