In Search of Perfect Pedagogy…

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Mick Waters


It is only in relatively recent times that we have accepted that teachers and their teaching vary. The ancient public schools set the tone and when state schooling began in 1870 it was generally accepted that any shortcomings in learning were the fault of the pupil. School reports to parents, dunces’ caps, corrections and flog-ging were among the devices that put any blame on the pupil. But that some teach-ers enjoyed more success than others was always obvious, as was the fact that some leaners learned more. The search for effective pedagogy has fascinated for different reasons: scientific, professional, political and pragmatic.
This paper explores some of the complexity of, and influences upon, pedagogy in English schools. It examines some examples of pedagogic development, the apparent random development over time and the ways the teaching profession responds. The paper concludes with a call to greater professional influence and proposals for building and capitalising upon expertise.

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