Battle hymn of the tiger teachers: the Michaela way
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Katharine Birbalsingh

Edited by Katharine Birbalsingh, the founder and headteacher of the Michaela Community free school in London, this book brings together the experiences and reflections of 20 of Michaela’s teachers. Known for its traditional approach to teaching and learning, the staff claim that teaching at Michaela requires a different type of thinking, overturning many of the ideas and ‘myths’ about teaching that have become orthodoxy in English schools and teacher training.

Written with the aim of challenging conventions within education, the Michaela teachers pose questions for all educators to consider seriously, including how to teach pupils to remember rather than forget what they've learned; how can didactic teaching, drill and memorisation boost motivation and academic achievement; how can teachers help pupils to be considerate, kind and caring to each other; and how can schools ensure new teachers are just as respected as veteran teachers?

Michaela’s strong belief in discipline and traditional teaching methods offer a different perspective on education compared to much recent thinking. While its principles may not be acceptable to everyone, its teachers suggest that it is produces big improvements to the lives of its disadvantaged pupils. 

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Katharine Birbalsingh

Published by:
John Catt Educational

Date of publication:
November 2016

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This book offers a comprehensive account of the traditional methods of teaching, learning and leadership practiced at the Michaela Community free school in London. It may be of particular interest to school leaders and policy makers.  


Record ID:
R349 / 453
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