The importance of reading fluency

2017-04-03T00:02:04+01:00April 3rd, 2017|reading|

Following on from a recent post on the folly of forcing children to read along as they are being read to, I presented my thoughts on reading fluency and the problems with 'reading along' at researchED's English & MFL conference in the stunning surroundings of Oxford University's Examination Rooms. For those who might be interested, here are the slides I used. The importance of reading fluency from David Didau

What’s the job of a teacher?

2016-09-14T09:02:41+01:00September 13th, 2016|Featured|

One of the sessions I attended at researchED last Saturday was a debate on whether there really is a mental health crisis amongst young people. There were lots of interesting points made and the debate was slightly less polarised than you might expect, but it still turned out fairly predictably with one side saying the crisis is one we've created by pathologising normal feelings and behaviour and the other saying that young people are increasingly vulnerable and that the modern world is an increasingly scary place to live in. The bit I found particularly interesting was when one speaker made the point [...]

Do we teach children to love reading? Part 1

2016-09-13T08:27:22+01:00September 12th, 2016|reading|

This sounds like a really obvious question but, after listening to Frank Furedi at researchED on Saturday and subsequently reading his book, The Power of Reading: from Socrates to Twitter, I've realised it isn't something I've given much thought. At one point during his lecture Frank said that few of the people interested in the teaching of reading actually value passing on a love of reading. My initial reaction was to reject this. I asked a question afterwards to challenge this view and his response was to ask why so few young people - especially boys - value reading if we actually value passing on [...]

The Trouble with Transfer – my #rED16 slides

2016-09-10T20:53:10+01:00September 10th, 2016|learning, psychology|

Today saw another triumphant outing for Tom Bennett's grassroots conference, researchED. This year I ran a session investigating the research into how we transfer what we learn between different contexts, the slides for which, along with hyperlinked references to the studies I've cited, are below. ResearchED 2016 The Trouble with Transfer from David Didau The high point for me was that Paul Kirschner said the presentation was "pretty good". I will write up an explanation for these as time allows over the next few days, but for those who can't wait, turn to Chapter 6 of What Every Teacher Needs To Know About [...]

Using threshold concepts to think about curriculum design

2015-11-09T20:10:49+00:00November 8th, 2015|planning|

Thank you so much to everyone who helped out, presented, turned up on a wet Saturday or just joined in from afar on our creaky Livestream (I'm particularly devastated that Professor Ray Land's keynote will be lost to posterity!) I will, in due course, write something which pulls together the experience of organising Saturday's #researchED's first subject-specific conference, but for now, here are the slides you've all been clamouring for (actually no one has asked, but in case you were vaguely interested.) What if everything you knew about curriculum design was wrong? from David Didau You can also watch me try [...]

#researchED comes to Swindon

2015-10-06T11:08:10+01:00October 6th, 2015|research|

London, Sydney, New York, Glasgow and now... Swindon. At long last Tom Bennett's moveable, grassroots, edu-research feast finally pitches up in the heart of Wiltshire and my new home from home, Swindon Academy. This time, the focus is specifically on how research might help secondary English teachers to be more critical, thoughtful and informed about the choices they make. We've arrayed a galaxy of some of the most stellar English teachery types out there as well as a few luminaries from academia, most notably our keynote speaker, professor Ray Land from Durham University. The programme, although subject to change, currently looks like [...]

Foxy Thinking: why we should embrace ignorance and learn to love uncertainty

2015-09-06T15:46:14+01:00September 5th, 2015|Featured|

"The grand perhaps! We look on helplessly, there the old misgivings, crooked questions are." Robert Browning Ted Hughes' poem The Thought Fox is an attempt to describe the mysteries of the creative process of writing a poem. We can imagine him sitting at his desk, staring in the dark, slowly become aware of a flickering presence and the awareness that "something else," an idea, "is alive". Hughes imagines this idea as a fox which makes his way into his mind at first tentatively: "Cold, delicately as the dark snow, A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf" and then take hold with startling suddenness [...]

researchED English & Literacy Conference

2015-07-08T20:37:09+01:00July 1st, 2015|English, research|

A few months ago I asked Tom Bennett if he'd be up for rubberstamping some sort of rEDx project (like TEDx but with brains) devoted to exploring the intersection between education research and English teaching and he came back, quick as a flash, with the suggestion that I organise an actual researchED spinoff. So, under the steadying hand and watchful eye of Helene Galdon-O'Shea, I have. When? Saturday 7th November 2015 Where? Swindon Academy (which is also where I'll be working next year.) What? The theme of the conference is exploring the intersection between 'what works' according to the research community [...]

Do all good ideas need to be researched?

2015-05-10T18:22:35+01:00May 10th, 2015|research|

We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about ‘and’. Arthur Stanley Eddington After my presentation on Slow Writing at the researchED Primary Literacy Conference in Leeds, I was asked a very good question by Alex Wetherall. Basically - and I hope he forgives my paraphrase - he asked whether it would be worth conducting some 'proper' research on my good idea. I said no. It seemed as though this came as something of a surprise to the research literate audience. [...]

Go to Top