The Illusion of Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw Schools are places that depend on communication. We are constantly communicating complex information to the young people. Not only are we transmitting, but we are continually seeing what they are communicating back to us, to assess what they…

Why do we need a curriculum for CPD?

Our new book, The CPD Curriculum, explores a knotty problem in education. Why, despite countless hours of what is called CPD, do teachers not continue to improve in many schools? The research that we explore in our book points to the same conclusion – that teachers make rapid progress in the first few years of…

Sorry

This is a guest post from a school leader who wishes to remain anonymous She sits on the edge of her chair, fists clenched. “What’s he done now?” Wearily I go through the latest string of offences. We’ve been here many times before this young mother and I. We know the steps of this dance…

The Kids Have Been Fantastic

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else Winston Churchill (possibly) Both me and my wife are very lucky that we get to spend a lot of time talking to a lot of teachers. She is a local authority advisor working across schools in Kent and I, in between…

Teacher Explanation: A Dungeon Master’s Guide

One of the few good things to have come out of a year of lockdowns for me personally has been becoming reacquainted with a favorite game from my teenage years, Dungeons and Dragons. Playing this game whilst teaching, and whilst reading and writing about teaching, has led to me seeing the classroom in a new…

Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway

(TM Mark Enser) This week I am doing something scary. It was something I had agreed to do, something I am excited about, something I have knowledge of in my workplace, but suddenly, just before I had to do it I became filled with doubt and indecision. I felt like an imposter. In my typical…

My Joyless Curriculum

In a recent interview with TES, the new Shadow Education Secretary, Kate Green, made a number of very good points. For example she suggested that schools should focus on teaching “a wider understanding of the world they’re growing up in rather than just teaching skills for future employment” “I want an education system that’s inclusive.…

Teaching – A Generative Learning Strategy

Of the eight generative learning strategies discussed in Fiorella and Mayer’s work, teaching is the one I am most wary of. I think I have been stung from my experiences earlier in my career in which we were frequently told that pupils will always learn best from each other and should therefore be encouraged to…

Doing the Difficult

This post is a response to an interesting tweet and accompanying post by chemistry teacher Adam Boxer. In his post Shifting lines: does everything work somewhere, Boxer presents a compelling argument that it is not enough to say that a policy or intervention should be adopted simple because, if done well, it will work. Instead…