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close this bookCase Study Research - A Model of Best Practice at Loreto Day School, Sealdah, Calcutta - Occasional paper No.1 (DFID, 1998, 36 p.)
close this folder5. Critical Issues
View the document5.1. Rival Hypotheses of Best Practice
View the document5.2. Challenging Common Myths about Schooling

5.2. Challenging Common Myths about Schooling

A second way of exploring the critical issues which this case study has highlighted, is through representing and confronting some common myths about schooling. In this instance, the practices of Loreto Sealdah are used as a reflective tool, whereby notions of schooling and best practice in general may come under scrutiny. A set of common myths, represented overleaf, reflect some of the concerns discussed in Section 5.1 on rival hypotheses of best practice. Most refer to the values, activities and practices which have been discussed more generally in the report. As such they represent a kind of critical summary of the case study analysis.


1. Schools need massive physical resources to educate properly.

2. Low teacher: pupil ratios contribute to effective teaching and learning.

3. Social class and academic achievement are related.

4. There needs to be a ladder of promotions to motivate teachers.

5. Teachers are too overloaded and stressed to take on new and challenging roles.

6. Strangers and stray dogs on the premises will trash the property.

7. You can't run two schools within one building, at the same time.

8. You can't run two schools, a soup kitchen, a night shelter, and a teacher training programme within one building, at the same time.

9. Teachers always grumble.

10. Children need to be protected from the harsh realities of life.

11. Good fences make good neighbours.

12. Competition is the best way to motivate pupils.

13. You must know where the money is coming from before you make the plan.

14. Principals get stale if they stay in the same job in the same school for too long.

15. You can't change the basic structure of how a school operates.

16. Freedom is dangerous. Teachers and pupils will often take advantage of it.

17. Rich and poor children mix like oil and water.