Dr Kate Mattocks, Lecturer in Politics at the UEA, visited Langley school and gave a fascinating and enlightening talk to our Politics A level students on whether democracy is a good thing. Her talk started with the etymology of the term democracy and the basic features of it that are intrinsic to our contemporary political environment.

She then discussed with the students the main types of democracy that are used in the UK and which countries are more supportive of representative democracy and which tend to favour autocracy. The students were then asked to list a number of points both for and against the premise that democracy is a good thing. This provoked a lively discussion on the arguments in favour of and opposition to this question, including the issues of political stability and tyranny of the majority and how far these are evident in the UK. The current Brexit debate was, of course, mentioned once or twice! Our A level teacher Mr David Sparkhall commented “Of particular interest to me, as an A level teacher, were the similarities in content between the Edexcel A level Politics course and the substance of Kate’s talk.”

Although the depth of her presentation was far greater than Sixth Form students are used to, it was still gratifying to learn that we are not poles apart in terms of subject topics.
Dr Mattocks’s talk was a great eye-opener for our A level students and gave them a good idea of teaching and learning at the level they should expect when they go to university. The overall experience was excellent for everyone involved.