Category Archives: learning

Why I changed my mind about the SOLO taxonomy

I’ve been meaning to write this for quite a while. Increasingly, I’ve become rather embarrassed about my erstwhile advocacy for Biggs & Collis’s generic taxonomy, the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. I

Differentiation: Are high expectations enough?

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. Charles F. Kettering Last night someone retweeted a tagline from a post I wrote earlier this year: “Teach to the top,

Squaring the circle: can learning be easy and hard?

Regular readers will know I’ve been ploughing a furrow on this question for quite a while now. Last June I synthesised my thinking in this post: Deliberately difficult – why it’s better to make

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

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