Book Review: Punk Learning – Tait Coles


Safe to say I expected to like this book before I started reading it. That’s why I chose it from the pile of education books that have appeared in the school library.  It appealed to me, as a punk and a teacher.

Thing is, I’ve not managed to translate much (any?) of my own punk ethos into my classroom. I’ve thought about it, then been a bit scared/unsure really. I found this a really inspirational read – showing how teaching can be done in a different way. I need to go away and listen to Big A, Little A – Crass on repeat for a few hours to reinvigorate my attitude to teaching and learning. (Something I recommend everyone else should do too.)

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I want classes like the ones described in the book, but I know I can’t just make it happen on Wednesday when I get my first classes of the school year. I know I can’t just stick two fingers up to my schools marking policy, or the data recording I have to do, as much as I might want to ;-). But I can use the marking in a way that benefits my students as much as possible. I would have aimed to do this anyway, of course! But it can be helped by what I read in Punk Learning. I want my classes to be amazing positive places, where students are motivated and everything is productive and creative.  This is the aim and I will take steps to make this happen.  I can see I have things to work on in class to lead to having classes of punk learners. Ground work! I can change how I teach and I can build up the confidence of my students (and myself).

I’ll do this and see where I’m at with it in a few months.

In summary,

the book is short – good. I had time to read

It references music I like – good. I like music I like.

It is about an attitude I admire – this is pleasing.

Would highly recommend. I’d also like to thank Tait Coles for reminding me to be the teacher I really want to be.



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3 Responses to Book Review: Punk Learning – Tait Coles

  1. lucyannluna says:

    I’ve already done one week & met everyone except year 9. I think I need to read that book, this years lower 6th seem really nice ( unfortunately the ones I taught for GCSE are in the other set) , & a little more goth than last years bunch. Don’t get me wrong we like them & are used to them, they have been dropping in at lunchtime ever since they realised physics were in. Perhaps that says something about us! Also goths tend to do maths & further maths which is even better.
    Good luck with your classes & I must read that book.


  2. audsley says:

    We seem to be going back quite late! Good luck with all your classes. Sounds very positive if they are already dropping in. Not something I usually get. 🙂 Definitely get hold of a copy and give it a read.


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