Creative thinking... in an ideal world

The Christians. Alongside the Housemartins - who introduced a recent blog -  another, in my humble opinion, underrated band from the late -1980s.




I heard Hooverville again on a Top of the Pops 1988 special the other day and it took me back. Back to my first year in teaching and, I’d venture, a piece of creative thinking on my part. It happened occasionally!


Required, as a Newly Qualified Teacher, to deliver an unfamiliar programme of study on the Impact of the Great Depression in 1930s America, the timely release of Hooverville offered the chance of the best and most engaging musical introduction to a lesson that a rookie practitioner could have dreamt of.


Oh Hooverville, and they promised us the world...

Dirty faced children sit in the road, in the shanty town shacks they call home.


Better still, why not further link this study of the shanty towns built by the homeless on the outskirts of the great cities and named after Herbert Hoover, who was President during the onset of the Depression and was widely blamed for it, to students’ contemporary work in English...

Grapes of Wrath



And Art and Photography, where photographers like Dorothea Lange produced iconic images which helped to define understanding of the impact of the Depression...

Dorothea Lange



Whatever the pressures of shrinking budgets and potentially stifling accountability, creativity must always remain at the heart of all great teaching... and learning. 


In the thirty-one years that have passed since my brief moment of inspiration, nothing better exemplifies the power of creativity in schools than the annual Art Exhibition. And nothing that I have seen has topped what we were privileged to experience last week at school...



In an Ideal world...