Blog

Home/Blog
Blog2019-05-09T08:57:13+01:00

Where we’re getting curriculum wrong Part 2: Powerful knowledge

In part 1 of this blog series I discussed the importance of cultural capital, where we might be getting it wrong, what it consists of, and how to resolve the problem of 'dead white men'. Where we're getting 'powerful knowledge' wrong While we can make a case that all knowledge is precious, not all knowledge is equally precious. In Bringing Knowledge Back In, education professor Michael Young advanced the idea [...]

By |December 12th, 2019|Categories: curriculum|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Where we’re getting curriculum wrong Part 1: Cultural capital

Where we're getting 'cultural capital' wrong The concept of 'cultural capital' is increasingly on the agenda in the schools I visit. No doubt this is in large part down to Ofsted. The latest inspection framework makes specific mention of the term in its guidance on what a school curriculum ought to contain. School leaders are told they will be judged on the extent to which they "construct a curriculum that [...]

By |December 11th, 2019|Categories: curriculum|Tags: , , |2 Comments

The importance of play (and why it’s better to avoid bullshit)

Play is an essential part of learning. The young of many species play in order to test their physical limits, form bonds with others, explore the environment, practice hunting behaviours and generally mimic their elders. Human children are no different in this respect: we play in order to learn about ourselves and our environment. It's probably true to say that the instinct to play is 'hardwired' into us and, short [...]

By |December 10th, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments

My favourite reads this year

In no particular order, these are the books I have most enjoyed reading during 2019. Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind, Tom Holland As a long-time admirer of Holland's brand of history, I was very much looking forward to this. In this he retreads some of the basic territory covered in Millennium and In the Shadow of the Sword, but takes it in a new and startling direction. His [...]

By |December 9th, 2019|Categories: Featured|0 Comments

The distorting lens of perspective (and why teachers need to be professionally sceptical)

We view the world from our own stance. Our view is unique which means we have unique insights and observations to offer, but it also means other people, viewing from different perspectives, see something different. I was interested to read Tom Sherrington's recent blog levelling the blame for substandard teaching at the feet of teachers he describes as 'Bad Trads': The teacher is up there, trying to teach in an [...]

By |November 26th, 2019|Categories: Featured|4 Comments

The road to hell

My default assumption is that everyone working in education has good intentions. We all want children to be happier, healthier, safer, more creative and better problem solvers. But, good intentions are never enough. Over the past eight years I have used this blog to campaign against the nonsense that used to pervade the system. In the bad old days, Ofsted was the ‘child-centred inquisition’ burning teachers who talked for too [...]

By |November 24th, 2019|Categories: Featured|5 Comments

What works best for children with SEND works best for all children

What works best for children with SEND? That, of course, depends upon the precise nature of children's particular needs. That said, we can draw some generalisable conclusions by thinking about some of the more common areas of special educational need. For instance, a child with a working memory deficit is likely to benefit from having information carefully sequenced and instruction broken into manageable chunks. But all children have limited working memory [...]

By |November 17th, 2019|Categories: Featured|0 Comments

Are schools ever at fault for exclusions?

Sometimes schools get it wrong. It may even be that there are some schools led by nefarious headteachers who, in an effort to game league tables, seek to get rid of those students who are most likely to jeopardise their positions. It may even be the case that in a few case these students are more sinned against than sinning. But this is, I think most people would agree, a [...]

By |November 11th, 2019|Categories: behaviour|Tags: |0 Comments

What causes exclusion and what does exclusion cause?

Adult authority in schools is a paper tiger which depends on students agreeing to accept it. Some children choose not to and therefore have the power to make the lives of others miserable. Over the years I’ve taught a small number of students I came to dread seeing. Every encounter was another skirmish in an exhausting war of attrition, usually a war I felt I was losing. When a student [...]

By |November 10th, 2019|Categories: behaviour|Tags: |0 Comments

What should schools teach?

All knowledge may be precious, but it's hard to argue that it's equally precious. The time children spend in school is strictly finite and so, when deciding what to teach we must must make choices. Often these choices will necessarily be brutal. I was recently contacted by a marketing company who wanted me to write about some 'research' conducted by SellHouseFast which analysed search terms used on UK search engines [...]

By |October 29th, 2019|Categories: Featured|0 Comments

The trouble with Shakespeare, or Should everything be made simple?

I'm regularly inundated by unsolicited emails from folk hoping I'll endorse their products. Recently, I received one asking me if I'd be interested in writing about a collaboration between the software firm Adobe and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Apparently this is the result: Adobe and the RSC have worked with five UK artists and photographers to reimagine iconic Shakespeare scenes to provide inspiration for young people and their teachers. Using [...]

By |October 26th, 2019|Categories: English|Tags: |0 Comments

Read the latest Learning Spy newsletter here.

If you like what you see, subscribe here:

#Cleverer

#PsychBook

#WrongBook

The Secret of Literacy

The Perfect English Lesson

Recent Posts

Tag thingy

Subscribe

Enter your email to subscribe to The Learning Spy. You will receive notifications of new posts by magic.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Join Over 10,000 Subscribers Learning from David Didau

Become Part of David Didau’s Network and Further Your Teaching Career.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.