The Thinking Teacher: Regulation – lessons from finance

Thinking Teacher Social Media Posts.010

If we want thinking children, we need thinking teachers. This is the premise of my book ‘The Thinking Teacher’, in this series of posts I am sharing some of the key ideas from the book and the thinking behind them.

In this chapter I consider what we might be able to learn from the world of banking and finance as an unlikely but contrasting field to teaching.

Shifting goalposts, lack of certainty, changes in public opinion; these are just a few factors currently affecting the teaching profession. They are also facing other areas of work, notably the banking industry. Teachers may not feel like they have much in common with bankers, but there are some similar discussions happening in the finance industry about the way they are regulated.

Since I wrote this chapter there have been some interesting developments around Ofsted and how they judge schools. Notably there has been considerable discussion about the grading of individual lessons and whether teachers should be judged on the style of their teaching or not. These discussions really seemed to start at grassroots levels amongst teachers, and the fact that this then grew to the point Ofsted took them onboard and began publicly talking about the fact they should be judging the results and outcomes of teaching rather than the style and delivery I think is something of a milestone for the influence of social media in education in the UK.

In the book I explore similar arguments in the finance industry; that it is more productive to measure and incentivise outcomes rather than any particular process. I also look at how regulating process can stifle innovation, and potentially lead to limiting outcomes in the long run.

The Ofsted question may have moved forward since I wrote this, but I think there is still lots to ruminate on in this. How does setting controls on process affect how the outcomes of that process are reached? Should we be focusing on the outcomes for learners and allow them to innovate their own process?


More in ‘The Thinking Teacher’, which is available now in from (independent book sellers,) Amazon UKAmazon US and on the iBooks store.

More posts on ideas from ‘The Thinking Teacher’ here.





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