Blog

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

Do detentions work?

When I was a student I was given a lot of detentions. After some particularly appalling behaviour on a French exchange trip I was given two months of 1 hour after school detentions. This was a big deal as I lived about 15 miles away from my school and needed to get two buses home. Because I wasn't able to catch the school bus, I had to walk to the [...]

By |April 29th, 2019|Categories: behaviour|Tags: |0 Comments

Should we scrap SATs? Cautiously, yes

Earlier this week, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn turned up at the NEU annual conference with some crowd pleasing ideas. The most eye-catching of these was that he would, if elected, scrap SATs, saying, "We need to prepare children for life, not just exams". Cue rapturous applause from the assembled trade unionists. None of this is particularly surprising, but what does intrigue me is why Corbyn and the NEU want to [...]

By |April 20th, 2019|Categories: assessment|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Three animated films about learning

Back in December I gave a lecture to the staff of BBC Bitesize about how learning works and how they might go about making more effective learning materials. This talk has been turned into a series of three short animated films by the production company Mosaic. I think they're pretty good. Here they are. Film 1: How learning works: A quick guide to how we store and retrieve information Film [...]

By |April 9th, 2019|Categories: Featured|52 Comments

How do we know pupils are making progress? Part 4: Instruction

This is the final post in a series looking at how we can be sure that students are making progress through the curriculum. The whole purpose of knowing whether students are making progress is to be able to design appropriate instructional sequences. We may believe children are motoring through our wonderfully constructed curriculum but if empirical data reveals this not to be the case, we need to know. If my [...]

By |April 7th, 2019|Categories: assessment|3 Comments

How do we know pupils are making progress? Part 3: Assessment

In Part 1 of this series I set out the problems with making predictions about students’ progress by drawing a ‘flight path’ between KS2 and KS4, then, in Part 2, I explained how thinking about the curriculum as a progression model is essential in making judgments about whether students are making progress. In this post we will turn our attention to issues of assessment. NB. This might feel a bit technical [...]

By |March 26th, 2019|Categories: assessment|Tags: , , |25 Comments

How do we know pupils are making progress? Part 2: The curriculum

In my last post, I set out the problems with making predictions about students' progress by drawing a 'flight path' between KS2 and KS4. Instead, I will argue, we should address three interlinked aspects; curriculum, assessment and instruction. In order to make a meaningful statement about where students are right now and what they need to do next, we need to be very clear about where we are hoping they'll [...]

By |March 24th, 2019|Categories: curriculum|Tags: |5 Comments

How do we know pupils are making progress? Part 1: The madness of flight paths

Schools are desperate to find ways to predict students' progress from year to year and between key stages. Seemingly, the most common approach to solving this problem is to produce some sort of 'flight path'. The internet is full of such misguided attempts to do the impossible. Predicting a students' progress is a mug's game. It can't be done. At the level of nationally representative population sample we can estimate [...]

By |March 23rd, 2019|Categories: assessment, curriculum|Tags: , , |9 Comments

If you tolerate this then your children will be next

What kinds of poor behaviour should we tolerate? How much should we tolerate? There's a wellspring of opinion that zero tolerance is too much, that we ought to tolerate some poor behaviour, but how much? I don't think anyone would be prepared to argue that we should tolerate 100%, so is 50% OK? 25%? 10%? Clearly, having a discussion about the percentage of poor behaviour which we ought to tolerate [...]

By |March 16th, 2019|Categories: behaviour|Tags: , , |6 Comments

Ofsted and deeper learning: it’s like learning, but deeper

Recently, I was contacted by a school who wanted some help working on 'deeper learning'. I asked them what they meant to which they replied, "Oh, we were hoping you'd tell us!" According to the school's last Ofsted report, the school is not outstanding because, "Teaching is not consistently of the highest quality because deeper learning is not promoted across the curriculum". In order to improve, the report offers the following [...]

By |March 13th, 2019|Categories: Featured|3 Comments

What do students think about marking?

Over the past year or so, I've been doing some very informal research into students' attitudes and opinions with some of the schools I work with on an ongoing basis. Two years ago I wrote 2 posts summarising the problems with marking and suggesting an alternative way forward: Marking is an act of folly Less marking, more feedback: A challenge and a proposal Since then I've been recommending that one [...]

By |March 3rd, 2019|Categories: Featured|Tags: , |12 Comments

How do children learn to speak?

In chapter 2 of my book, Making Kids Cleverer, I discuss, David Geary's theory of biologically primary and secondary knowledge. Human beings seem to have various universal behaviours and characteristics in common regardless of the specific culture into which they're born. Geary's theory suggests that such species-wide traits must have some root in evolution and he argues that the capacity to learn 'folk knowledge' is a biologically primary evolutionary adaption. [...]

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.

Join Over 10,000 Subscribers Learning from David Didau

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