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Lesson Observations

June 8, 2008

The activities of OFSTED and the rise of “performance management” has led to an obsession with lesson observations to judge the quality of teaching. There is a big problem with this. The quality of teaching is impossible to judge objectively. That’s not to say there aren’t good lessons or bad lessons. It’s not to say […]

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Managerialism

October 14, 2017

One of the biggest cultural changes in education that has happened since I trained to teach has been in attitudes to management. This impression has been somewhat re-enforced by some temporary work in independent schools (and a grammar school) where the hierarchy more closely resembled what schools were like when I started teaching. Based on […]

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A Guide To Scenes From The Battleground

May 27, 2017

I have updated this guide for the holidays. This blog is about the state of secondary education. There is an introduction to it here: Welcome (or welcome back) to the Battleground And some reflections on it here: Now We Are Seven Now We Are Eight This Blog’s 9th Birthday 10 Years A Blogger Here is a summary of my […]

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Is promoting women really the issue? (From @LabourTeachers)

February 27, 2016

As is often the case in the first week back after the holidays, I ran out of posts on Labour Teachers this week and had to write one myself in a bit of a hurry. (If you are a Labour supporting teacher and would like to write for Labour Teachers, details are here.) As it’s […]

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The Darkest Term Revisited: Teacher Stress and Depression Part 2

December 15, 2015

The most viewed post on this blog is one from two years ago entitled The Darkest Term: Teacher Stress and Depression in which teachers shared their stories of stress and depression. Last year I contacted some of those people to see how they were getting on, although I never got round to publishing their responses. I’ve also contacted them […]

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Holding Teachers To Account Fairly

December 13, 2015

This is a follow up to my recent post asking Should Managers Tell Teachers What To Do? A lot of the discussion about teaching focusses on problems related to teacher accountability. In particular: lesson observations; work scrutinies; assigning responsibility for exam results. It’s difficult to unpick whether the problems with these things are fundamental, i.e. that […]

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Do OFSTED criticise teachers who set the same work for everyone in a class?

December 8, 2015

My take on the recent history of OFSTED is that after Sir Michael Wilshaw tried to shift inspectors away from looking for the “OFSTED lesson style”, and to look for things like a failure to close the gap or for progress over time, some schools became preoccupied with looking for particular things in lessons. Like […]

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Top Blogs of the Week : Schools Week (June 2015)

June 13, 2015

Schools Week have published my review of the best blogs of the week. Dialogue during observations – what new torture is this? By @Bigkid4 A maths teacher discusses the latest idea encountered online: observations in which the observer gives advice to the teacher during the lesson. The writer explains that advice from observations is often […]

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Nobody Believes in Learning Styles Any More, Do They?

April 22, 2015

If you are a connected teacher, reading blogs and following Twitter, you could be forgiven for thinking that nobody believes in learning styles any more. It’s been discredited again and again. I was dismissing them 5 years ago. Just a few minutes searching online (and knowing that adding the word “debunked” to a search for an educational […]

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What is the College of Teaching for?

January 19, 2015

Having discussed the ideas around a College Of Teaching on Twitter, and at a consultation event last Saturday, I’m beginning to realise that at least some of the difficulties are around the question of purpose. I think I had assumed too much about what a College Of Teaching is for, the context in which it […]