SOLO taxonomy

/Tag: SOLO taxonomy

How helpful is Hattie & Donoghue’s model of learning? Part 1: The problem with depth

2017-06-18T12:07:47+01:00June 17th, 2017|learning|

I saw John Hattie speak recently at a conference on his latest re-imagining of his Visible Learning work. He was an excellent speaker and charming company. I was particularly flattered that he asked me to sign his copy of my What if... book. After he'd finished his presentation he asked me what I thought and I said I'd have to go away and have a think. This is an attempt to tease out a response. Broadly, I found myself in agreement. Hattie makes the astute point that the 400 learning strategies identified in his most recent meta analysis cannot be directly compared; [...]

Why I changed my mind about the SOLO taxonomy

2017-01-25T23:25:31+01:00June 15th, 2014|learning|

I've been meaning to write this for quite a while. Increasingly, I've become rather embarrassed about my erstwhile advocacy for Biggs & Collis's generic taxonomy, the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. I used to have a separate page of SOLO resources on my blog which I have now removed, but even so my SOLO posts still get a surprising number of hits, and this presentation has been downloaded over 50,000 times. If you've got 8 minutes of your life you want to waste, there's also this video of me extolling the efficacy of SOLO at a teachmeet in 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4h1nOdnXDI I was [...]

Knowledge is power

2013-09-25T21:14:34+01:00October 21st, 2012|learning, myths, SOLO|

I've been having a bit of think this week. Firstly I read Daisy Christodoulou's post on Hirsch's Core Knowledge curriculum. She points out that Hirsch, oft-condemned for being the darling of ideologues like Mickey Gove is, in his own words 'a quasi socialist' and big mates with Diane Ravitch (who is nobody's fool.) Then I listened to the hugely entertaining Jonathan Lear give an excellent presentation at Independent Thinking's Big Day Out in Bristol on Friday and like any speaker worth their salt he got me thinking. His point, if I may make so bold as to attempt a precis, is that [...]

The need for 'Why To' guides

2012-06-07T16:20:53+01:00June 7th, 2012|assessment, SOLO|

I'm not a fan of telling people how to do things. OK, that may not strictly speaking be true, but I do believe that just explaining how to solve a problem is unlikely to result in much learning. The best way is to learn is to think about why a problem should be solved. As teachers we often bemoan the fact that we're not treated with respect as a profession. There are probably all sorts of reasons for this but one reason is the extent to which we've allowed ourselves to be told how we should teach. Consider how we're assessed [...]

Is SOLO a waste of time?

2012-06-04T00:09:07+01:00June 4th, 2012|learning, SOLO|

Stop blaming your lack of experimentation, risk and innovation on your lack of time. Hywel Roberts - Oops! Helping Children Learn Accidentally It was pointed out to me recently that I can afford to expend my energies on such fripperies as the SOLO taxonomy and group work because I teach a subject which is rich in curriculum time. If, the logic goes, you only have 1 or 2 hours per week you need to spend it delivering content. Anything else is a waste of time. Clearly there's some truth in this: English does get more time than, say, French or RE. [...]

Shakespeare, SOLO taxonomy and taking risks (Part 2)

2012-06-02T15:12:38+01:00June 2nd, 2012|English, learning, SOLO|

So, the risk paid off and I got the job. I am now Director for English and Literacy at Clevedon School, which has a pleasingly grand ring to it. You'll remember the brief of the interview lesson was to teach a 40 minute  Shakespeare master class to a group of 30 mixed ability Year 8 students which introduced a pedagogical thinking tool. Easy. My SOLO introduction to Shakespeare (or Shakespeare introduction to SOLO depending on your point of view) went well but wasn't as perfect as I'd hoped. Fortunately, I got time to arrange the room priory to the [...]

Shakespeare, SOLO taxonomy and taking risks (Part 1)

2012-05-26T16:47:30+01:00May 26th, 2012|learning, SOLO|

I have an interview on Monday. For me the most stressful part of interview preparation is getting the lesson right. I'm happy to take criticism over almost anything else but I really don't want to hear that my teaching is anything less than outstanding. Why? Because it's what I do all day. If I can't put together an outstanding lesson at an interview then, frankly, what's the point? But, as we all know, interview lessons are highly artificial. You have no prior knowledge of the students beyond some broad statement about their 'ability' and you don't have any kind of relationship [...]

SOLO taxonomy training

2015-07-16T10:22:23+01:00January 30th, 2012|SOLO, training|

UPDATE: I no longer think SOLO taxonomy is worth spending any time on. Here is why. A few weeks ago I rather rashly offered to present on SOLO taxonomy to the North Somerset Aspire network. As always with this sort of foolishness it's made me consider my understanding of the subject in a lot more depth. Before the Summer I'd never even heard of it. But since then the whole world (or at least the very narrow teaching geek world I inhabit) has exploded with SOLO fever. Tait Coles and Darren Mead have done their best to help me understand some [...]

Teaching to the test

2011-12-08T19:33:56+01:00December 8th, 2011|assessment|

In the light of the Telegraph's revelations that, shock! horror!, examiners tell teachers how to prepare students for exams it seems an opportune moment to reflect on the past two days. The chest thumping and blood letting that's followed the 'scoop' has been as predictable as it is pointless. The Telegraph says, The investigation has exposed a system in which exam boards aggressively compete with one another to win “business” from schools. Evidence that standards of exams have been deliberately driven down to encourage schools to sign up for them has also been uncovered. Twaddle. This, as every teacher knows, is [...]

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

2011-12-04T01:12:19+01:00December 4th, 2011|learning|

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+01:00December 4th, 2011|learning|

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 [...]

Should we be teaching knowledge or skills?

2011-11-02T20:31:31+01:00November 2nd, 2011|learning, SOLO|

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. [...]