Working as I do in a university setting, when I talk to school teachers and school leaders I feel like I have come home. Teachers have seen wave after wave of ideas come through. Haven’t we all. We’ve watched them arrive, and we’ve seen the initial excitement that comes with them. We maintain our passion for teaching, even though we have seen the failure of many of these ideas over time. We are sceptical, and we do not indulge in mindless optimism. I like good teachers’ ‘nonstupid optimism’ and I like working in context, where that is possible. Mind you, we have changed from the days when we thought that teachers had ‘the formula’ and ‘the answer’. I remember an occasion, as a student teacher, when I was teaching with a teacher who was legendary. He would come into the room and say to the children “The name is Rogers. The subject is science. The method is force.” And it was. We’re not supposed to do that now! Now we are all wise. Now we understand that we don’t do things that way, that we are facilitators, and that we are all life-long learners. And we have to be careful that we are not sentencing our learners to life!
Recommended CitationMcWilliam, Erica, "Schooling the Yuk/Wow generation" (2005).