Sunday, July 08, 2007

Filming bad behaviour does not make it go away

The suspension of Angela Mason for filming pupils without their consent in order to make money from a TV company has caused a lot of discussion on the TES website. On the whole posters expressed concern about the misbehaviour of pupils which is a serious issue for many of us.

However I think it is dishonest to brand everyone who criticises Angela Mason as "soft on misbehaving pupils." Come into my classroom and say that.

Filming people without their permission goes on too much as it is and certainly should not be going on in schools.

It has been suggested they could use "unedited footage" but this is naive. Pointing the camera is editing. I could film pupils quietly getting on with their work for an hour. What a riveting TV program that would make! Do you think the TV companies would give me a lot of money for it? And yet that could well be what you saw if you chose to point the camera in that direction.

And filming bad behaviour does not make it less likely. The evidence is all around us that people will film their own bad behaviour because they are proud of it.



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