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Teaching and Learning

This category contains 168 posts

Get Into Teaching. The best job going.

One of the great joys of my current work as a travelling education consultant and teacher trainer is that I get to meet teachers everywhere; all over the UK; all over the world.  Everywhere I go I encounter wonderful teams of people doing incredible work, full of energy, enthusiasm, a sense of mission; bursting with … Continue reading

Art-Science and other positive tensions that fuel great teaching.

One of the key ideas that I’ve tried to capture in this blog and in my book, The Learning Rainforest, is that great teaching can emerge from the numerous tensions and contradictions that surround us.  Not by dismissing them or by seeking to resolve them and not by picking a side – but by recognising … Continue reading

How can we measure and report progress meaningfully?

As we continue to develop our system-wide thinking about assessment, it’s important that teachers and leaders understand the underlying concepts we’re dealing with.  In order to motivate and challenge all students, it makes good sense to try to distinguish between attainment and progress.  This allows us to give value to students making strides with their … Continue reading

GCSE Exams: Keeping a proportionate positive perspective.

Despite the fact that we’ve been running Y11 exams in one form or another for decades, there is always a fairly strong undercurrent in the discourse around the annual exam season characterised by a sense of injustice and unreasonableness.  In relation to GCSEs, the following arguments are rehearsed fairly often: Exams don’t measure everything that … Continue reading

Exploring Barak Rosenshine’s seminal Principles of Instruction: Why it is THE must-read for all teachers.

This post is based on a talk I gave at ResearchEd in Rugby.  The paper in question is Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction published in American Educator in 2012, downloadable in full as a pdf here: I first came across if after seeing Oliver Caviglioli’s superb graphic summary for How2 – available here: My admiration … Continue reading

What is a knowledge-rich curriculum? Principle and Practice.

I have found recent discussions and debates about the concept of a ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’  – or knowledge-led; knowledge-based – fascinating.   Some of this has been explored brilliantly in various blogs.  Here is a selection: Summer Turner https://ragazzainglese.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/pub-quiz-or-published-what-are-the-aims-of-a-knowledge-rich-curriculum/ Jon Brunskill  I’m bringing knowledge back. | Pedfed   which is worth reading along with his school’s website info on … Continue reading

GCSE Revision is Poetry: Intensity, hard work – and so much deep learning.

I know exam pressure is stressful – there are system issues – but my perspective is that, whatever their grades , GCSE revision has been good for my kids. They learned to work super hard for weeks – no bad thing – but mainly they just learned so much. The intensity pays off. — Tom … Continue reading

Is there a right way to teach? Making sense of the trad-prog debate.

(I wrote this in February for Guardian Teacher Network but since they didn’t ever get back to me I’m posting it here instead….) Is there a right way to teach? Making sense of the progressive-traditional debate. Debates about the purposes of education, the influence of social and political values and the role of research evidence … Continue reading

Annoying things controlling schools still do that have no basis in evidence:

As trailed on twitter… a short round-up of annoying things controlling schools still do that have no basis in evidence. 1. Grade individual lessons There is no justification for this in terms of professional discourse.  It’s voodoo; a control device. No human observer can reliably maintain graded judgements over time, let alone  ensuring that this … Continue reading

Edugeeks and Flat-Earthers. Does engaging with research make you a better teacher? #BrewEdHackney

Today I had the immense pleasure of attending the #BrewEd event at Hackney Pirates organised by Clare Sealy.  In planning for it, I’d decided to try doing a talk without slides for the first time.  I’ve become a bit a slave to the clicker so this was a nice change.  The title of the talk: … Continue reading

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