Teaching and Learning


Nov

11

2017
Slow Teaching: ‘Serene and Stoical Behaviour Management’

Slow Teaching: ‘Serene and Stoical Behaviour Management’

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” Epictetus A short journey through the remarkable life of the philosopher Epictetus can begin to justify why his words open a chapter on the mystery that is effective behaviour management. Born around 50 A.D he arrived in Rome without family as the property of the rich and powerful Epaphroditus, a man...

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Sep

29

2017
Ten Questioning Strategies

Ten Questioning Strategies

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.” Claude Levi-Strauss Einstein would be rather chuffed: I have spent the last two weeks questioning everything about my approach to questioning in the classroom. Having written about the questioning traps that I kept finding myself stumbling into with new groups, I have made developing questioning in the classroom my pedagogical mission for this year....

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Sep

15

2017
Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solution

Questioning Traps

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom” Frances Bacon. There is always something slightly tentative about the first two weeks of term: students are eying us up carefully, deciding exactly how they are going to respond to our magnificent lessons (rather Machievalian I know!)   I have had an interesting week with a Year 9 group who at the moment are heroically quiet, eerily...

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Aug

30

2017
Tackling over-reliance on marking

Tackling over-reliance on marking

Over-reliance: Excessive dependence on or trust in someone or something. “They just don’t pay any attention”. “Yet again they haven’t understood.” “Why doesn’t anyone listen to me?” These teacher miseries can be heard in every staffroom across the land: how often do we castigate classes for what appears to be their glaring inability to translate lesson time into a quality final output in their books? How...

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Jul

03

2017
Learning at Leeds Education Festival: ‘Building hope in education’

Learning at Leeds Education Festival: ‘Building hope in education’

“If you want to change the world, start with yourself” Mahatma Ghandi It seems fitting for a final post of this academic year to celebrate the power of learning. Having read and thought about a huge amount of wonderful books and blogs this year and produced my own fair amount of dubious eduwaffle, a first visit to an education conference seems a delightful way to conclude....

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Jun

16

2017
Ten public speaking tips for teachers.

Ten public speaking tips for teachers.

“What you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Emerson Is there a profession that demands skilled public speaking more than teaching? We are on stage all day, every day, at the whim and fancy of the most capricious (and wonderful!) of audiences: adolescents. How we present ourselves while we are on our classroom platform is vitally important: influencing the dynamic...

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May

31

2017
‘Honest Abe’: Teaching lessons from Lincoln.

‘Honest Abe’: Teaching lessons from Lincoln.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln A horrifying realisation struck me mid frolics in hills of the Yorkshire Dales on Sunday: six months of 2017 has vanished and I have read nothing related to history this year (clearly my fresh air inspired ruminations are always of such a profound and intellectual nature). Not a single jot. Once I had recovered from this startling revelation...

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May

19

2017
The benefits of becoming a minimalist teacher.

The benefits of becoming a minimalist teacher.

Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all. — Nathan W. Morris It is an image familiar in educational environments throughout the land: the red faced, exhausted and agitated teacher, surrounded by streams of student books, paper strewn haphazardly around their desk. The walls are covered in faded, yellowing posters – with the obligatory superfluous rules of the classroom dog-eared and tragically ignored...

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Apr

19

2017
‘Slow Teaching: finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom’

‘Slow Teaching: finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom’

Introduction to ‘Slow Teaching,’ which will be published by John Catt Educational on March 2nd 2018. It is available to order from Amazon here. The Slow Teaching Philosophy You have taken the first step: hesitantly opening the pages of this book. There may be elements of doubt in your mind as you recall the repertoire of more fashionable and effective teaching behaviours, a speed-induced cocktail with...

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Feb

23

2017
Blind spots: a manifesto for teaching quiet students

Blind spots: a manifesto for teaching quiet students

“People are so complicated. Every new person is a completely new role of the dice.” ‘The Giveness of Things’ Marilynne Robinson. Please forgive a rather incongruous opening. Last week I took advantage of a room exit from my wife to hastily flick away from Gary Barlow and his chums (take that indeed) to catch an excellent scene from ‘Shaun of the Dead.’ In it our hero...

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