The Monster is Compulsion

Jenny McCabe


For a while I have been trying to write about my experience of my UK PGCE course (for teacher qualification status)—of being a “critical novice”; an inexperienced trainee teacher apprenticed to a system they feel is fundamentally flawed, but who has nowhere else to go to learn.

I started out knowing there was something of interest I wanted to say, but for a while my writing just wouldn’t take shape. Causes and effects of the struggles I wanted to describe were slithering all over the place. I couldn’t pin down a coherent argument. My PGCE itself had been an utterly disorientating experience of trying to survive crushing self-doubt and the constant noise of inner voices pitched in dualistic battles. It took me two attempts to pass the course and it almost drove me crazy....


Educational alternatives; progressive education; alternative education; difference; educational theory; educational philosophy; home education; education policy



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