Ian Gilbert

/Tag: Ian Gilbert

So, what *IS* the point of INSET days?

2015-01-26T12:39:51+00:00

Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better. Dylan Wiliam, keynote to SSAT conference, December 2012 Back in August 2011, long before I ever thought I might one day be feeling guilty about being paid for going to another school and talking about teaching, I wrote this post asking what the point of an INSET day actually was. I didn't really answer the question. However, I did point out this: All too often the only requirement for staff  is that they sit and listen. Either to an expensive motivational guest speaker or [...]

So, what *IS* the point of INSET days?2015-01-26T12:39:51+00:00

Teaching creatively vs teaching creativity

2013-11-02T20:36:49+00:00

What is creativity? Can it be taught? Can it be aped or emulated? Or is copying something that someone else is doing, by its very nature, a lack of creativity? Oft quoted creativity guru Sir Ken Robinson calls creativity 'the process of having original ideas that have value'. Creativity "comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things". Maybe. Creativity is also defined as the ability to think divergently, or to put ideas together in new and surprising ways. I'm sure, given sufficient time and inclination you could come up with hundreds of divergent ideas on what creativity [...]

Teaching creatively vs teaching creativity2013-11-02T20:36:49+00:00

Some thoughts on Learning Styles

2017-03-17T09:34:53+00:00

The rusting can of worms that is Learning Styles has been prised open again and the wriggling mess is crawling all over the educational twittersphere. And on that note I will stop extending the metaphor. A visual metaphor for the visual learners who didn't get my first sentence Last week Ian Gilbert wrote Learning Styles are dead, long live Learning Styles. He said: I have been in too many situations where young people who weren’t ‘getting it’ one way then started ‘getting it’ when we tried a different way, to dismiss the whole learning styles thing as a fad. As [...]

Some thoughts on Learning Styles2017-03-17T09:34:53+00:00

Why do I need a teacher if I've got Google and a granny?

2011-12-04T01:12:19+00:00

NB - Having reviewed the evidence, I am now thoroughly convinced I was wrong about all this. Instead, try reading Is it just me or is Sugata Mitra an irresponsible charlatan?  Over the summer I watched Sugata Mitra's jaw-dropping Ted Talk on Child Driven Education and was bowled over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6wPHOorAkM This, I said to myself, could change everything. Mitra outlines the results of a series of remarkable experiments which began with embedding computers into the walls of Indian slums at child height  and then watching to see what children did with them. Unsurprisingly these computers were magnets to the street kids [...]

Why do I need a teacher if I've got Google and a granny?2011-12-04T01:12:19+00:00

Why do I need a teacher if I’ve got Google and a granny?

2016-09-04T22:03:59+00:00

NB - Having reviewed the evidence, I am now thoroughly convinced I was wrong about all this. Instead, try reading Is it just me or is Sugata Mitra an irresponsible charlatan?  Over the summer I watched Sugata Mitra's jaw-dropping Ted Talk on Child Driven Education and was bowled over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6wPHOorAkM This, I said to myself, could change everything. Mitra outlines the results of a series of remarkable experiments which began with embedding computers into the walls of Indian slums at child height  and then watching to see what children did with them. Unsurprisingly these computers were magnets to the street kids [...]

Why do I need a teacher if I’ve got Google and a granny?2016-09-04T22:03:59+00:00

Should we be teaching knowledge or skills?

2011-11-02T20:31:31+00:00

It is a truth universally acknowledged that our education system isn’t quite up to snuff. And at that point virtually all agreement ceases. There are those on which we might loosely term the ‘right’ of the divide who point to PISA scores, claim that we’re in the middle of a crisis and suggest that a return to traditional values is the way forward. Oh, and Free Schools are good too. Then there are the proponents of the ‘left’ who think that the current emphasis of schools does not fit us for a future in which compliance will no longer be rewarded. [...]

Should we be teaching knowledge or skills?2011-11-02T20:31:31+00:00

The joy of marking

2011-10-27T11:09:21+00:00

I'm a big fan of marking students' work. I love it so much I let a big pile of it build up to do over the holidays. As an English teacher I'm faced with a lot of marking and most of it needs to be read carefully rather than given a cursory tick 'n' flick. I know that marking students' books helps to ensure that they care about the work they produce. I also know that providing formative feedback is the most important intervention that I, as a teacher, can have on my students; there is nothing I can do that will [...]

The joy of marking2011-10-27T11:09:21+00:00

How to have a successful life

2011-10-01T15:08:18+00:00

This week Mr Phil Beadle graced us with his towering presence and 'edutained' 60 Year 11 students. I was going to call this post "Beadle's About" but I'm sure he's heartily sick of any comparisons to the bearded prankster Jeremy (no relation) Beadle. To be absolutely honest, I hadn't heard of Mr Beadle before I was bullied into reading Dancing About Architecture, his fantastically leftfield book on creativity in the classroom. For sheer bloody minded buffoonery it beats the hell out of anything Sir Ken has written and I would unhesitatingly recommend to anyone wanting to liven up lessons with some [...]

How to have a successful life2011-10-01T15:08:18+00:00

Back to school

2011-09-09T21:15:16+00:00

What I really like about going back to school in September is that it's a new year with no mistakes. The students' books are graffiti free and and all the dates and titles have been neatly underlined. There is nothing to mark and my lessons are inspirational and well planned. the annual rot has yet to sink in. I also like deciding on my new school year resolutions. I have to say, I can't be bothered with the proper New Year resolutions and avoid them as the mass market nonsense that they are. School year resolutions are different though. They're normally [...]

Back to school2011-09-09T21:15:16+00:00

Exam analysis

2011-08-28T13:17:35+00:00

September looms and I've already been given an appointment for my Progress Meeting to discuss last year's results and strategies for this year's. On the one hand, I could be forgiven for feeling quite complacent: the English faculty achieved 84% A*-C which is up 16% from last year and an unprecedented success rate for the school. Our English Literature results have done up from an already outstanding 93% to a phenomenal 98%. Media Studies is also at 98% and 66% A*-A (this with 90 students having been entered - almost 3 times as many as previous years). I think I could [...]

Exam analysis2011-08-28T13:17:35+00:00