Ted's teaching tips

20th November 1998 at 00:00
(Photograph) - background must be handled sensitively, as many children feel self-conscious if asked about their own family or home circumstances.

The photograph

Look at the expressions and posture of the four children in the picture. What do the faces and stances of each of them suggest? Disdain,contempt, respect, bewilderment, apprehension, indifference, amusement? What about their dress, formal or informal? What sort of family do you think they come from?

Social Class

The British are supposed to be "class conscious". What does this mean? Is it true? Does the social background of other people matter to you? How are people grouped socially? ("upper", "middle", "lower" class; "professional" and "manual" jobs, A, B, C, D, E according to type of job, income, etc). Why do newspapers boast of their "AB" or "ABC"readership? (to impress advertisers). What are "status symbols"? (cars, designer clothes, expensive trainers). Is class more important than other factors, like someone's religion, lifestyle, honesty, loyalty, determination, imagination?


If these four children were in a balloon and one had to be thrown out to save the rest, which would you eject? Did you pick the public school boy? Supposing he is actually very nice. Did you pick one of the others? Why? Are you prejudiced?


Write speech bubbles for the four boys ("Can you spare 50 quid for a cup of tea, guv?". "Go away, peasant").

Ted Wragg is professor of Education at Exeter University

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


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.

Subscribe now