Saturday, May 31, 2014

Robin Alexander Presents a Cautionary Tale about GERM (Global Education Reform Movement)

Robin Alexander is a Fellow of Wolfson Collegeat the University of Cambridge, Professor of Education Emeritus at the University of Warwick, Honorary Professor of Education at the University of York, Chair of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust, and past President of the British Association for International and Comparative Education. His cross-cultural study Culture and Pedagogy, involving fieldwork in England, France, India, Russia and the United States, won the 2002 AERA Outstanding Book Award. The Cambridge Primary Review, which he directed from 2006-12, is the UK’s most comprehensive independent education enquiry for half a century.

On last May 13th, Robin delivered the 2014 Godfrey Thomson Trust Lecture at the University of Edinburgh. His title was Evidence, Policy and the Reform of Primary Education: A Cautionary Tale. I was struck with the close similarities between the politics of education in the UK and in the US. Robin’s lecture is a cautionary tale for educators and politicians in the US and elsewhere. The struggles being fought in the UK with curriculum, standards, and accountability closely parallel those in other nations and give testimony to the existence of a GERM (Global Education Reform Movement).

Robin’s lecture is not only an insightful examination of the contemporary British scene but also traces more than 50 years of history of the evolution of the UK school system and its relationship to government.

Robin’s web site is at

Robin has graciously agreed to have his lecture posted here:

Gene V Glass
Arizona State University
National Education Policy Center
University of Colorado Boulder

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent the official position of NEPC, Arizona State University, nor the University of Colorado Boulder.

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