Plenary vs Pedagogy

Last year I wrote two posts about the need for teachers to understand the why of teaching rather than being directed to follow a what of teaching (see What’s your why? and The ritual of teaching). I think many of the problems we see in teaching today stem from years of teachers being instructed in what to do […]

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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…

(Not so) Splendid Isolation

Don’t want to wake up with no one beside me Don’t want to take up with nobody new Don’t want nobody coming by without calling first Don’t want nothing to do with you I’m putting tinfoil up on the windows Lying down in the dark to dream I don’t want to see their faces I…

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…

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…