Reclaiming Chalk and Talk

In our department CPD session this afternoon we looked at teacher explanation. We were interested in how we could make sure that our explanation was memorable and how we could support pupil’s working memory. Below are the slides I put together to trigger some discussions and share some key ideas. We started by sharing and…

Teach Like Nobody’s Watching

My presentation at the 2018 ResearchEd National Conference was based on the conclusions I have reached about teaching after 15 years at the chalk face. There are three things I believe to be true. Teaching is essentially simple. What ever you want to teach you start with a recap of what they know about the issue…

Teaching is simply complicated

Two stories are often told about teaching. The first is that it is very simple but some outside “other” comes to complicate it, the second that it is very complicated but some outside “other” fails to recognise this. So which is the most prevalent view among twitter’s teachers? As clear as ever. ***NEW POLL***Please RT…

Excellent teachers in an age of fads

In my last post, teacher agency and educational fads, I suggested that we as teachers had spent years having misinformation and lies thrown at us and that this was distorting our practice. This led Paul Garvey to ask Your blog doesn’t answer that question, as teaching has clearly improved greatly over this time when these…

Teacher agency and educational fads

At a recent conference the head of research at OFSTED, Danial Muijs warned that “There is still a big issue in education in terms of being still susceptible to various fads…“. This unsurprisingly has led to a lot of discussion about what counts as a “fad” and who should make a decision about what will…

Developing subject knowledge

A recent blog by Tom H (@GeographyTom9) on Why Subject Knowledge Matters made me think about how we treat teacher subject knowledge in our profession. I’m not convinced we give it the attention it deserves. Tom points out that subject knowledge adds texture to a lesson – it gives the details. It varies hugely by…

Who trains the trainers?

‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? Your grace.’ ‘I know that one,’ said Vimes.  Who watches the watchmen?  Me, Mr Pessimal.’ ‘Ah, but who watches you, your grace?’ said the inspector, with a brief smile. ‘I do that too.  All the time,’ said Vimes Terry Pratchett, Thud.  An interesting report from the Wellcome Trust this week found that…