We can learn from the Pacific Rim
In fact, those who have observed success in that part of the world are saying precisely that whole-class teaching has been quite wrongly confused with dull teaching, that it can be very sophisticated and that it provides a methodology which makes effective classroom management considerably easier for the average teacher.
Professor Gipps suggests that "we (wrongly) see an authoritarian, expository approach" in Taiwan and Japan. My impression is that it is those who are resistant to the message from the work of people like David Reynolds who want to present the Pacific Rim approach as rigid and deskilling for teachers.
What I find most worrying about Professor Gipps' argument is what lies behind her fairly briefly expressed distinction between Japanese children, who are "traditionally socialised to diligent learning" and children here where the "concept of motivation is much more significant". While not denying that there is some truth in what she says, it seems a relatively small step from there to an acceptance of low standards among the unmotivated. The low status of education in this country is the product of many factors in English culture, but it is at least possible that some of the resistance to a disciplined approach to learning has been encouraged from within the education profession.
It is clear that, however dedicated they are, many teachers are going to have an uphill struggle against the mores that are so widespread in our society. They need every possible weapon at their disposal to undertake the task. Those who point to Taiwan as an example are attempting to provide some of those weapons.
Chief executive CfBT Education Services East Street Reading Berkshire