Category Archives: learning

Is failure just a lack of practice?

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho! You must learn to fail intelligently. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world.

Hang on in there: could encouragement be more useful than praise?

Last week I expanded on some of my doubts about the concept of praise, particularly the current consensus that we should be going out of our way to praise effort. I concluded

Is praise counter productive?

I had an interesting discussion with Tim Taylor this morning. He said,  “At best, praising effort has a neutral or no effect when students are successful, but is likely to be negative when

A model lesson? Part 2: Marathon vs sprint

Last week I questioned the concept of outstanding lessons full of gimmicks that look great but ultimately may not result in much actual progress being made. Instead, I argued, embedding classroom routines

A model lesson? Part 1: routines vs gimmicks

It’s been a busy week this week. What with starting at a new school, getting up before 5 to drive two hours on Monday morning, living an Alan Partridge-esque existence in a particularly

AfL: cargo cult teaching?

OK, so here’s a quick summary of the story so far: A few days ago I suggested in a blog post that maybe AfL ‘wasn’t all that’. Lots of lovely people kindly

Chasing our tails – is AfL all it’s cracked up to be?

Is it blasphemous to doubt the efficacy of AfL? While purists might argue that it’s ‘just good teaching’, we teach in a world where formative assessment has become dogma and where feedback

Motivation: when the going gets tough, the tough get going

If ever you get embroiled in a discussion on Learning Styles you may well be confronted with the chestnut of motivation. Learning styles, it seems to me, are all about motivation and

Why can’t we tell a good teacher through lesson observations?

No teacher is so good – or so bad – that he or she cannot improve. Dylan Wiliam The English education system is obsessed with ascertaining the quality of teachers. And what

The problem with fun

Getting students engaged so that they can be taught something seems much less effective than getting them engaged by teaching them something that engages them. Dylan Wiliam Could fun be the enemy

What’s the point of classroom displays?

Does this fail the Old Andrew Test? Having broken up for the summer and feeling warm and expansive, I foolishly asked Twitter what it would like me to write about next. Michael

Teaching sequence for developing independence Stage 4: Practise

What does practice make? Well, it turns out that my mum was wrong. Doug Lemov points out in Practice Perfect that practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent. What we practise we