• Ruth Ashbee

Something is happening


People are bounding into work, buzzing about what they read on Twitter last night. People are asking “what’s the evidence for this?” And they are finding it out, or finding out its absence.

People are giving up their Saturdays to go to conferences. Actually that’s not quite right. People are going to conferences on Saturdays and they are absolutely loving it. They can’t wait for the next one. They’re being extra-accommodating to partners in order to build up credit so they can go to the next one.

People are speaking at these conferences for free.

People are writing resources and sharing them for free.

People are reading, blogging, talking and thinking.

People are experiencing the intellectual thrill they experienced at university. Many of us had assumed that this thrill was a treat limited to the student life rather than an integral part of work as a teacher. We were wrong. If I live to be a thousand I will never read all the books I want to read now, or think about all the things I want to think about. Our work is more interesting, thought-provoking, and rewarding than it ever has been, and it’s never going to go back now. Not now we know. Not now we read, and talk, and think.

What this all is, of course, is an intellectualisation of the workforce. Many, many people stand to gain from this: all the teachers who rejoice in their work, and all the students who receive a better education as a result.

A few people are worried. People who have been charging schools thousands of pounds for inset on ideas that are now being shown to be false. People who have made their career out of talking about education but have never had to defend their assertions. An intellectualised workforce is a disaster if your way of life depends on dumb acceptance or being left alone in your ivory tower.

I know what I think. I welcome this intellectualisation. This is an idea whose time has come. I’m going to keep on: reading, thinking, writing, speaking and sharing. What will you do?

Something is happening at my school: ResearchED Telford on 2nd May 2020 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/researched-telford-tickets-65787248431

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