Teaching and Learning

What Two Students Want You to Know About Inclusive Teaching – Education Article

Inclusive teaching involves creating equitable and welcoming educational environments for the diverse learners in our classrooms. Such approaches may involve, but are not limited to: designing educational experiences informed by the pre-knowledge, skills, demographic backgrounds, and attitudes that learners bring to the classroom; creating an inviting course environment where students feel a sense of belonging; integrating diversity into course content; and being aware of and mitigating any harmful effects of biases (Tanner 2013).  Various inclusive teaching practices are associated with…

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The Importance of Classroom Observations – The Principal of Change – Education Article

Notice the title of the post…”The Importance of Classroom Observations.” When you hear the term, do you think of observing and evaluating teachers or of the logistics of the space? To me, the term means something different, and it is more of an evaluation of administration than it is of teachers. Let me explain… When I worked as a principal and eventually at central office, I would often take my laptop into classrooms with the permission of a teacher and…

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Talk Up Teaching | TeacherToolkit – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes Why do teachers and schools impose silly ideas on one other? Over the last two weeks I have watched a prominent ITT provider post a recruitment video, sadly promoting the fact that teaching and learning could be assessed from walking past a teacher’s classroom door … and another school leader boasting about the fact that they could evaluate the culture of a complex school environment within the first 30 seconds from being on-school premises. Have we…

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4 Things Teachers Need To Do To Communicate Better – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes How can we improve our communication skills? The ability to communicate effectively is possibly the most important characteristic of a successful teacher. Communication, however, goes far beyond what you say. Communication is how you say it, when you say it, how often you say it, who you say it to and possibly most importantly what your actions are saying. Here are 4 things you can do with your class to create the best environment for learning. 1.…

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Comparative Assessment In The Classroom – Education Article

Reading Time: 2 minutes What is comparative assessment and how can teachers use it in their classroom? Psychologist, Louis Thurstone, published a paper on the law of comparative judgment in 1927! Thurstone’s method of comparative judgement exploits the power of adaptivity; in scoring rather than testing. There has been a recent and welcome revival of comparative assessment, but it has been around for a long time and one could argue that we are 90 years too late. With an influx…

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The Trust Default – The Principal of Change – Education Article

In a recent workshop, I was asked: “Do you think that kids should just be able to bring phones to the classroom whenever they want?” At the end of the answer, I always share that ultimately, the decision should be with the teacher as they know their community the best, but here are some things that I wanted people to consider. If you throw a “device” in the classroom without changing any of the teaching and learning, it will be…

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Imagine (Always) Not Being Good Enough – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes Are you good enough to be a teacher? Imagine this scenario: you have a scheduled observation with your line manager and you have been teaching for over 10 years. The next 60 minutes of your life determines your pay rise, your job security, immediate workload and your mental health. The above scenario is very common in our English state schools, where, regardless of how long you have been teaching, schools have squeezed down teacher observation into…

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The Growth from Accepting and/or Ignoring Criticism – The Principal of Change – Education Article

I am a total sucker for quotes.  I feel short quotes are often like great song lyrics in the way that they tell the consumer a story made for their interpretation in a way that is needed at the moment.  This article providing quotes on criticism has some thought-provoking ideas from different viewpoints. For example, we sometimes need to ignore criticism in the way that it can hold us back: “Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions…Do your thing,…

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Does ‘Teacher Expectation’ Make A Difference? – Education Article

Reading Time: 1 minute Does teacher expectation make a difference? Have you ever taught a top set or a bottom set class? How do the pupils and your behaviours change? Research suggests teacher expectations make all the difference, so ‘what can you say and do’ to help make another teacher more effective, which in turn impacts on their pupils’ behaviour and their performance? Positive expectations influence performance … The work of Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobsen (1968) shows that teacher…

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Empowering Learning Through Student Strengths – The Principal of Change – Education Article

Jeff Kubiak posted this image on Twitter: LOVE! The concept of “focusing on strengths” is something that I have shared in “The Innovator’s Mindset,” and dive into deeper in my next book, “Innovate Inside the Box” (Coming out in August 2019).  One of the ideas that I discuss as a “Core” element is focusing on “Learner-Driven, Evidence-Informed” classrooms.  This is to suggest that when we identify student strengths and help students have the ability to recognize that themselves, the experience…

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What We Assess Often Drives Teaching – The Principal of Change – Education Article

Thinking out loud so bear with me… An important question that we should ask often; What is the purpose of school?  Is it a means to an end or is there a bigger purpose? If you “teach to the test,” can some skills be learned in that process? Resiliency? Focus? Dedication? I have seen some posts on social media where the instruction is geared to how we do on exams and things like “pep rallies” getting students psyched up to…

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15 Cognitive Biases Which Influence The Way You Think – Education Article

Reading Time: 4 minutes When it comes to making a good decision, how well-informed are you? Since the early 1960s, cognitive scientists and psychologists have been researching and sharing cognitive bias and give them each a name. How good are you at knowing some of the most well-known and can you spot these behaviours in yourself and others? I’ve been blogging about cognitive dissonance over the last year or so as I have started to become familiar with online behaviours…

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My Top 4 Education Podcasts – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes What education-podcasts do you follow? Podcasts are perfect for learning on the go. They make information personal and they are convenient and easy to consume. As well as these top recommendations, don’t forget to listen to the weekly Teacher Toolkit podcasts. Teachers have always enjoyed a healthy discussion and debate about pedagogy and practice, whether it be in the staffroom at break time, the yard at lunchtime or in CPD sessions after school. With the advances…

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The Present Moment is Our Friend – The Principal of Change – Education Article

My good friend, Patrick Larkin, purchased the book for me, “10% Happier“.  I have been enjoying it, and this quote gave me pause for personal and professional reasons: “Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy. Because many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment. And imagine living your whole life like that, where always this moment is never quite right, not…

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Literacy Levels Among College Students – Education Article

When I confront “problems of practice” in my teaching, I like to turn to my smart friends for advice. About a year ago, I was really confounded by my students’ trouble with reading for deep understanding. While I could see that the students were completing assigned readings, they weren’t always able to process the information deeply to analyze the concepts or apply the content to new situations. Since I don’t have much experience teaching reading, I turned to my colleague,…

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#1MinCPD: Time Making Tips For Times Tables – Education Article

Reading Time: 1 minute How well do your pupils know their times tables? Knowing your times tables is a maths non-negotiable for all pupils. Try these top tips for nailing times tables in your classroom. 1. Allocate time Without regular dedicated time, learning of times tables will be limited, so if you’re serious about improving recall, get times tables timetabled! 2. Go slow to start Pupils need to feel some level of success to be motivated so it might be…

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