In defense of being informed

Earlier this week I had a piece published in the Guardian entitled “How can schools use research to better inform teaching practice?” Whilst the response was overwhelmingly positive I have still spent a significant amount of time having to defend the idea that teachers should be informed about their own practice. As someone who had…

Great Explainers – The Met Office

At the heart of Geography is a desire to understand the world. In order to do so we need to make sure that we have a very good understanding of the complex processes that underpin the our dynamic planet. Many of these processes are hard for children to grasp and we often use a lot…

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…

The Ritual of Teaching

Terry Pratchett’s novel Small Gods tells the story of what happens to Gods when people stop believing in them. The much diminished God Om is talking to his last remaining true believer, Brutha, and explaining to him how it comes that Gods die. He quotes the Discworld philosopher Abraxas. “Around the Godde there forms a…