Category Archives: learning

Protected: Getting feedback right Part 4: How can we increase pupils’ aspiration?

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Focusing on performance is the enemy of the growth mindset

Over the past year or so I’ve been following a line of thinking which has gone something like this: Learning and performance are not the same thing. Pupils’ performance in lessons does

“The kids absolutely love it!” The phrase that launched a thousand gimmicks

I attended a TeachMeet recently where a number of the presenters argued that their teaching strategy of choice was worth trying out because, “The kids absolutely love it!” This seems to me

Practical differentiation: high expectations and the art of making mistakes

Differentiation? I hate the word as I hate Hell, all ludicrous bureaucracy, and thee! Er… Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Differentiation is one of the darkest arts in teaching. The generally accepted position

Force fed feedback: is less more?

It is commonly and widely accepted that feedback is the best, brightest and shiniest thing we can be doing as teachers, and the more of it the better. Ever since Prof Hattie

A tale of two lessons: further thoughts on the Cult of Outstanding

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was

The Cult of Outstanding™: the problem with ‘outstanding’ lessons

First of all I need to come clean. Up until pretty recently I was a fully paid up member of the Cult of Outstanding™. Last January I considered myself to be a

How can we make classroom observation more effective?

If the belief that it’s possible for untrained observers to pitch up in lessons and grade their effectiveness is comparable to a belief in witchcraft, (and Professor Robert Coe’s research confirms that

Don’t trust your gut: a little bit more on the problem with grading lessons

This evening, there will be debate on the role lesson observation in England’s schools with such educational luminaries as Professor Robert Coe, David Weston (the man behind the Teacher Development Trust), Lead

Can a good teacher teach anything well?

I used to work for a headteacher who was fond of saying “We’re teachers of children, not teachers of subjects.” This was justification for having non-specialist teachers in certain shortage subjects. Like

It’s not what you know… oh, hang on: it IS what you know!

I’m fed up of people who should know better saying they’re bored with the false dichotomy of skills versus knowledge. The knowledge vs skills debate is always worth having because it conceals a

Anything goes: Is there a right way to teach?

There’s nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so. Shakespeare, Hamlet I read Joe Kirby’s recent post on cognitive bias with interest because I’ve been pursuing a very similar line of

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