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What would your ideal school look like?

In my ideal school, mistakes would also be part of the learning process - allowing children to be more independent in their thinking and learn for themselves. Education would be less didactic and controlling. Giving children more choice and autonomy leads to higher self-esteem and stronger intrinsic motivation. Pupils would be given a voice, encouraged to think for themselves, and offered opportunities to develop self-reliance.

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Rather than achieving a fair society, educational inequalities based on characteristics beyond children’s and parents’ control – and for the most part related strongly to the experience of child poverty – are rife. They are perpetuated by an educational system that does little to mitigate the unfair advantages available to better-off families. Urgent action is needed to ensure that all children and families have the resources they need to enjoy childhood and to develop towards a fulfilling adulthood.

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Research around the impact that iPad has had on education is limited and, one could argue, biased. In one case Apple even acknowledges having no idea of the methodology used to collect the data of research published on its own website (iPad in education, 2017). Yet schools continue to buy into the device and its advertised rewards. Through the many conversations I have on Twitter it becomes apparent that the problem doesn’t lie with the technology but with the teachers using it. Teachers need to be better trained in the capabilities that this type of technology could provide them and their students. And this will no doubt be an additional cost to schools. 

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Teachers; throughout your working day you will be under constant time-pressure to observe what is happening, interpret situations, and then make decisions. Unfortunately, this time pressure can have some quite detrimental effects and may lead you to jumping to conclusions about what is happening and the actions that need to be taken.  This in turn may place you in conflict with pupils, colleagues, parents and stakeholders who may have a quite different view as to what is going on and the actions required. 

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Sue Cowley offers an insight into why children might struggle to regulate their behaviour for themselves, and what we can do to help them.

Sue Cowley is an author, teacher and presenter. Her books include the international bestseller 'Getting the Buggers to Behave'. Her latest book is 'The Ultimate Guide to Differentiation'.

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