The contents page gives the titles to each part but I would like first of all to place the

autobiography in a context. Although this is a professional autobiography how I have

approached my profession has taken on different emphasis as my career has

progressed. In the introduction I will try to examine this context by looking at three

aims briefly and expanding on them in the conclusion with reference to material in the


Career Aims

Teaching Aims

Personal Aims

1) Career Aims

Career has never been particularly important to me, not in the way real education

has, and this has clearly led to certain frustrations - alienation? Career has

developed depending on the institution; at Brixton Comprehensive moving up the

ladder was, in general, steady; at Hove Comprehensive I totally fell off.

One career theme which runs throughout a great deal of my work is that of staff

development (there is a staff development work history in my CV - Appendix1A).

Teaching teachers is the career direction I would like to take and in part this is why I

am studying for an M Ed because in Botswana it is a requirement for teaching at the

teaching training colleges. Although I am not certain whether I wish to stay in

Botswana I do want to stay in the region and an M Ed is an important advantage in

the area for entry into the teaching teachers profession. I will refer to staff

development in the conclusion.

2) Teaching Aims

How I have approached teaching has changed radically through the years although

the overall aims and objectives of my teaching have in general remained constant. At

Teacher Training college I fell in line with the concept of self-realisation as the

objective of education and that education practice was to lead out what was

contained within the self. With this somewhat idealistic basis I started teaching, and

although even then I was cynical about the system I did at least attempt to achieve

this objective.

At Hove Comprehensive political theories such as educating for failure began to

make more sense, and I stopped listening to the apologists for the system who used

to say we were trying for self-realisation but failing. I recognised that neither society

nor the political will were concerned that all students passed or were even a success

in some form.

Ideologically I would still like to see an education system which is trying to develop

self-realisation in all its students but the reality seems so far from this ideal that

attempts on my part to introduce such concepts would be more for my theorising than

for any practical possibility of success.

3) Personal Aims

Obviously one's own personal philosophy strongly influences the actions of your daily

life and therefore your professional work. Early in my teaching career I was

considering my own spiritual development, hence my concern for self-realisation. As I

reached my 30's, especially with my work on the magazine, I began to realise that

self-realisation for all people was the cornerstone of my spiritual development; I

realised that the political system prevented this. I will develop this in the conclusion

with reference to autobiographical material.

Overarching Themes

There are three overarching themes which are to be an important part of my

autobiography. These are:-


Equal Opportunities


In each of the parts of the autobiography I will examine aims and learning outcomes

with specific reference to the topics of those parts, and then it is my intention to draw

together the above overarching themes in the conclusion.

Achieving quality and self-realisation I see as closely intertwined concepts; it is my

intention through reflection in the autobiography to consider quality, and in my

conclusion point to an understanding of quality for possible future analysis.

Being concerned about race issues equal opportunities is an important approach but

it is wider than the obvious race and gender issues. I shall be considering this

throughout and developing it in the conclusion.

Motivation, as a concept, is something which is in fact central to all my thinking about

teaching. I started from the viewpoint that the system demotivated students and it

only required good teaching and teaching materials to motivate. I now subscribe to

this view only in part, the lack of motivation in UK students cannot in my view be

overcome simply through the individual efforts of teachers, this lack is a deep malaise

in the society. Alienation, perhaps synonymous with lack of motivation, is a concept

that I will regularly refer to, and this concept will be integral to the motivation theme.

As a starting point I want to state an article of faith, it is my belief that people are

motivated to learn, learning about life is a fundamental human drive, my analysis of

motivation is a consideration of where that drive has gone and why?

One other important aspect of this M Ed has been my work with teachers, I especially

mentioned this at the beginning of the introduction with regards to staff development.

But the longer I have been in teaching the more the issue of personnel relations has

taken on importance. Teachers cannot provide quality in education, give students

equal access and motivate students if they themselves are alienated from teaching. If

teachers are not comfortable with their jobs as professionals, then they cannot

provide effective teaching. I further believe that teachers are the greatest

under-utilised resource in education but unfortunately the only efforts being made to

improve teacher output in the UK appear to be to increase pressure on the teachers.

Increased pressure cannot provide better quality, cannot provide equal opportunities

and can only badly affect teacher motivation. This theme of personnel relations will

be considered throughout and I will examine it in detail in the conclusion.


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