I’ve written a lot of related posts recently around the theme of thinking, schema-building and the challenges of managing a class so that everyone is thinking, learning, succeeding. Here’s a round up.
Learning is complicated so it can be useful to use conceptual models to help understand and discuss it. For me, a powerful concept is the idea that we organise ideas, knowledge, the things we learn, in patterns of connected information called schema. Schema-building is at the heart of this diagram by Oliver Caviglioli for … Continue reading
I’ve had the privilege of observing a lot of lessons already this term – with huge thanks to the teachers concerned for their warm welcome. As I’ve been doing this, I realise I’m applying a continually evolving mental model of the learning process to what I’m seeing – and this is what influences the dialogues … Continue reading
“Memory is the residue of thought”. As part of my work with Oldham College, this week we were revisiting the key ideas that underpin our Teaching for Distinction programme. Right at the top is Dan Willingham’s work on memory including this important and famous statement: memory is the residue of thought. It deserves repeated revisiting. … Continue reading
When I observe lessons I sit at the back – mainly to get out of the way. As I scan from my vantage point, I can spot students who are finding it hard to engage in the lesson. Often this is happening without the teacher noticing -because from their point of view, they see plenty … Continue reading
When I’m invited to support schools and colleges with CPD around teaching and learning – or I’m simply asked to nominate my favourite high-impact strategies – these three strategies are what usually come to mind as key areas to focus on. Cold Calling; Think Pair Share and Check for Understanding. They work incredibly well in … Continue reading
I see a lot of lessons – hundreds of them in multiple contexts – and I’m going to suggest that there is one very common challenge that teachers face that is often not addressed well enough, even by experienced teachers. In my view, it’s the single biggest reason for lessons being ineffective or certainly less … Continue reading
When I visit schools to deliver CPD or work alongside teachers and leaders as part of their improvement process, lots of the same questions come up. Here’s a selection from recent discussions with NQTs/RQTs as well as more experienced teachers. I’ve written this as a kind of interview with myself: 1. What do you do … Continue reading