Some reviews of Never Mind the Inspectors; Here’s Punk Learning.
The best book I’ve read about teaching in the past half decade is Tait Coles’ ‘Punk Leaning’. Coles is the most radically left wing of the newer education writers, and ‘Punk Learning’ contains everything I want in a book about teaching. It is challenging, provocative, experimental and in parts pleasingly flawed. In it, he takes lessons from punk luminaries, and applies them to the act of teaching, steering what initially suggests itself to be an uncontrollable metaphor into a remarkably cohesive statement of political intent. This book combines high-minded seriousness with a deeply ludic approach to what is possible and is, for me, the antidote to the unimaginative priggishness that is the vogue in current educational debate. This book, which is beautifully designed, seems to me to be the educational equivalent of Lydon’s advice to the working class, “Get smart. Read as much as you can, and find out who’s using you!”
Phil Beadle, English teacher, education consultant, author, teacher trainer and speaker.
Punk Learning is a bold, incisive blast of cool reasoning and radical pedagogy. If you are concerned about how education is being used to kill the radical imagination, this is the book to learn both what a real critical pedagogy looks like and what it means to struggle against the arid accountants who are killing the spirit of critical education. A ‘must read’ for all those concerned about teaching, learning, democracy and the value of education as the practice of freedom.
Henry A. Giroux, McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest
In a book full of strong ideas and strong ideals, Tait Coles, the Joe Strummer of education, has re-asserted the ancient values of authentic learning. They’ve been called Socratic, democratic, progressive and student-centred in the past … and now punk, the perfect way to describe a way of teaching that defies the Establishment’s conveyer-belt lessons and PISA-driven priorities that use, rather than serve, our nation’s students. Punk Learning is a sharp slap in the face for England’s current business-imitating, state-policed, corporatized schooling with its uber-obedient teaching. Like punk itself, this book is scary. Whatever you do, don’t let your head teacher know you’re reading it.
Paul Ginnis, independent trainer and author.
Some really refreshing and important ideas in this text around pupil voice and pupil freedom. A must- read as an antidote to a ever- restrictive national curriculum. Inspiring,creative and thought- provoking
Laura Quinton Maryon, School of Education, Oxford Brookes University
Read more here…