Purchasing Louisiana, or at least letting teachers choose their CPD

Improving Teaching

In 1803, James Monroe was dispatched to gain access to a port in Louisiana for the United States.  Sent to France as an Extraordinary Envoy, he instead purchased the whole of Louisiana for $15 million (twice the federal budget that year), doubling the country’s size and making Western expansion possible.  Trusting people to do a job well can work wonders.

While in York, I finished Dan Pink’s primer on motivation, Drive, deflated.  The key to motivation, he argues, is to ‘get money off the table’ by paying people well, then focus on what really drives us: autonomy, mastery and purpose.  The purpose of teaching seems clear and those improving their practice are striving for mastery; while unproductive tasks can obstruct them, in most schools there is scope for both.  But school structures conspire to make autonomy a pipe dream: so much time is spoken-for, so many tasks ordained.  Then I realised: I was in the…

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