Part 1 -INTRODUCTION
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
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
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.
There are three overarching themes which are to be an important part of my
autobiography. These are:-
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.
Reader - Do you want to go back to the contents page?pbcontents.htm
Or read the next part? medrina.htm