Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Everything I Know About Teaching by Michael Gove
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (United Kingdom, 2013)
Order HERE

This satirical book was created by one of the world's most prolific authors, Anonymous.

Anonymous' Book Description on
Over 90 blank pages of Gove's teaching wisdom – the perfect gift to put a smile on the face of any UK-based teacher. Empty chapters have individual headings, including: "My teaching experience"; and "Why teachers admire me". Pages are lined for convenient use as a notebook.

Back Cover:  The definitive guide to teaching in the UK, as outlined by the RT Hon MIchael Gove MP, member of Parliament for Surrey Health, and Minister of Education.  A true mastermind of his field, respected by all members of the teaching community. His ability to consistently gain favor with all policy decisions, whilst maintaining his man-in-the-know exterior, leaves all who may question his overall teaching knowledge and experience lost for words. Just ask any teacher or parent how much they respect this true leaders among educators and you will be amazed by the amount of feeling.  And all this in a role which so often goes unnoticed. A role more frequently occupied by those managing not to rock the boat. This man is a genius.

The Amazon listing of this book has garnered, to date, 203 reviews/comments.  Here is an example:
I haven't read this book - haven't picked it up, haven't even seen it. In fact I know nothing about it whatsoever. As MIchael Gove is to teaching, so am I to reviewing. That's why I'm qualified to review this book. It's an excellent book.--Steve Augarde

In fact, the comments on the listing are as worthy a read as the book itself!  Here's another example:
Mr Gove has so much to say about many things. It is a delight to read his considered thoughts on education. As a headteacher I sometimes find that the quantity of initiatives coming into schools can be overwhelming and ill-considered. This book contains no such initiatives. Everything in it comes from Mr Gove's carefully thought through grand plan for education, lucidly presented which makes for an easy read for anyone, whether they scored 40 in a pathetic phonics test or zero. The grammar is impeccable and clearly benefits from regular testing against no statutory criteria, and I am pleased to see an explanation of the term "dash cohesion" which I find in the new national curriculum (draft) and nowhere else in the English language (internet anyway). The section on assessment is particularly illuminating, as it so accurately reflects the new national curriculum's approach to assessment, (though to properly reflect this he should really have included a test at the end, which could be changed without notice). I am looking forward to writing on these pages myself, as I am sure every other teacher in the country is. In short, a modern classic, containing all the accumulated wisdom of a lifetime of listening to no one but himself.--jezdj

Commentary by AJ Dehany who submitted this item to BIBLIOTHECA INVISIBILIS:
Michael Gove MP is one of the least divisive figures in British politics. Without any aptitude, experience, or credible ideas, the UK's Minister for Education is reviled universally. Cutting a ridiculous figure, he nonetheless manages to wield enough power to cluelessly ride roughshod over the whole area in his purview. The damage he is doing to young people's lives through his Victorian ideas of pedagogy and rote-learning, and to future generations by hastening a brain drain from the profession of teaching, these things are not funny. But the British, and no one more than British teachers, retain a characteristic gallows humour.

Within the book "The Wisdom of Michael Gove, by Michael Gove" by an anonymous author, we find chapters with individual headings including "My teaching experience" and "Why teachers admire me"; within these headings the pages are, of course, completely blank. 

This is a real book that is readily available from Amazon - tellingly, its blank pages are actually lined; it is therefore, one infers, sold as a notebook for teachers, a little bit of grim satirical solace in a thankless professional existence.

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