‘In with the new’ doesn’t mean ‘out with the old’

The problems with Scottish education and Curriculum for Excellence can be explained with the help of an 18th-century philosopher and his dressing gown

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On the first day of teaching practice in 1998, in the school at which I still teach, I entered the staffroom nervously, eventually sitting down beside a kindly gentleman who greeted me warmly. We chatted for a while before he offered me some advice: “Get your jacket on and go and do something else. Teaching will ruin your life.”

Of course, I was shocked and outraged; I looked upon what I assumed to be a cynical old fool and vowed that that would never happen to me.

We went on to be friends over the next few years until he retired, but I never got over that first meeting, especially when I got ...

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