Blimey, but May was a busy month! I wrote more posts than ever before – a ridiculous 29, and had more views than any other months with 90,590 views. Anyhoo, I did this last month and 4 people got in touch to say they’d like me to do it again, so this is for them. Here follows a brief run down of what I wrote about.
Two stars and a bloody wish! 3rd May (4,244 views)
I started the month by continuing where I left off at the end of April by writing about marking and took aim at the execrable process widely known as ‘two stars and a wish’.
What should written feedback look like? 4th May (2,500)
After railing against the time wasted filling students’ exercise books with meaningless scribble, I set out my stall for what written feedback should look like instead. As you can see from the viewing stats, readers are much more interested in problems than solutions.
Endorsements – what are they worth? 5th May (648 views)
With the publication of my new book due this month, I took the opportunity to share some of the advance notices I’ve received from some of my educational heroes: Robert Bjork, Dylan Wiliam and Daniel Willingham.
The myth of progress 7th May (1,632 views)
This is one of the arguments I make in the new book. Progress is, I think, an invention to make us feel better about our foreshortened little lives; a story we tell to comfort ourselves in the dark.
Why do people vote Conservative? 8th May (5,088 views)
Post-election trauma saw losts of Labour voters lash out at the treachery of working class Tory voters. I wrote this to offer Jonathan Haidt’s explanation of conservative morality.
How do we know if a teacher’s any good? 9th May (2,747 views)
If we can’t trust lesson observations or attainment data to tell us whether teachers are performing well enough, what can we trust?
Top 20 principles from psychology for teaching and learning 9th May (3,274)
This post was just an airing of the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education’s report of the most useful psychological principles for teachers. I used it as a template for further investigation into some of these fascinating areas and am working my way through the insights offered to see how far I agree with them. So far I’ve written about the first 8 principles. (See below)
Do all good ideas need to be researched? 10th May (637 views)
Sometimes, I suggest, it’s enough for teachers to teach. If we’re interested in a research-engaged education community then perhaps expecting teachers to be researchers might get in the way. This view hasn’t met with universal approval and several academics have explained why I wrong.
Scaffolding: what we can learn from the metaphor 11th May (794 views)
A very brief treatise on why scaffolding is important, where we get it worng and what we might do instead.
Michaela School: Route One Schooling 12th May (3,619 views)
Visiting Michaela proved a rich source of material for blogs and this post sparked a good week’s worth of Twitter controversy. Michaela is a school that really divides teachers – some love it some passionately hate it. These are my impressions from my visit.
Robert Coe on #WrongBook 13th May (422 views)
More blatant self-congratulation and promotion.
‘No excuses’ is no excuse 13th May (1,191 views)
One of several blogs responding to the Twitter storm provoked by my visit to Michaela. In this one I explore the benefits of a ‘no excuses’ culture and why it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to strand vulnerable students.
What ‘no excuses’ means to me 13th May (1,021 views)
An attempt both to clarify and think through exactly why I think ‘no excuses’ is a good idea.
I fought the law and the law won 15th May
Reflections on been caught speeding and attending a speed awareness course.
Is displaying students’ work worth the effort? 16th May (1,820 views)
The last of my post-Michaela blogs. This one picks up the thread of display and consider whether the routines of displaying children’s work has blinded us to the consequences of doing so.
Seriously, what if you’re wrong? 16th May (1,234 views)
A short rant expressing my frustration at the way so many readers simply jump to defending their views without exploring the issues.
The Variation Effect: How seating plans might be undermining learning 17th May (2,291 views)
Variation is one of Robert Bjork’s ‘desirable difficulties’ – here I explore how classroom seating plans might be interfering with the way students seem to learn best.
How to get assessment wrong 20th May (4,088 views)
After attending a conference on ‘life after levels’, I express my frustration with some of the daft ideas which are being adopted in the wake of NC levels removal.
The Testing Effect is dead! Long live the Testing Effect! 20th May (629 views)
A storm in an academic tea cup – one day the testing effect has been found wanting, the next day it is re-established as a ‘good thing’.
Is it possible to get assessment right? 23rd May (1,501 views)
More evidence that we prefer to read about problems than solutions. Comparatively few people read what I thought might work better than some of the sillier ideas abounding in schools. Daisy Christodoulou was ‘astonished’, and not in a good way.
Ofsted inspections to be higher stakes: for inspectors! 28th May (424 views)
A Twitter conversation between Sean Harford and I is recorded by the TES.
Finally, I started writing about the psychological principles judged to be most useful for teachers. They’ve not proved terribly popular as you can see from the viewing figures, but I’ve enjoyed writing them and I’m learning a lot in the process. The 8 post below cover the section from the original report entitled, How Do Students Think and Learn?
#1 Mindsets 25th May (1,399 views)
#2 Prior knowledge 26th May (551 views)
#3 Development 27th May (471 views)
#4 Context 28th May (416 views)
#5 Practice 28th May (334 views)
#6 Feedback 30th May (726 views)
#7 Self-regulation 31st May (432 views)
#8 Creativity 31st May (342 views)
So, there you go, that was May. I’m intending to plug away and finished the remaining 12 principles over the next month, so expect viewing figures to fall drastically.