It is “unacceptable” that schools aren’t doing more practical work! Really?

A Chemical Orthodoxy

The Wellcome Trust recently published a large scale survey into science practicals at schools in the UK. There is a lot that I found objectionable in the report (which looks like it has a solid methodology though I am no expert) and in the statements of their head of education. Most of my objections are based on the thinking I have already expressed on this blog.

Teacher professionalism is important, except when it isn’t

The first is the issue of teacher professionalism. In the foreword, Dr Hilary Leevers says that:

“It is crucial that teachers’ professionalism and skills are both celebrated and developed.”

I would certainly agree with that. And yet Dr Leevers, who is the Wellcome’s head of education, has never been a teacher (at least according to her bio). Further to that, there are no teaching bodies consulted in the production of this report. Statements to…

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