Author Archives: Michael Fordham

The scourge of curriculum: genericism’s destructive power

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
It is not difficult to find problems in contemporary education. Many of the problems are acute and obvious and, quite understandably, therefore attract a great deal of attention. In this blog post, I want…

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Helping children understand the Age of Trump

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
Every now and then I write a post in which I look at current affairs and ask the question “what does someone need to know to make sense of this all?” I wrote a…

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Vague verbs: a curricular problem

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
This is slightly complex post on an issue on which I have not fully reached my own conclusions. I do however think that it outlines a deep problem in curriculum theory, and one which…

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To describe, to explain, to justify: a satirical farce

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
PLEASE NOTE: the events set out below are fictional. Any similarity to a discussion at a meeting of GCSE examiners is purely coincidental. Teacher 1: Now are we all clear that children need to learn…

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Can children learn to challenge authority?

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
Genericism is rife in the educational world and it takes many forms. One of its basic tenets is that the generic things we learn can easily be transferred from one domain to another. Common…

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Do you respect your pupils?

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
I had a brief Twitter exchange yesterday in which I tried to explain that traditionally-minded teachers are not child-hating sadists who see children as ‘sub-human’. In response I was asked whether I agreed that…

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Sailing on a rising tide of knowledge

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
Imagine for a moment a cannon positioned on the south coast of England, pointing at France. The artillery officers identify a target on the French coast and calculate exactly what is needed to hit…

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A subject-led school system: my move to Inspiration Trust

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Speaking truth to power

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
I awoke this morning to see that Cambridge Professor Mary Beard had been in an argument on Twitter with UKIP donor Arron Banks. Banks had claimed that immigration into western Europe had brought down the Roman…

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The knowledge party in my head

Originally posted on Clio et cetera:
When I was in Year 7, my maths teacher got us to calculate the number of possible unique handshakes in a group of people. We learnt that the number of handshakes in a group…

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