Breaking out from the Straitjacket; an Appreciation of the Art of Teaching in a Business Classroom within a Scientifically-Based Teaching Environment
David Needham, Dr Kevin Flint.
Teachers might develop a wonderful feeling that many young people have understood the lesson and have not just enjoyed the experience but done so in a way that has created some 'thing' special for all of those involved ('thing' is highlighted in this instance as it is a tangible event taking place and not any attempt to represent it). Some teachers describe this as a buzz; in other words, like nature itself, as something unquestionably unique that justifies their commitment to their teaching and their students. No matter how much we know about botany and genes, every flower is unique and blooms because it blooms. As Angelus Silesius indicates within his poetry:
“The rose is without why; it blooms because it blooms, It pays no attention to itself, ask not whether it is seen.” (Heidegger, 1991)
The United Kingdom education system has existed under the hammer of transformation, with a National Curriculum (1988), a rigorous inspection regime (Woodward, 2001) and countless changes in curriculum and associated assessments (QCA), as well as a substantive apparatus that makes many assumptions about how teachers should operate within the classroom.
The primary concern of this paper is to question how the ‘scientific framing’ of teaching through competences and other measures of accountability has influenced the work of teachers within the context of business education. The paper argues that scientific enframing not only puts a straitjacket on teachers within the UK, it also makes it difficult for them to develop and appreciate the ‘art of teaching’.
David Needham (United Kingdom)
Faculty of Education
The Nottingham Trent University
Formerly at the University of Stirling, David Needham has worked in both schools and further Education. He has many publications in national and international journals, has written more than 40 curriculum and academic texts, was the founder of The Times 100 and is Editor of Vocational Education Today.
Dr Kevin Flint (United Kingdom)
Person as Subject
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)