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…

New Year Resolutions – 2018

That period between Christmas and New Year always feels strangely timeless, set outside the normal cycle of the year, a moment for feasting, fighting back the dark and for introspection. I have done fairly well this year at leaving work behind and an education book or blog has barely passed through my hands. However, as…

Teachers: Simply the best

I have recently been rereading Fergal Roche’s book Mining for Gold . This book is a reflection on the teachers he has encountered through his life, as a student, teacher, consultant and parent, and his reflections on what has made them effective. It is a collection of little vignettes on teachers from across the decades and an…