In and Out of Class recalls, entirely from Gordon’s memory because he never kept a diary, a long, international career as a school teacher, university lecturer, professor and college principal, attempting to convey the philosophy of education he gradually developed. At Gordon’s Bristol LEA junior school a succession of kind, skilful female teachers guided his enthusiasms, teaching him how to learn, through six years of war, with the city being heavily bombed.
After winning an Open Scholarship in English at Bristol University, Gordon was led to a career in education, first serving as an Education Officer in the RAF, then moving on to Worcester College for Blind Boys. Far from being the laborious post he had expected, he found it to be the liveliest and most rewarding school he had ever known.
Later on in his career, as the urge to travel grew stronger, Gordon took on a new challenge and moved to Uganda to teach at King’s College, Budo. He became skilled at teaching English as a second language, which led him on to yet more responsibility. He took on a Lectureship in English Teaching Method at Makerere University College, later becoming a Professor at the University of Zambia. Returning to the UK he was Principal of Bishop Otter College Chichester and then of Ripon and York St John College, leading both towards University status – partly through outspoken criticism of government policies for teacher education.
In and Out of Class is an informative, funny and often moving look back at a unique career in education. It will make the perfect addition to any teacher’s bookcase.