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The Education Forum

What Motivates Teachers?


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Under Margaret Thatcher the government decided that teachers needed constant threats in order to make them work hard at their jobs. This included league tables and regular visits from inspectors (rather than advisers). Although the Labour Party criticised this approach, as soon as Blair gained power he continued this policy. In fact, he has intensified this idea that teachers cannot be trusted to work hard on behalf of their pupils.

What Thatcher and Blair failed to realize (and it tells you a great deal about them as people) is that most people enter the profession with a sense of public service. As David Carter, a public service worker, recently remarked: “They (public service workers) are likely to perform effectively regardless of target-setting or pay incentives. They see the requirement to bid for funds or contracts as an unnecessary diversion. All they ask is to be valued and trusted, well funded and fairly paid…. To import the private sector wholesale into schools, universities and hospitals is to misunderstand how these institutions work. And it is a misunderstanding informed by ideology more than best practice.”

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To import the private sector wholesale into schools, universities and hospitals is to misunderstand how these institutions work.

Indeed. "The Blueberry Story" at

http://www.jamievollmer.com/blue_story.html

testifies to the difference between private industry and public education.

David Wilson

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/

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