Pick Your Teacher: Democratic Schooling in the UK – Rebel Education


The London Nautical School was founded in 1915 to train students in maritime skills. Today it’s a modern, non-selective inner London state school for boys – with a very different approach to learning.

At the start of the year, teachers pitch their courses to the students, who are given the power to choose what courses they want to study. This forces staff, students and parents to work closely together to evolve the content of the courses on offer. And it has created radically different courses, which are highly engaging and are placing students at the centre of the learning experience. This fresh approach to learning started in the school’s English department. They wanted to push the British education system as far as they could – a system that is often perceived as prescriptive and restrictive for teachers.
In this film, we follow some of the teachers putting together their syllabus for the year and students choosing their preferred course. We also talk to teachers, students and parents about the pedagogy in practice: What happens to the teachers if no students choose their course? And how has this approach affected the school’s exam results?

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