I was particularly interested in this school in order to observe the effect of the council deciding to maintain two primary schools within a very short distance of each other. In her article as Bassnett (2007. online) states: “An obsession with targets, league-tables and competitiveness stifles the imaginative, critical development of the young person that is at education’s heart” My preferred method of comparing the schools would be through talking to teachers, pupils and the parents.
This obviously has its advantages and disadvantages but like Bassnett stated above, league tables not only complicate matters but they are also selective in what they illustrate. I. e. a particular school may have a low percentage of pupils that passed their physics GCSE. As this happened in my secondary school I can, from personal experience, account for this low result. The reason was simply that we were not allocated a specific physics teacher. Within the two years of studying that topic the teacher was changed exactly 11 times.
But when looking at the results, this reflects on the pupils in the first instance and then on the school as a whole but only finally on the actual reason. Access to the school is restricted for this reason, as many parents I know; personally choose the school for their child/ren by looking at the league tables and OfSTED reports. I believe that this creates the illusion of ‘just add water’, in other words send your child to this school and they are guaranteed to earn these grades.
A particular school may have a high percentage of free school meal pupils, have poor housing within the locality and high levels of unemployment. Not only does this create a ‘deception’ but it also encourages the schools and universities to use this to their advantage. I. e. they feel the need to be at the top in any way possible to be able to get parents to send their children to that particular school. This means acquiring the respect and esteem of everyone you come into contact with. As Hayes (2003, p. 13) cites the work of Petty (1998, p.
84) who agrees that it is not a good idea to become over popular with pupils and that the relationships should be based on mutual respect. It states that a teacher may be disliked if they seem desperate in their attitude in order to be liked. I. e. Not to expect too much This kind of approach (becoming needy and desperate and expecting the children to be your best friend) becomes an obstruction to the learning process. A teacher should always be approachable which therefore results in an effective and manageable classroom.
It is important to also use a non confrontational attitude to teaching; this defuses the potential for any tension which obviously creates problems. A teacher should be able to promote success in an encouraging manner but view failure constructively rather than sympathetically. Encouraging children to be self critical in a constructive style, offering opportunities for improvement. In my chosen setting I believe that these factors are present in a variety of ways affecting the social impact on the pupils, teachers and parents.
This not only affects attitudes but is also reflected in the output of the school. My second chosen setting is the National Media Museum in Bradford. The reason for choosing this was simply to be able to study a non traditional educational setting against a typical primary school. My role within this type of organisation would be as a museum education officer. A museum education officer’s range of activities varies depending on the size, financial position and objectives of the museum. Often museum have a whole department dedicated to this particular area, this depends on the size of the museum.