an initial rant

Increasingly I have been concerned that my Ballard LangBlog was being hijacked by my need to “unload” concerns which had no real place on a blog designed, at the outset, to be “MFL resources, links and materials” for the pupils, teachers and parents at Ballard School.

Indeed, I can’t remember the last time that it was used for that! More and more, my learning and teaching-related stuff was focused on my class wiki – interestingly, almost exclusively pupil-generated now, rather than teacher-generated (i.e. me showing off!).

The last 155 days worth of posts to my old blog had become gradually taken over by a nascent frustration over the direction that “Education” is being pushed by an ideologically-driven few, apparently in spite of the concerns of an un-consulted majority. My founding of the Black Paper wiki was born of a desire to offer a contrasting opinion to the numerous (to my mind) dangerously reactionary ideas present in the White Paper published last year by Michael Gove and his DfE team.

This has coincided with my (some would say obsessive!) campaign to enlist the support of our quintilingual Deputy Prime Minister in a determined drive to not only put languages back at the core of a new curriculum (as the Secretary of State for Education has done) but also to acknowledge that this must be allied to a much more pragmatic approach to the blend of pedagogies necessary in order to respond to the needs and motivations of the modern day student.

Coincidentally perhaps – but I am not convinced – the last few months have also seen the advent of the “Speak To The Future” campaign, and the “Purpos/ed” debate. I believe that these are all signs that there is a growing groundswell of feeling amongst educational professionals across the UK (and beyond), fuelled and enabled by social media such as Twitter. There is, I feel, fast approaching a kind of “critical mass” which will ensure that our voices will have to be heard!

I will no doubt need to return to some of this initial diatribe later – it has more or less spewed out in one go, and perhaps I should have hung onto it a little bit before letting it loose – but hey! “Il n’y a pas mort d’homme”!

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