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Trust

The following is taken from chapter 3 of my new book, Intelligent Accountability. Confucius believed that three things were needed for a ruler to govern: weapons, food and trust. If a ruler is unable to hold on to all of these he should give up the weapons first, followed by the food. Trust, he thought, should be guarded to the last. This is true for everyone and every institution. It [...]

By |November 3rd, 2020|Categories: leadership|Tags: , |2 Comments

The surplus model of school improvement

In chapter 2 of Intelligent Accountability I suggest that schools can operate either a surplus or deficit model of school improvement. Schools often seem to be run on a deficit model whereby any deficiencies or failings are attributed to a lack of understanding, information, effort or good will. The efforts of ‘experts’ (school leaders, inspectors, consultants, senior teachers, etc.) who understand what needs to be done are stymied by the [...]

By |November 2nd, 2020|Categories: leadership|Tags: , |1 Comment

Why we need to embrace ignorance and learn to love uncertainty

The opening chapter of my book Intelligent Accountability is an attempt to clear the way of objections and obstacles in order to create the conditions for teachers to thrive. As such, I argue that schools are incredibly complex institutions where it is impossible for school leaders to have certain knowledge of the best courses of action or the results of the decisions they make. This being the case, I suggest [...]

By |November 1st, 2020|Categories: leadership|Tags: |3 Comments

Curriculum related expectations: using the curriculum as a progression model

One of the barriers to using the curriculum as a progression model is that there is too little understanding of what this might mean. It sounds great but a bit mysterious. I've spoken to a number of people who are happy to agree that the curriculum provides a map of the quality of education a school provides and even approvingly use the phrase 'curriculum as a a progression model' who [...]

By |October 27th, 2020|Categories: assessment, curriculum|Tags: , |2 Comments

Intelligent Accountability: An overview

My new book, Intelligent Accountability: Creating the conditions for teachers to thrive is out now. 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 [...]

By |October 24th, 2020|Categories: leadership|Tags: |5 Comments

How to read creatively: noticing in 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 [...]

Are knowledge organisers flawed?

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. [...]

By |September 20th, 2020|Categories: psychology|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

#BackToSchool – free webinars

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 [...]

By |August 26th, 2020|Categories: Featured, training|0 Comments

Learning Spy Academy: the story so far…

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 [...]

By |July 24th, 2020|Categories: Webinars|2 Comments

Interview on Shoreditch radio

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/

By |June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Featured|1 Comment

Five things new school leaders need to know

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 [...]

By |June 22nd, 2020|Categories: leadership|3 Comments

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