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…

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…

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…

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…

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…