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…

Making a fuss of feedback

At the weekend I attended the Teaching and Learning Takeback conference at Southampton Uni – #TLT17. It was wonderful to meet so many engaged and enthusiastic teachers who had given up their time to share their ideas freely with others. One stand-out session was Rebecca Foster’s who discussed the problems with the need to provide…

What does learning sound like?

Caveat alert! The following is based on my context as a secondary school Geography teacher.  I have had some interesting discussions recently about noise in classrooms. The question often centres on whether pupils should work in silence. As is so often the case the discussion quickly becomes polarised despite the fact that neither side actually advocates…

Say what you see

Oliver Caviglioni Dual Coding Last week I was lucky enough to attend the ResearchEd national conference in London. I have spent the last week mulling over the sessions I attended and writing up my notes. Any errors are most certainly my own but this is what I took away from my day.  Pupils learn best…