《经济学人》:学校改革的佼佼者 A class act
日期:2011-11-11 09:21

(单词翻译:单击)

A class act
佼佼者

Freedom and discipline go together in an innovative school
在一所革新的学校,自由和纪律同行

Innovation in schools
学校改革

THE scene is enough to appal those teachers steeped in ideas about child-centred education and learning through play. At the Durand Academy, a large primary school set amid tough housing estates in south London, a class of four-year-olds files into the corridor. Dressed in navy blue uniforms, the children silently divide, boys lining up against one wall, girls by the other. Following rules laid down by the watching boss of the school, Greg Martin—a man of firm convictions, once compared to Stalin by trade-union activists—the children stand with one finger to their lips, as a reminder to be quiet.

这个场景足以让那些整日浸淫于“教育要以孩子为中心”和“寓教于乐”等思想的教师们感到震惊。杜兰德专科学校坐落于南伦敦贫困居民区中,是一家大型小学,一个4岁班的同学们依次来到走廊里,他们穿着深蓝色的校服,默无声息地分成两组,男生靠一边的墙排成一队,女生靠另一边墙排成一队。根据监事校董格雷格?马汀(他具有坚定的信念,曾被工会活动分子比作斯大林)的规定,孩子们站在那里,用手指指着嘴唇,提醒自己保持安静。

Durand pupils are trained to move about the school in hushed crocodiles. Their work is marked strictly, with low scores carefully explained. Teachers'lesson plans must be approved by senior staff. Classes are filmed for use in training.

杜兰德学校的学生们要接受这样的训练,排成纵队在校园中静静地走动。他们的表现要进行严格的打分,如果分数低的话,还要认真地说明原因。普通教师的授课计划必须征得高级教师的批准。课堂要拍下来以备训练使用。

Mr Martin is one of a vanguard of senior teachers endeavouring—with support from Michael Gove, the education secretary—to put discipline at the heart of teaching. But this does not involve a lurch back to past ferocities. His school feels secure and calm rather than strict. “I'm four today,” a small girl whispers in the corridor, before popping her finger back on her lips, eyes agleam with birthday excitement. Her classmates wriggle happily as their teacher praises them for “lining up so beautifully”.

马汀先生是高级教师先锋之一,在教育大臣迈克尔?戈夫的支持下,他努力把纪律摆在教学的中心位置,但这并不是说又一下子回到过去的简单粗暴。在这个学校天,能感受到的是安全、宁静,而不是严格。“我今天4岁了。”走廊里,一个小女孩低声说道,然后迅速把手指重新放在嘴唇上,眼睛里闪着过生日才会有的兴奋。老师表扬同学们 “队列排得真整齐”,他们愉快地缓缓前行。

At a recent seminar on school discipline, Mr Gove and a clutch of star head teachers who have turned around failing (indeed out-of-control) schools discussed how firm, consistent rules are a tool for social mobility, enabling children from deprived backgrounds to escape the effects of often chaotic home lives. Mr Martin noted how many new pupils arrive unprepared for learning: unable to sit still and listen, or not toilet-trained. Half his 968 pupils receive free school meals (a marker for family poverty). Most are from black African or Caribbean backgrounds. Before the formal skills, all are taught something simpler: that they are constantly making choices, which have consequences.

在最近一次的学校纪律研讨会上,戈夫先生和一些曾使差校(实际上处于失控状态)发生改观的明星校长们展开讨论:怎样才能使严格的、一贯的纪律成为社会流动的工具,使贫穷的孩子们能够摆脱那些常常是乱糟糟的家庭生活的影响?马汀先生记下了入学但没有为学习做好准备的学生数量:他们不能静静地坐下来听课,甚至连用卫生间都不会用。他的968名学生,有一半得到了免费的校餐(这是家庭贫困的标志),他们大多是非洲或加勒比地区的移民后代。在学习正式的技能之前,首先要学习那些更简单的事情:他们常常做出选择,这也产生了一定效果。

Mr Martin's approach combines the traditional virtue of discipline with the extended freedoms offered to ambitious heads by the coalition government. He has been innovating on the same site for 25 years, taking advantage of each new reform that offered greater autonomy. Last year Durand secured academy status, gaining new powers to shape its curriculum and to recruit and pay staff on its own terms. Mr Martin shows off two smart, indoor swimming pools. Swimming lessons, he explains, teach the very smallest to undress and dress themselves, which many have never tried. The larger pool is open to the paying public after midday, and forms part of a private enterprise (also including a gym and a block of flats) that subsidises organic lunches, smaller than average classes and after-school care.

马汀先生的方法,既注重遵守纪律的传统美德,又充分利用联合政府给予他们这些胸怀改革雄心的校长们扩展了的自由。25年来他一直致力于这一学校的改革,利用每一次新改革所赋予的更大自主权。去年,杜兰德获得了专科学校的身份,使他们有新的力量制定自己的课程,按照自己的条件招聘员工并支付报酬。马汀向我们展示了两个整洁的室内游泳池。他解释说,游泳课程教给那些最小的孩子如何穿衣脱衣这些很多学生从未尝试的事情。大游泳池午后对公众有偿开放,就像一个私营企业的一部分(还有一个体育馆和一片公寓),可以资助有机午餐,比一般的班级和课外看护机构的规模要小。

The experiments seem to be working. Durand is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate. When they arrive, its three-year-olds, chosen non-selectively by catchment area, are well behind the national average. By final tests at 11, the children are in the top 2% in the country. Achievement and calmness follow each other says Mr Martin. Disruptive behaviour is “usually about fear”, triggered when children (especially boys) do not know how to do something.

实验似乎正在发生作用,学校的监察机构“英国教育标准局” 将杜兰德学校的工作评定为“杰出”级。实验开始时,学校接收的是本学区三岁的孩子,这无可选择,他们的入学水平远远落后于全国的平均水平。到11岁毕业测试时,他们的成绩已跃居全国的前2%。马汀先生说,成绩与平静相互促进,捣乱性的行为通常和害怕有关,多在孩子们(特别是男孩)不知道一件事如何做时发生。

The school's boldest experiment lies ahead. Tired of watching Durand’s high-achieving, happy 11-year-olds sink or fall prey to bad influences at their next schools, Mr Martin is opening a middle school and, in 2014, a weekly boarding school for 600 pupils from 13 to 18, on land Durand has bought in West Sussex. The education department has promised up to £17.3m for the new buildings. Existing state boarding schools charge for food and lodging. This one will be entirely free.

学校最大胆的实验还在后面。马汀先生不想看到那些得了高分、快快乐乐的11岁的孩子们今后堕落成学习中不良影响的牺牲品,他开办了一所中学。2014年,一所面向13到18岁孩子、可以容纳600名学生的寄宿制学校将在西埃塞克斯郡开办。教育部门许诺将为新校舍提供1730万英镑的资金。现在的寄宿制学校食宿是收费的,而这所学校却是完全免费的。

Nothing quite like it has been tried before; Whitehall officials cannot guarantee that it will succeed. But to Mr Gove's team, experimental risk is not the downside of setting schools free (more than 1,000 have gained academy status since 2010): it is the point. Parents will choose those schools that work. Durand, currently a remarkable exception, may be just the start.

此前还没有过类似的实验,白厅官员并不能保证它一定会成功。但对于戈夫先生的团队来说,实验的风险不是学校自由度的缩小(2010年以来,1000多所学校获得专科资格):这才是问题的关键所在。家长将选择那些运转良好的学校。杜兰德专科学校,现在已是一个非凡的另类,也许这只是开始。

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重点单词
  • outstandingadj. 突出的,显著的,未支付的
  • strictlyadv. 严格地
  • extendedadj. 延续的,广大的,扩大范围的 动词extend的
  • settingn. 安装,放置,周围,环境,(为诗等谱写的)乐曲 动词
  • sinkn. 接收端,沟渠,污水槽,散热器 vi. 下沉,下落,
  • povertyn. 贫困,贫乏
  • involvevt. 包含,使陷入,使忙于,使卷入,牵涉
  • primaryadj. 主要的,初期的,根本的,初等教育的 n. 最主
  • enterprisen. 企业,事业,谋划,进取心
  • remindern. 提醒物,提示