Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Progressive?

In recent months, I have been growing increasingly concerned about what the Big Bad Progressive (BBP) has been up to. I have heard via the blogosphere that the BBP has ripped all the tradition out of schools, prioritised stories over non fiction, refused to tell children anything ever, focused on fun rather than learning, replaced all textbooks with iPads and the phrase “just google it”, allowed the most outrageous behaviour because of its “soft bigotry of low expectations” and besmirched the purity of Systematic Synthetic Phonics with methods that are not government approved. Clearly, this can’t be allowed to continue. So, I came up with a plan. I would ask around a bit, delve a little deeper, and see if I could locate the BBP in my area. Perhaps I could do everyone a favour and kill it off?

I started with my own children’s schools. I quizzed my children about whether their teachers told them stuff, or whether they were forced to float around discovering it all the time. My children confirmed that, while there was the occasional opportunity to explore their own ideas in a creative manner, mostly school was still just teachers telling them stuff, and then getting them to do the stuff they had just been told. Ah but did they have fun, I wanted to know? Well, sometimes, especially in the last lesson of the term, but mostly it was just plain old school. Next I checked at the preschool I help to run, and to be fair I did find some of the 2 and 3 year olds playing. But then I spotted a practitioner teaching the children to count as they played, so that is definitely not where the BBP is hiding. And then I realised. It came to me in a moment of sudden clarity. The real reason that I couldn’t find the BBP must be because the BBP is me!

So, here’s the thing. If I am the BBP (which is clearly the case, since several people have told me that I am “a Progressive” in the past), then there is *definitely no need to worry*. Because I am really rather nice in real life. I have absolutely no objection to other people teaching in whatever way they like (although I’d rather they didn’t insist I have to teach exactly like them). People definitely don’t need to read my books, since they might get infected by my BBP-ness, but reading books is easily avoided by not buying them. And if you ever happen to attend one of my training sessions, then remember that you honestly don’t have to use all those practical strategies that I shared, especially if you think they are not “no excuses”-y enough. And now that the mystery of the BBP is solved, I can sign off and spend half term with my kids. Have a lovely break, and see you in November. 🙂

This entry was posted in Behaviour, Books, Teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Progressive?

  1. dTeach says:

    I have to say that I am quite disappointed to see you making light of what is clearly one of the biggest issues facing “proper education” since people started to misquote Plato.

    What you seem not to realise is that although you are happy for others to be responsible for their choices when teaching, there are many out there who rely upon “Trad man” to defend learners from the worst excesses of the Big Bad Prog.

    Whereas you are just a simple Prog, Trad man is an all knowing all seeing Trad. It is not enough for Tradman to teach the way he wishes, he is driven by the fact that he knows the “truth”. He knows what every child needs, and that surely doesn’t include the F word…….(fun). If it were not for Trad man, who would protect us from the disasterous effects of Progs allowing learners to work together. Whoever heard of such foolish nonsense. Tradman has access to research findings that show that working together actually hinders progress, a fact that will come as a surprise to organisations across the globe.

    There are those who would suggest that the world is changing. Tradman knows that this is just a plot by Big Bad Prog to try and erase all memories of the past.Tradman is onto this one and he knows that armed with “Core Knowledge” he is invincible.

    Tradman identifies strawmen and ad hominem attacks on the “Trad way” and exposes them for what they are, desperate attempts by the Big Bad Prog to discredit the truth, which is most certainly out there.

    So before you attempt to underplay the role of the Big Bad Prog in undermining the future of humanity, think on what Plato said…..

    “Socrates my old cocker spaniel, you need to watch those Progs like a hawk”


  2. nancy says:

    Are you sure you can’t come back before the start of November? I have to go visit the inlaws and I shall be relying upon Twitter to help me through.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Now I Have Finally Seen The Light | Freeing the Angel

  4. RyanJ says:

    Sorry, it’s a bit rich for a BBP to complain about others telling them how to teach. Progressive dogma on an “excellent” lesson is rigidly enforced throughout the education bureaucracy, from PGCE lesson prescriptions (sorry – plans), formal lesson observations, through to OFSTED.


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