Assessment, evaluation, and inspection
In the early part of the twentieth century, the classroom was a much more private place than it is now. In books and later in films, the classroom was characterized as a place where teacher and pupils battled it out behind a closed door, subject only to the occasional, usually unwelcome, visit from the headmaster. Teachers move freely between each other’s classrooms, parents come and go. There are peer evaluation processes, quality-assurance measures, and inspections at every level. Andrew Cooper (2001) makes a cogent argument for the threat to creativity which is embodied in a culture of regulation and inspection. The most common pre-inspection dream (as related by a group of teachers) is of finding oneself in a public place without clothes, facing an audience without one’s notes, teaching an unruly group of children without a lesson plan.