Another Brick in the Wall

Welcome to the Learning Factory. Leave your sense of humour at the door. Wipe the joy off your feet before you enter. Wash the fun off your hands and use the gloves provided.

Read the Rules of the Learning Factory before you enter.

1. You must keep moving forwards at all times. Any attempt to have fun will be punished. You must not slack. Your forward progress will be measured at all times so that data can be produced and the amount of forward motion can be assessed.

2. Your teachers will use only evidence-based methods. These methods have been rigorously tested for maximum rigour in a rigour-based system. Any teacher caught using alternative methods will be removed from the factory before creativity contamination occurs.

3. Do not use the following words: inspire, passion, engage, enjoy, love, hate, boring.

4. You will spend part of your day chopping up language so you can de-code it. You must also be able to name each of the parts that you have chopped up from the whole. Any attempt to extract meaning from language or to explore how it works when you use it is unnecessary. We cannot measure it precisely and therefore it is not sufficiently rigorous for our rigour-based system. Note: if it cannot be measured, it does not exist.

5. Reading is only acceptable if the book is judged to have sufficient rigour. The maintenance of rigour is essential. Rigour is usually only achieved when the author of the book has been dead for over 100 years.

6. Reading for pleasure is not encouraged. There is no time for that kind of thing. If we were to allow such things, before we know it workers would be lying on their backs watching the clouds pass by. Remember: you must keep moving forwards at all times.

7. Any suggestion that Synthetic Phonics is not the only method for learning to read will be subject to the most severe punishment. Any statement of this kind is heresy and the person making it will be banished from the Learning Factory forever.

8. The Factory Manager will decide what you learn, when you learn it, how you learn it and whether you have learned it fast enough. Do not expect you or your teacher to have any choice in the matter. Only the fastest and most efficient methods are acceptable (see Rule 7).

9. You can only exit the factory once you have filled your brain with the right kind of knowledge. You will be judged on how much knowledge you have got in your brain before you are allowed to exit. This judgement will be used to decide whether your teacher has achieved sufficient rigour in our rigour-based system or not. Once you exit the factory you may clear some of the knowledge from your brain if you do not need to use it. Use the recycling bin outside the exit for this purpose.

10. In the Factory we are not interested in where you came from and what you want from your time in the Learning Factory. Your context and background are irrelevant. All workers must move forwards at the same pace. If this does not happen, it is the fault of the workers.

You may now enter.

This entry was posted in Creativity, Evidence, Knowledge, Pedagogy, Rigour, Risk taking, Teaching and learning. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Another Brick in the Wall

  1. Floss says:

    Welcome to France… If you want to know more about how the system you describe actually works, please feel free to come and visit!


  2. Tiff Howard says:

    What a fantastic piece, well done.



  3. Pingback: Before You Declare ED Hirsch’s ‘Core Knowledge’ As Evil, Know This: « Laura McInerney

  4. Pingback: Why the traditional/progressive debate won’t go away. | fish64

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