December has traditionally been a bit of a fallow period as far as this blog is concerned, but this year, despite the inevitable Christmas lull I continued to churn out posts. Here they are in all their rather tawdry glory.
3rd December – Marking: What (some) Ofsted Inspectors (still) want An expression of frustration at the continued inability of some Ofsted inspectors to free their minds from the shackles of bias, prejudice and personal preference.
3rd December – Why I ♥ blogging (and believe there is hope for Ofsted) An expression of satisfaction and relief that the upper echelons of Ofsted continue to see sense and strive mightily to whip recalcitrant inspectors into line.
3rd December – Discord isn’t disharmony: in praise of inconsistency ‘Consistency’ seems to have taken on the mantle of unanimous approval and become the latest in a long line of educational buzzwords, but what’s so great about every doing the same thing?
5th December – Is mimicry always a bad thing? Spoiler: no, it’s not.
6th December – Why I struggle with learning objectives and success criteria This became one of my most read posts this year. It never fails to amaze me how something that starts off as a ‘good idea’ quickly becomes a matter of compulsion and morphs, inexorably, into a bad idea.
7th December – When is it worth arguing about bad ideas? Not as often as I might have thought. It’s always worth pointing out bad ideas (as well as suggesting more sensible alternatives) but, increasingly, I can’t be bothered to argue the toss with those dedicated to foolishness.
9th December – One more thing I want from school leaders – In November I wrote a list of the qualities I most desired in school leaders. Somewhat greedily, I added one more attribute in this post.
10th December – Cargo cult teaching, cargo cult learning – So much of what we do in teacher follows the form and structure of ‘best practice’ with very little understanding of why such practices might be considered ‘best’.
11th December – Good writing Part 1: Rubrics warp teaching and assessment I aways intended to write a second part to this but as yet I haven’t been bothered. Basically, any attempt to pre-define what good looks like will miss important elements and lead to cargo cult teaching & learning.
12th December – Student voice: windmills of the mind – Another item to add to the bonfire of dubious ideas.
13th December – Outstanding is the enemy of good – Maybe good is good enough. And maybe outstanding is actually a bit crap.
16th December – Why I like ‘tick n flick’ – Teachers daubing students’ exercise books has had a bad rap for as long as I can remember. But why?
20th December – The most interesting books I read this year – a list of 10 of the most enjoyable and influential books I read in 2015.
24th December – On fragility: why systems fail – If I’d read Antifragile before writing the previous post it would definitely have made the list.
26th December – My five favourite blogs of 2015 – does what it say on the tine
28th December – Reading for pleasure: A reader replies to Michael Rosen Part 1
29th December – Only phonics? A reader replies to Michael Rosen Part 2 – these two posts address some of the most persistent complaints from phonics denialists about how to teach children to decode print. Basically, unless decoding is fluent, automatic and effortless, children will never read for pleasure.
30th December – Phonics is not a cure for cancer – Shock! Horror! All phonics is good for is teaching children to decode. But it’s better than anything else at doing that.
See you again in 2016!