I’ve written before about my ‘dilemma’ regarding Teachit English, the online provider of resources for English teachers/teaching. As a contributor, I am obviously delighted to have shared work through them, especially creative writing ideas. There is payment too, though this – as is always the case in educational publishing – is a modest amount.
On the other hand, there is my continuing dismay at Teachit English needing/feeling it is right to pander to ‘populist’ educational needs/ideas, although as soon as I write this out I know it isn’t all that serious an issue: it is more my dismay that what is popular seems to me to be pragmatic and secretarial as far as English teaching resources/ideas go.
Here are two images I picked up from visiting Teachit English yesterday, responding to a regular email share. The first is my happening on the following account of my number of resources – at 6, not prolific by any means – but I was a little astonished to see that these have been downloaded over 11,500 times. I find that genuinely uplifting: the idea that colleagues wanted to use these with their students. Whether these worked – well, I don’t know! But as my priority is always the sharing of professional ideas in support of other teachers, that is a positive, hugely positive weight to my further overall liking for Teachit English.
The other image is of that ‘pandering’ to the populist agenda. Previously, where Teachit English’s most popular resources were those largely to do with functional skills [admitting that at KS4 especially, these are heavily assessed in GCSE examination], the ones to do with Cultural Capital are quite different: the resources themselves – literary studies/support – are fine as such in their intention, and quite traditional and familiar in that respect, so to ‘sell’ them as delivering the new educational buzzword of ‘Cultural Capital’ seems a sham. I do get it: CC is in the new Ofsted Framework, and this might make it seem necessary to attend to. But it is also touted by the Hirschian school of Tory educational policy thinking, and is therefore suspect because of this. CC is creeping into other educational selling/publication materials [see my view of Educake here] so Teachit English is simply following a trend, but I personally dislike it.