I support the proposal for a College of Teaching. The profession needs unified representation and promotion. One of the greatest losses to teaching in recent times has been the gradual denudation and politicisation of the National College.
Tom Sherrington’s post is a positive starting point for those new to the issue, including a link to the CoT blueprint. We must commit to reading this document carefully before taking a position. To me, the CoT does not look like a new GTC. It will have no disciplinary function and could provide a much needed structure for CPD.
Whilst I do want there to be a CoT, I don’t want it to be disconnected from the “seditious”, intellectually challenging positions taken by the profession’s thinkers. There are structural problems within our education system that transcend the debate between progressives and traditionalists (the mods and rockers of our profession); these need to be named and challenged with a unified voice.*
Traditionalists and Progressives on the way to Brighton.
Reference to the “WhatWorks” report by Jonathan Shepherd (2014) in the Blueprint suggests the use of Twitter to promulgate the profession’s status.
But the philosophical fingerprints of a CoT are all over Twitter already. Unelected members enjoy impressive followership and command enough respect to change the system, through powerful dialogue and rhetoric. For example, Andrew Old’s determined efforts over time to expose sinister orthodoxies within Ofsted ultimately led to framework reform (and the subsequent flat-spin it is struggling to correct).
Andrew Old’s most recent pieces about the purpose of education (part 1 and part 2) open up a realm of philosophical thinking that a CoT would surely wish to embrace. The quality of thinking and debate are an end in themselves as well as locomotives for developing intellect.
I’m sure the BMA struggles with the idea of orthodoxy within its membership. I need to ask my medical friends how they handle it.
*In my next post