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Primary Education News
News Classroom confidence: what questions or topics do you find challenging?
Be it climate change or immigration, we want to know if there's a subject or topic you dread covering in class
Last week, in our education research in brief column, I reported on a snippet from a report highlighting a growing global skills gap in education. Now as worrying as this is, there was another paragraph in the report that got me thinking; it said the research had revealed a disturbing drop in teacher confidence to tackle big questions such as immigration, climate change and global interdependence. In fact it said that in a 2009 poll 90% of teachers felt confident in using their skills to help children understand that we live in an interdependent world but today just over half of teachers felt the same.
Can this really be true? I am not trying to call the stats into question but am keen to find out if there are subject and topics that teachers just don't want to go near with a barge pole?
When I taught in primary schools, I know I was happy to discuss pretty much anything from climate change to poverty. I even had a couple of interesting sessions about North Korea and South Korea (as I had pupils from both countries in my class) but I know some of my colleagues would balk at having such discussions, especially if they were a deviation from that lesson's plan. I was however less happy about teaching music for instance and used to worry how to use the big plastic box brimming with percussion instruments with any level of skill. I could sing, played the cello at school but just felt like such a fool trying to produce music with my class - luckily I had a friend who was the subject lead in another school who came up with some fab suggestions as to how I could improve my confidence and make the sessions rooted in fun.
So do you have any big questions or topics which you don't feel confident in discussing or delivering? Or do you have ways in which you have overcome your concerns and now tackle questions or subject areas without batting an eyelid? We'd love to know more and see if there are any trends or patterns? Add your comments to the discussion below.