This post is just a date marker; a pause for reflection. A year ago today Rosenshine’s Principles in Action was published. Since then it has sold 63,000 copies – which has far exceeded our expectations. It’s still hard to believe. It started when I wrote this blog post suggesting that Rosenshine’s paper was THE must-read, back in June 2018. I was saying this because, inspired by Oliver Caviglioli’s poster, I found it so useful – almost uniquely so – as a short, sensible summary for a group of teachers to discuss in their professional learning sessions.
Then came a ResearchEd talk and the publisher’s suggestion that a short ‘explainer’ capturing my key points would go down well in the US market. What I didn’t expect is that it would be received do so well in the UK. I was nervous about the brevity – when, in fact, that’s turned out to be its major strength – at least that’s what people tell me. Teachers are busy and anything that gets ideas across swiftly is going to have wide appeal.
The red booklet has had a great run in the Amazon sales list and looks likely to chug along for a good while yet.
The appetite for people learning more about how to implement Rosenshine’s superbly condensed list of ‘research-based strategies that all teachers should know’ is remarkable. So much so, that, earlier this week, I was interviewed by a journalist from the TES who is investigating this Of course, as nearly everyone recognises, it is true that ‘there is more to teaching than Rosenshine’ – (hardly worth saying, you’d imagine) but, at the same time, there is something about the simple but wide-ranging and very functional list that seems to resonate with people, far and wide.
I was thrilled with the response to my masterclass events in London and Manchester; over 800 people attended across the four events. This enabled me to raise £10,000 for Shelter and £2000 for a teacher development programme in Johannesburg: Thandulwazi Maths and Science Academy.
With a full diary, I couldn’t match demand for more events so, in the end I decided to record myself talking through the slides as youtube videos and made them freely available with the slides.
To date, the five main videos have had 75,000 views between them. ( About 30-35% of people watch all the way through.) I’m amazed by the scale of this but it turns out that the appetite for CPD of this kind is high: people seem to like the flexibility of watching when they want; as much or as little as the want – skipping through and taking what they need. Obviously the work-from-home situation many people are in has allowed people to do this more – fitting it in amongst all their other things they are doing through their computers, but still keen to keep their professional learning going. Free online CPD isn’t all that easy to find it seems. These videos and various other free seminars like the ResearchEDHome series have been a big hit.
Another thing that’s been well received are the excellent workbooks that Claire Grimes made to go with the videos. They are all linked a pdfs from the video post. John Catt are currently working with Claire on a published version of the workbooks so that schools can use them alongside the free videos in future – a bargain with packs of 5 for about £8.
I would like to thank everyone at John Catt and, again, Oliver Caviglioli for his illustrations and support – and for making the original famous ‘blue poster’. John Catt are always happy to arrange great discounts for the booklets – by emailing Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are those who give me a bit of grief for banging on about Rosenshine all the time. To some extent that is a response to the demand but, in any case, as far as I’m concerned, if more teachers are exploring, debating, critiquing and adapting these ‘research-based strategies that all teachers should know’, that’s a good thing and I’m happy to support it. Keep it coming!