Home > The teacherless class > MacDougal and the coursebook

MacDougal and the coursebook

THE KOAN

Mr Gowan plugs his way methodically through the coursebook. After exercise 1, the class do exercise 2. After page 3, the class do page 4. After Unit 5, the class do Unit 6. End-of-unit tests are administered faithfully. Laughter can be heard from the classroom on an enviably regular basis. Students are desperate to join the class.

Across the corridor, in Mr Meedle’s class, the students never use the coursebook. Mr Meedle doesn’t approve of such things. He works like billy-o, the prolific worker, to make sure that he has materials that are up-to-scratch and relevant to the students’ lives. His efforts are not always appreciated. Students stare wistfully at the class on the other side of the corridor where the doors are always open.

Miss Gille never uses the coursebook either. In fact, she doesn’t really know how to use a coursebook. In fact, it is never that clear what she does use. The students aren’t much help in finding out. They shrug their shoulders and say they just do the usual. Nobody asks to move into her classes. Nobody from her classes has ever complained.

Which one of them should we keep on for next year?

COMMENTARY

Ah, life at the top. Big decisions are always hard to make and all decisions are big. What will you have for tea tonight? Is ha-ha more important than ho-hum or are the big prizes reserved for Huh? Caught between Scylla and Our Graham, the choice is yours.

THIS BE THE VERSE

Will it be chips or jacket spuds?

Will it be salad or frozen peas?

Will it be mushrooms?

Fried onion rings? 

You’ll have to wait and see!

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