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10 Questions to ask about Work Scrutiny and Book Looks.

The ‘book look’ concept is now firmly established as part of the educational landscape.  In many ways this is a positive development because it takes some pressure away from the problematic process of lesson observations.  It’s not just the voodoo of grading – which is still out there albeit in decline – it’s the problem of … Continue reading

You’re doing it all wrong: context and complexity in Ed-research and debate.

It’s continually frustrating to me that so much of the discourse in our debates and in the reading of education research reduces teaching and learning effects to crude averages and sweeping assumptions, ignoring complexity and context   At the same time, it’s equally frustrating that some people’s response to this complexity is to reinforce a … Continue reading

teacherhead.com anniversary. High five.

The birthday blog is an annual ritual that I feel compelled to maintain just to chart the life of the blog over time.  May 11th was the 5th anniversary of my original  Hello World page. It’s been a chaotic kind of year; a massive rollercoaster  — undoubtedly the most difficult and stressful of my career. … Continue reading

School Leadership in 12 slides.

Last week I was asked to lead a workshop on leadership for some middle and senior leaders.  Here are some of the ideas I shared.   Believe me, I’m not preaching from on high.  I’ve had some successes but there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t run through some kind of imagined … Continue reading

Presentation: potentially a powerful proxy for progress. #shortblog

One of my frustrations with my last inspection experience was the high-speed book flick-throughs that were passed off as valid scrutinies of standards.  Essentially, in the time given to each book, in some cases, it could only really have been presentation that was being evaluated.  It was annoying when a teacher of a KS3 class was … Continue reading

Context is King. #shortblog

Just a quick observation: In our educational discourse, we make too many generalisations about a wide range of issues that ignore the context in which people operate.  I’m visiting schools all over the country and I’ve worked in lots of types of schools – it’s an inescapable fact that the specific context in which we operate … Continue reading

Headship Headaches: A brief index of leadership metaphors.

Hamster Wheel:  Everyone is running round and round and round, getting nowhere fast but working really hard.  There’s only one solution.  Step off the wheel… STOP.  Take a look around and think.  What the hell are we doing? Let’s try something different…. Permanent White Water:  There is no point telling people that it will pass; … Continue reading

Just Great Teaching: A CPD Day with @teacherhead and @RossMcGill

Between 2000 and 2005 I had the pleasure of working with Ross Morrison McGill at Alexandra Park School in Haringey.  We’ve since supported each other with our blogging activities over the years but, aside from several teachmeets, never properly worked together until now.  We both have a strong interest in developing good school-based models for … Continue reading

A word of thanks: our profession is packed with brilliant passionate people.

Sometimes I feel it is necessary to state the obvious.  Teachers and schools leaders are horribly taken for granted in the political bun-fight.  I’ve been out on the road recently and what strikes me is that, wherever I go, I meet the most amazing people.   Our profession is packed with such passionate, brilliant, dedicated … Continue reading

Ten teaching techniques to practise – deliberately.

It’s a well-established idea that, to develop expertise in a particular skill or technique, you need to practise. The more you practise, the better you get.  As outlined by the excellent people at Deans for Impact in their Practice with Purpose document, it helps to identify a specific element of your teaching to practise on and … Continue reading

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