The Pendulum Swings

Transforming School Reform

Paperback / softback, 210 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
1 Mar 2010
Trentham Books Ltd

Price: £20.99

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Since 1988, education reform has been driven by what Bernard Barker shows to be a delusion. The notion that learning can be improved by five measures: performance tables, competition, poverty denial, best practice recipes and quick leadership fixes has proved to be wholly untrue. As the pendulum swings towards a general election in 2010, this timely book argues that New Labour's education policies have become the single biggest obstacle to school improvement. If policy makers don't change their thinking completely, schools will be trapped in cycles of perpetual change that lead nowhere. Discontent with failed, top-down reform and the prospect of political change have created a rare opportunity to reinvent education policy, and to think afresh about how teachers and children should be encouraged to aim high. "The Pendulum Swings" explores alternative, genuinely transformative conceptions of leadership and learning and explains how they could become the foundation for a better approach to improving our schools. Bernard Barker is Emeritus Professor of Educational Leadership and Management, School of Education, University of Leicester. He headed comprehensive community colleges in Cambridgeshire and Leicester for 19 years and is the author of the acclaimed Transforming Schools - illusion or reality?

  • Bernard Barker

Preface - Getting the Boys to Sing; Chapter 1: Introduction: The Dynamics of School Reform; Chapter 2: Must the Disadvantaged Fail?; Chapter 3: Markets and Competition; Chapter 4: Imagine an End to Failure; Chapter 5: Bastards and Prophets; Chapter 6: Best Practice; Chapter 7: Progressive Alternatives; Chapter 8: Transforming School Reform

...the strengths of Barkers book lie not only in the historical perspective that informs its understanding of contemporary school reform in England, but also in its use of this perspective to review important and unresolved political debates concerning the future direction of educational reform in the context of major public expenditure cuts that are about to take hold - History of Education Bernard Barker delivers a historically informed and contemporarily relevant review of school reform in England drawing on a wide range of intellectual resources - Journal of Educational Administration and History