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Submitted by JoeN on

Mike,
You fill in my clumsy gaps the perfectly and I wouldn't disagree with your argument, but I was nonetheless genuinely struck by this intern's remark. Not least given the serious context in which it was made. I'm less dismissive of anecdotal evidence than many in the policy field. Sometimes, on the ground opinion is what you really need to listen to, as in the case of a series of scandals here in the UK about shockingly poor practice in the health service.

But I think part of the reason it struck me so strongly was because it seemed to echo something I'd discovered when I was asked to look at what the research picture has to say about what constitutes excellent, subject specialist teaching. Far from suggesting there are common, pedagogical skills that define classroom excellence, the research stresses subject knowledge and "passion" are the mark of an excellent subject specialist teacher. Hence my connecting it with your bullet.

It does worry me that, however exigent and necessary the presence of new technology in schools may be, merely from employment needs and pressures, so many people do seem to continue to place a substantial amount of faith in its transformative power. As someone who was lucky enough to have seen excellent schooling from the start of my teaching career and for most of it, as well as having considerable experience at the other end of the scale, I try hard to help colleagues I work with to understand what excellence looks like. I wish sincerely the industry adopted a humbler stance about this but in my experience they don't. The voices they so often listen to have rarely seen the inside of a good school, never mind a great one.