David Didau

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So far David Didau has created 883 blog entries.

Intelligent Accountability: An overview

2020-10-24T12:45:20+01:00October 24th, 2020|leadership|

My new book, Intelligent Accountability: Creating the conditions for teachers to thrive is back from the printers and will be shipping soon. The argument I make is that while accountability is wholly necessary for teachers to thrive it is too often applied unintelligently and so backfires. I discuss a set of principles designed to get the best out of teachers, thereby getting the best from your students. And when I say ‘best’, I categorically do not mean piling stress onto teachers in the hope of gaming exam results. By creating the conditions for teachers to thrive, we are likely to get much more [...]

How to read creatively

2020-10-03T20:57:52+01:00October 3rd, 2020|English|

… languages recognized, not as the means of contemporary communication but as investments in thought and records of perceptions and analogical understandings; literatures recognized as the contemplative exploration of beliefs, emotions, human characters and relationships in imagined situations, liberated from the confused, cliché ridden, generalized conditions of commonplace life and constituting a world of ideal human expressions inviting neither approval nor disapproval but the exact attention and understanding of those who read … Michael Oakeshott, ‘The Voice of Liberal Learning,’ p. 23. In my forthcoming book, Making Meaning in English, I suggest two disciplinary branches of knowledge in English which I've [...]

Are knowledge organisers flawed?

2020-09-20T15:14:30+01:00September 20th, 2020|psychology|

Like many others, I got quite excited about the idea of organising the knowledge students needed to learn on a single page when I first encountered it on Joe Krby's blog. As Joe said, a knowledge organiser (KO) can "specify subject knowledge in meticulous detail," provide "clarity for teachers" and provide a mechanism for "boosting students' memory". Used well, they can be part of a coherent five year revision strategy. I had a go at making some examples of KOs for English and started recommending the approach to schools I worked with. Then a thousand flowers bloomed; KOs popped up everywhere. [...]

#BackToSchool – free webinars

2020-08-26T20:48:29+01:00August 26th, 2020|Featured, training|

Over the next few weeks I'll be hosting a series of five 'back to school' webinars on a range to topics aimed at early career teachers, those with a mentoring responsibility and anyone who simply feels they could do with a refresher of some teaching basics. And this year, of all years, who couldn't do with a refresher? Each of the webinars is focussed around a particular area of teaching and would make ideal CPD. Each webinar will be going out at 4pm and registration is FREE for those who need it to be, while those who feel able to pay [...]

Learning Spy Academy: the story so far…

2020-07-25T17:04:01+01:00July 24th, 2020|Webinars|

A little over a month ago I streamed my first ever webinar with the technical support of B&T Education. I decided right from the outset that I wanted to make the content free to anyone who wanted it but I also wanted to give people the opportunity to pay a tokenary amount if they felt able to do so. Afterall, streaming webinars isn't free; not only does it take time and effort but there's all sorts of hidden, behind-the-scenes costs. Much to my surprise and delight the first webinar was a huge success selling out 1000 tickets. We had a few [...]

Interview on Shoreditch radio

2020-07-02T07:20:59+01:00June 23rd, 2020|Featured|

Last week I was interviewed by Liam Davis on Shoreditch Radio about why I became a teacher, what got me into writing, the ideas in some of my books and the effects of Covid-19 on education. You can listen to the interview above. Is the player not loading above? Then you can listen directly on MixCloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/liam-davis3/educationalist-and-author-david-didau-joined-me-on-shoreditch-radio-to-discuss-his-work/

Five things new school leaders need to know

2020-06-22T10:30:18+01:00June 22nd, 2020|leadership|

1. The primary role of school leadership is to remove extraneous demands on teachers so that they can focus on planning and teaching the very best curriculum possible. If you're doing anything that interferes with this primary responsibility take a long, hard look at yourself. For clarity, this includes behaviour. While teachers have a responsibility to uphold the standards you've set and to hold students to account, behaviour is, primarily your responsibility. If you find yourself blaming teachers for poor student behaviour you are part of the problem. Of course, some teachers will need more support than others but your support [...]

Q&A: Five Things Every Teacher Needs to Know about Reading

2020-06-21T20:01:42+01:00June 21st, 2020|reading, Webinars|

If you missed it, here's a link to the presentation I gave in my webinar on Five Things Every Teacher Needs to Know about Reading. There were a number of question that I didn't have time to answer during the webinar, so here are my thoughts. Q: Do you think schools should be pushing for subject specific reading in every lesson and subject? My school wants this but some subjects, e.g. Dance, think it is not relevant to them. Is there benefit? A: The idea that there should be reading - subject specific or otherwise - is deeply flawed and leads [...]

Webinar: Five things every teacher needs to know about writing

2020-06-20T14:57:05+01:00June 20th, 2020|Webinars|

Last Thursday's inaugural webinar, 'Five things every teacher needs to know about reading,' was, on the whole, a great success. We sold out 1000 tickets and about 500 people showed up on the night. There were a few technical hiccups on the day including a power cut during set up, and our server going down when so many people tried to get into the webinar all at once. We also forgot to record the Q&A which was, arguably, the best bit. Never mind. We're going to run another - different - reading webinar on Tuesday 30th June at 4pm (BST): Building [...]

Introducing… The Learning Spy Academy

2020-06-15T23:17:01+01:00June 12th, 2020|Featured|

The last few months have gone by in a daze. The world seems to have changed - maybe permanently - and my primary means of making a living has vanished. Without knowing how - or if - it's going to work, I'm planning on providing a Webinar on a variety of topics every week for the next few weeks. The first of these, Five things teacher needs to know about reading, will be on Thursday 18th June at 16.00 BST. It will be completely FREE to anyone who wants to access it but there will be an option to pay £5 [...]

GCSE reform: a modest proposal

2020-05-30T12:17:30+01:00May 30th, 2020|assessment|

The pandemic has cast many assumptions about how education could or should unfold into sharp relief. Like many others, I've been wondering about the positives we might find in our current situation and how - or whether - we can salvage anything when schools eventually return to normal. One area that seems to beg for reform is the way the exam season currently plays out. Here are some of the factors to consider: Accountability creates huge pressures on teachers which are, inevitably, passed on to students. Is there a way to break this chain? Along with these pressures, the quantity of [...]

Why we need to read aloud

2020-05-27T11:52:25+01:00May 27th, 2020|reading|

Here is the recording of webinar I gave for #LDeduchat this week on 'Why we need to read aloud'. The prerecorded presentation lasts for about 25 mins with the rest of the time given over to Q&A. If you can't be doing with watching it, this is my basic argument: Too many children will not read independently because they are not fluent decoders. This is through no fault of their own: there is no correlation between decoding and intelligence. Reading confers all sorts of intellectual advantages: the more you read the more intelligent you will become We can overcome some of [...]