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Pupil boredom through the ages

Andy Connell Appleby Cumbria

In the 1980s, Sir Keith Joseph concluded that disaffection among pupils must be because they often found lessons boring. His successors had the answers: teaching must be spiced up by the national curriculum and tests - lots of tests.

Then came Ofsted, turning back the clock to the nostrums of the 1880s and 1890s: fast-moving, minutely structured lessons. Point up aims and objectives; review last lesson; starter activity; variety of differentiated exercises; set homework; plenary to point out to students how the aims and objectives have been achieved, and don't forget to keep reminding them what level they are at.

Sad to relate, Ofsted now finds that boring teachers are failing students, who are forced into truancy by the tedium of it all. Here comes that old bag again.

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