Learning Without Limits By Susan Hart, Annabelle Dixon, Mary Jane Drummond and Donald McIntyre Open University Press pound;20.99
Here's a book that could change the world. The title says it all. Significantly different from the other great works on education, the book explains not the theory or thinking of one visionary individual (as in John Holt's How Children Fail, for example) but the painstakingly argued and agreed conclusions of a team of distinguished educators based on their team research. It deserves to be at least as influential as any other on education.
Susan Hart, Annabelle Dixon, Mary Jane Drummond and Donald McIntyre start with an assumption that views of ability as a predictor and determinant of future pupil performance are so pervasive, at least in England, among policymakers, teachers - and, indeed, pupils and parents - that they inevitably influence what happens in schools. The outcomes are often noxious and damaging.
I share that analysis; often I've cringed as a head has thrown open a classroom door while taking me on a tour of the school and confided: "This is the bottom set." Sometimes I've plucked up the courage to boom back, "Goodness, they look very clever to me. You must have a school full of stars." More often, in my embarrassment, I've smiled weakly while silently pitying the children who have the misfortune to attend a school that has so unthinkingly downgraded their chances in life.
Tim Brighouse is commissioner for London schoolsnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;
Read Tim's review in fullnbsp;in this week's TES Friday magazine
The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.
Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.