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A Critical Review Of Articles Containing School Related Issues

2720 words - 11 pages

My main aim of this assignment is to provide a critical assessment of two articles with reference to wider reading. I will also be offering my own assessment and reflections on how my overall study has developed my understanding of aspects of teaching and learning in schools.The first article is edited by Phillip Jackson, and is titled 'life in classrooms' .The author of this article draws attention to the reality of classrooms by highlighting the experience of pupils. He sets out the nature of school attendance and of the school context: schooling is compulsory; a pupil is one in the classroom crowd; is subject to praise or sanction, and is constrained by the power of the teacher.The second article consists of two parts. The first part is an excerpt from the introduction of 'The school I'd like' by Blishen, E. (1969) where the author mentions about a public competition which was conducted in 1967, in which kids across England wrote essays about "The school that I'd like". The second section of the article is from 'The Guardian' newspaper which in 2001 launched a similar competition in which young people were asked to imagine their ideal school.The main aims of both of the sections in the second article is to bring forward children's opinions regarding school and urge the leaders of the educational system to make changes in order to accommodate the children more appropriately. Blishen (1969) expresses this feeling when he says referring to the massive response from the entrants "it amounted to an enormous, remarkably good-humoured earnest, frequently passionate and, at best, highly intelligent plea for a new order in our schools." Similarly, the editor of the 2001 article in 'The Guardian': Dea Birkett makes the same point 'Entrusted with designing their own schools, where they spend an average working week, they have grasped the opportunity. They want change.' Referring to the previous competition and the possibility of similar consequences of the children not being heard again, she says in hope: "Most of all, now these voices have been heard we hope the answer will not lead to another three decades of silence."Many important issues are raised in both articles and many of the concerns are shared. At the commencement of the first article it presents information which the author claims we must consider in order appreciating the significance of trivial classroom events and to understand how students feel about and cope with their school experience. Jackson (1968) summing it up says "We must recognise that children are in school for a long time, that the settings in which they perform are highly uniform, and that they are there whether they want to be or not." Commenting on the invariable classroom setting and environment he says "Not only is the classroom a relatively stable physical environment, it also provides a fairly constant social context." At the end of the article the writer mentions three facts with which even the youngest students must...

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