Meaningful Assessment

  Assessment is a complex beast that once seemed so simple. When I started teaching we assessed in KS3 by getting pupils to produce a piece of extended writing at the end of the topic and assessed that against national curriculum level descriptors. This created a whole host of problems. The level descriptors were never…

The problem with 21st century problems

I really love the Teacher Tapp App. Every day at 3:30 they set 3 questions to gather the opinions, views and experiences of teachers. You can see the results that were gathered the previous day and then you get a link to an interesting blog post or article. What makes TeacherTapp stand out from other…

Life inside the bubble – Part 2

  Last week I wrote a piece suggesting that our profession is increasingly divided between “informed teachers” (who engage with discussions about education, manage their own CPD, read books, articles and blogs about teaching, tweet, reflect on their own practice) and “uninformed teachers” (who don’t). The first group are firmly inside the education-world bubble and…

What’s your why?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post on teaching rituals. My point was that there is often a good idea introduced in teaching but that this good idea gets swallowed up in poorly understood structures. People follow the structures and then ignore the idea. This, I suggested, was a problem. After posting it…

Life inside the bubble – Part 1

For the last couple of years I have been writing, blogging and tweeting about education. I have read dozens of fascinating books, countless papers, attended conferences and met many brilliant teachers. I have been invited to write for TES and the Guardian’s Teacher Network, speak at conferences, teach meets and school’s CPD sessions, write a…

Crossing the Threshold 

Research from Meyer & Land (2006] into undergraduate education helps us to understand why some pupils seem to get stuck with a particular topic when others have no difficulty. They identified what they termed “Threshold concepts”, ideas that are central to the understanding of a topic and without which pupils can’t progress. They showed that…