Democratic Teaching

Democratic Teaching in the UK

This was by far my favourite film in the Rebel Education series – and as an added bonus I can claim credit for some of the camerawork! This film tells the story of one man from New Zealand who realised there was a better way to teach English. He brought his new system to the London Nautical School, an inner city comp with a high number of children from difficult backgrounds. And the effect he has had is unbelievable.

As you’ll see in this film, Chris Waugh’s system has changed the lives of many of the children in this school. He believes that the children should be entrusted with choosing their teacher – so each teacher presents them with a course themed around something that’s important to them. It allows the teachers add a personal touch to their classes, and it gives the pupils greater responsibility for their own learning. Chris also makes use of technology to allow the pupils to work towards ‘badges’ rather than assignments, which gives pupils greater flexibility in their learning and allows them to achieve more.

The results speak for themselves. GCSE grades have shot up; pupil satisfaction is at an all time high. But Chris never wants to stop fighting. There’s always going to be more work to do, more schools to change, more pupils to inspire.


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