This video was used to provoke debate in staff development sessions. It asks a very simple question about learning, school, examinations and life. Do you ever step off the straight? The film always provokes some good discussion, and a lot of comment, particularly about the cyclists breathing!
Please feel free to use the film in your own staff development sessions, here are some questions and prompts to get things going.
1) In this school, what is the straight? Just how much is set down and formally required? Just how flexible is the curriculum?
2) The cyclist clearly has a sense of adventure as a lot of risks are taken and there is a lot of potential danger. What are the risks in stepping off the straight in this school? Is there really, truly, any danger?
3) Who would you need to speak to about stepping off the straight? Is it right that you have autonomy in your classroom and the freedom to do what you want without clearing it with anyone? Head of year? Head of department? Headteacher? What would the headteacher say anyway?
4) Why do you think the film is called “The Straight” and not “The Straight and Narrow”?
5) How do you measure it? Everything is measured in school so how do you measure a journey where you are not sure where you are going? What would OFSTED say? How do you show the value of using your own initiative?
6) You may know of some alternative approaches to education that value ‘the journey’ more than ‘the destination’. Why do we not value these approaches more in this country?