Thinking about thinking: blog round-up

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.

Teaching for understanding: Schema-building and generative learning.

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…

Is Everyone Thinking? What are they all thinking about? This is THE Key.

“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.…

Top Three! High-impact, inclusive questioning strategies.

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…

The #1 problem/weakness in teaching and how to address it.

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…

10 FAQs about the challenges teachers face.

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…


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