Kids like ours

Conversation yesterday:

Assistant Head: “I don’t know about the type of teaching Weedingham promotes, but while it sounds good in theory, I’m not sure it works with our kids.”

Me: Do you mean Willingham? He only writes about how learning happens, not teaching, and how the mind/brain works. Why do you think our kids are different?”

Assistant Head: “I don’t think his experiments were carried out with poorer kids”

Me: What?

Assistant Head: “Well we need more engagement than average kids.”

Me: But the intake here is above average.

Assistant Head: “But we still take from the estates”

Written down this looks ludicrous, and not just because of the fact that she clearly hadn’t read any Willingham, but it didn’t sound it, partly because it’s such a common thing to hear.

Every time someone says “<insert name of school> kids are…” or “<insert name of area> kids are…” they’re lowering expectations of either that group of pupils or the pupils not in the group.

The worst is “kids like ours…” because this is usually the start of a sentence making excuses for why it’s not their fault their kids are going to fail.

2 thoughts on “Kids like ours

  1. I started teaching on a rough innercity estate, 9% in the yaer beforw got 5a-c with maths&eng – target from ofsted was 20%. The 1st staff meeting I tecall was the head saying these targets were ridiculous with kids “like ours”.2 years later we had a nrw hed – following year hit our 40% target, 2 yaers after that surpassed 60%! Kids brlirved in the new head and ahted the old one!

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