ABSTRACT

Teaching is under intense scrutiny in England in the current conjuncture. What should be taught? Who should teach it? How should teaching be judged? Teachers are observed in the Office for Standards in Teaching (Ofsted) inspections; in mock Ofsted inspections; as part of their performance management; in learning walks; in pop-ins; via work scrutinies, homework checks; reports of governors, and on it goes. Schools are judged via league tables, Ofsted reports and in the popular press. Take any story about a school in a local newspaper and read the comments (frequently vitriolic in nature) posted by parents, casual observers and others. It is perhaps unique to education that everyone has an opinion on what should happen in the classroom and what it is that teachers and schools are failing to do correctly.