A Brief History of Rote Learning

One quick Google search seemingly tells me all I need to know about rote learning: ‘a memorisation technique based on repetition. Alternatives to rote learning include meaningful learning, associative learning, and active learning.’ What I find curious is that ‘rote learning’ should be made to stand so aloof, like an exile in an educational hinterland,Continue reading “A Brief History of Rote Learning”

The Power of Explicit Teaching, Direct Instruction, and Choo-Choo Trains

I don’t understand why so many EduTwitter profiles have an assortment of random letters for a header. Don’t get me wrong, I’m buzzing for Mr Kirby that he’s a Learnacy Champion, curriculum phase coordinator, in addition to having an IB, BA, CPD, QTS, HMRC, and DVLA or whatever. The guy teaches Year 4 and hereContinue reading “The Power of Explicit Teaching, Direct Instruction, and Choo-Choo Trains”

What if everything you knew about personal training was incorrectimundo?

As for new horizons, I’m continuing my personal fitness journey. I’m changing my name to E-Shred and flogging protein powders over the internet. For teachers, of course. Oliver Caviglioli’s doing the graphics.[1]  ‘Input: protein powders. Output: tensile strength + six pack. Moderating influence: sitting on the sofa watching Married at First Sight Australia’. There’s myContinue reading “What if everything you knew about personal training was incorrectimundo?”

Being a Powerful Geographer

One of the first things I noticed about Powerful Geography was the matching bookmark inside. ‘How strange,’ I thought, wondering what had happened to all the ASBO Teacher bookmarks. There wasn’t a single one in any of the ten complimentary copies I had received from Crown House Publishing. ‘Erm, well… it’s just because, er… ASBOContinue reading “Being a Powerful Geographer”

Thresholds, Guillotines, and Mentoring in Schools

The book is pink and doesn’t accessorise very well with my Carling T-shirt. Nevertheless, as George Orwell once put it, ‘good prose is like a window pane.’[1] If the same holds for educational research, then Mentoring in Schools is fiber optic. I haven’t read many edubooks with a higher footnote-per-paragraph count. How was this done?Continue reading “Thresholds, Guillotines, and Mentoring in Schools”

Educational Navel Gazing: A Study

What exactly is ‘sequencing the curriculum’? And why are teachers expected to do it? The Humanities have been around for donkey’s years. So why haven’t they done it already? ‘Look, Sam,’ says Miss Blunderbuss. ‘If Ofsted pop by and ask for the scheme of learning, what am I going to say to them?’ ‘Say you’veContinue reading “Educational Navel Gazing: A Study”

When I Hear The Word ‘Outstanding’

The word ‘Outstanding’ – always capitalised and don’t you forget it – is now the teacher’s equivalent of a medal for participation. It is just one decoration in an array of different baubles with which leaders see fit to adorn the profession. The problem is that when it’s Christmas every day, you start wanting toContinue reading “When I Hear The Word ‘Outstanding’”

Why Do We Do Card Sorts?

Picture this. You are in a meeting, and the agenda has you discussing the curriculum, future lessons, and possible activities. What is the one suggestion you can make that you will not have to justify at all, thereby allowing you to raise your hand, score brownie points with the boss, and sit back and chillContinue reading “Why Do We Do Card Sorts?”

Were The Ancient Babylonians ‘Outstanding’?

One of the oldest texts available to us, ‘Schooldays’, is a story impressed upon a clay tablet by one disgruntled pupil who talks about the prevalence of caning.[1] The boy was caned for talking, he was caned for his scruffy cuneiform, and he was caned for drinking too much beer. The phrase ‘he caned me’Continue reading “Were The Ancient Babylonians ‘Outstanding’?”