Category Archives: leadership

Big data is bad data

The cost of bad data is the illusion of knowledge. – Stephen Hawking Schools, as with almost every other organ of state, are increasingly obsessed with big data. There seem to be two

On fragility: why systems fail

In Antifragile, Nassim Taleb argues that the opposite of fragile is not, as is commonly supposed, robust or resilient. These are merely neutral conditions. The antonym of fragile doesn’t seem to exist

Student voice: windmills of the mind

Pray look better, Sir … those things yonder are no giants, but windmills. Cervantes Does it matter if students like their teachers? Is it worth knowing if students don’t maths or hate

One more thing I want from school leaders

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything. Goethe A few weeks back I wrote this post laying out my wishlist for the ‘perfect’ school leader. Since then,

Discord isn’t disharmony: in praise of inconsistency

Consistency is the playground of dull minds. Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens  What’s so great about consistency? How has the consensus that everybody should ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ is always the

Opportunity knocks: the hidden cost of bad ideas

Remember that Time is Money. He that can earn Ten Shillings a Day by his Labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that Day, tho’ he spends but Sixpence

Should students respond to feedback?

The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting. Fran Lebowitz One of the criticisms of my post about book monitoring is that I have omitted checks to see

What I want from a school leader

The wise man who is not heeded is counted a fool, and the fool who proclaims the general folly first and loudest passes for a prophet and Führer, and sometimes it is

The problem with book monitoring

Stupidity has a knack of getting its way. Albert Camus Most schools these days routinely monitor students’ exercise books in an attempt to extrapolate the quality of teaching. In some ways this

Workload, retention & accountability: One policy to rule them all

More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies. Rudyard Kipling There’s a lot wrong with the way schools are held to account which result in perverse incentives

The Illusion of Knowing

Knowledge, n.: The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify. Ambrose Bierce Advanced Learning has commissioned me to write a piece about the uses and abuses of data in schools. My

We don’t know what we don’t know: the uses of humility

Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life. George Arliss In my last post I challenged the widely-held belief that teachers’