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Teachers can only improve themselves. But how?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the process of teacher improvement – naturally enough, given that this is my full-time job these days.  Increasingly I think that we need to be very clear to understand the process as a very individual one and less of a general one.  Essentially teachers are only going to improve … Continue reading

Particles and Scale. Two key ideas in teaching science.

Here are two short excerpts from my first book Teach Now! Science, The Joy of Teaching Science the 2014 Routledge series edited by Geoff Barton. Particles Across the entirety of a school life, students will develop an ever more sophisticated idea about the structure of matter and how materials are made up of particles – … Continue reading

Ideas for better teaching. @teacherhead blog collection.

I’ve written a few of these round-up posts as a way of collecting ideas together.  Hopefully this makes it easier to share. A glossary of terms to help us discuss learning: This is not a comprehensive list – but it contains some terms that I’ve found people wrestle with where some clarity might be useful. From … Continue reading

Goals, Set-backs and the Psychology of Giving Up.

I went running today and completed a 5km Finsbury Park @ParkRun. Here’s what the email says: Your time was 00:28:53.  Congratulations on completing your 11th parkrun and your 10th at Finsbury parkrun today. You finished in 321st place and were the 246th male out of a field of 504 parkrunners and you came 20th in … Continue reading

Curriculum Thinking. Blog collection all in one place.

I’ve written a lot about curriculum in the last year or so… so here’s a one-stop-shop to access them all in place: Clarification about the idea of ‘knowledge rich’ and the wider context. What is a knowledge-rich curriculum? Principle and Practice. The great gift of knowledge and the joy of passing it on. Knowledge and … Continue reading

Designing Curriculum: Values, quality, preferences – and sofa theory.

Sofa Theory:  Ever bought a sofa? It can be a complicated process.  It might be possible to write down a list of qualities you would like: comfortable, contemporary-looking, ‘well designed’, sturdy, ‘high quality’ material, a colour coordinating with the living room, ‘stylish’, ‘good value’.  Of course this all presumes that the basic criterion to ‘be … Continue reading

Curriculum Review at KS3: Some common issues.

Over the last couple of years I have had the great privilege of working with several schools on the process of curriculum review.   It’s such an enlightening process for all concerned – asking questions about what should be taught, why things should be taught, what absolutely must be kept in, what gets squeezed out … Continue reading

A glossary of terms to help us discuss learning.

Increasingly I find that there’s a whole language that teachers would benefit from sharing so that, when we’re talking about learning, we are talking about the same things.   The list could be very long – and I’m happy to add to this over time – but how about this for a start: (*Recency and … Continue reading

How teacher behaviours during CPD echo student behaviours during lessons.

In my job I do lots of training sessions with groups of teachers.  Sometimes it’s a small group, sometimes a classroom-full; sometimes a giant hall or lecture theatre.  I’m fascinated by the ways teachers’ behaviours provide a reference point to illustrate student behaviours and responses during our lessons.   I often make the point that students … Continue reading

Great CPD. Poor CPD. What are the signs?

When I visit schools in my consultancy work or teacher-trainer role, I usually pick up on signals that indicate to me something about the school’s attitude to professional learning. Sometimes I’m blown away by the energy and commitment to it and I feel my input has a chance of feeding into something with impact; sometimes … Continue reading

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