Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2019

Don't look back in anger!

I was a pain at school. I mean as a pupil, rather than as a teacher or headteacher. Though I suppose there are some colleagues and former line-managers that might wish to dispute that second point. Anyway, getting back to my school days, I was a perfect example of a hyper-active, mouthy, under-performing kid that teachers - then and now - can dread having in their classes. I liked to play to the audience of my peers, to get a laugh, often at some physical cost to myself. This was the era of rampant corporal punishment in education, and my antics often resulted in exasperated teachers resorting to physical punishment, trying to beat some sense and compliance into me, whilst also using the same 'strategy' to enhance my academic performance.

   I was thinking of this last week following the annual Connect, Scotland lecture given by Carol Craig creator of the Centre for Confidence and Well-Being. The theme of Carol's lecture was around Resilience and how we might go about d…

Why we might need more tortoises and fewer hares in education

We have heard Aesop's fable of 'The Tortoise and the Hare.' In this tale with a message, a tortoise challenges an arrogant hare to a race. The hare quickly leaves the tortoise behind. Being so confident,  he decides to have a sleep midway through the race. When the hare wakes, he finds the tortoise, who has kept slowly moving forward, has arrived before him, and has won. A common interpretation of the message of this fable is 'slow and steady wins the race.'

Thinking of schools and education, I believe we celebrate hares too much, and tortoises not enough. School systems are full of people racing to do lots of things, as quickly as possible. Education is not a race. Education is a relentless process of personal enlightenment, growth and development. There is no end point. In that case, it is through adopting the dispositions and characteristics of the tortoise in Aesop's fable that we are most likely to keep making strong, steady progress. Such a relentless ap…