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”

Badmanism for Learning

Number of times I’ve flipped the script on a class, you’d have thought I was a Japanese translator. But this one’s a toughie. ‘Interesting bunch,’ says Ms Blunderbuss. And as with ‘gentle reminder’, it’s one of those seemingly placid phrases with violent currents swirling beneath. I’m pretty sure it’s why those Persian emissaries were thrownContinue reading “Badmanism for Learning”

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’?”

Was Jesus an ‘Outstanding’ Teacher?

This sequence of lessons begins with a starter activity where Jesus distributes pieces of fish and loaves of bread among his students. It is difficult to know how this relates to the learning objectives, since none are provided, so I will assume the following LO: ‘to understand the nature of divine intervention in the contextContinue reading “Was Jesus an ‘Outstanding’ Teacher?”

Group Work Is Immoral

Trainee teachers are told time and time again to use group work. Often, the pressure is not formally applied. The Teachers’ Standards, for instance, do not explicitly advocate group work over direct instruction.[1] Nevertheless, in meetings with academic and professional mentors, or with training providers, the pressure is somehow there. ‘Look how hard you wereContinue reading “Group Work Is Immoral”