Tag : teaching

Making teachers nervous the key to lifting standards?

Four years ago I wrote a piece for the UK Huffington Post reflecting on the nonsense being espoused by the then head of OFSTED, Sir Michael Wilshaw. Upon his appointment as Chief Inspector of Schools he dispensed this advice to UK headmasters: “A good head would never be loved by his or her staff. If anyone says to you that ‘staff morale is at an all-time low’ you know you are doing something right.” In the same piece I noted […]

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The Revolution Won’t Necessarily Be Televised

Over the past month Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, aired a four-part documentary called Revolution School in which it followed the staff and students of Kambrya College in Victoria throughout the course of 2015. The premise of the doco was that Kambrya was a struggling school – in 2008 its Year 12 results put it in the state’s bottom 10% of schools – and that by applying “cutting edge research developed by Professor John Hattie at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, [Kambrya] undergoes […]

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Why I’m supporting the ILF

First of all, thank you! Thank you to everyone who has already got a copy of my book #SchoolOfThought! I was blown away to wake up on Sunday to find it #2 in ‘Schools & Teaching’ on Kindle in Australia… behind the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala! If you get my newsletter you’ll be aware that all the profits from the sale of #SchoolOfThought will go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) here in Australia. I just wanted to share with […]

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Should You *Reward* Good Behaviour?

I’ve been doing a lot of work around Carol Dweck’s Mindset theory of late. This complements the approach I take to engagement in school (or any environment) which I largely base on Ryan & Deci’s Self Determination Theory. The essence of what I explore is that authentic engagement is achieved when: Relationships have been established built around trust, respect and care. individuals have a level of choice and voice (autonomy). Individuals improve for the sake of improving – not merely […]

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Snake, Walkmans, Moments & School…

What do these three things have in common,  and why on earth would I waste your time asking you that question? If you’re of a certain vintage you’ll be aware of just how amazing Nokia phones were. What’s that? You can’t remember? Check this out. Of course, Sony Walkmans were so popular even competitor’s offerings were referred to as Walkmans, and how many times have you thanked your lucky stars that your Kodak Moments weren’t captured in the era of Facebook or Instagram? Nowadays, a straw poll of any […]

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3 things you (probably) didn’t know about Finland

Every couple of years, the OECD publish a report from their Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Their findings are (very helpfully) compiled into league tables, charting the performance of each of the participating countries in maths, literacy and application of scientific knowledge. These tables are then used to fuel media stories like this one, which make claims like: “Australian schools should copy their top-performing Asian neighbours and push to keep only the best teachers in the classroom if local students […]

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5 Key Takeaways about Student Wellbeing

A couple of weeks ago the Centre for Education Statistics & Evaluation released their literature review into Student Wellbeing. You can access the entire document here. It clearly and concisely lays out all the considerations important for addressing student wellbeing in your school. It also offers dozens of research papers to explore by way of referencing. Having said that, if you’re pushed for time, I’ve distilled the essence of it here. [Anything in italics denotes it has been taken verbatim from the report] The Department of Education, […]

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Chatting with John Hattie – Pt. 3

This is the third in a series of posts based around an interview I had with John Hattie earlier this year. Whilst many education conferences around the world issue a call to arms – of sorts – to embrace 21st Century Skills, it’s worth pointing out that the cohort of kids that started Kindy in the year 2000 are now – for whom those the system worked – into their second year of an undergraduate course. Bit late for them. […]

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Chatting with John Hattie – Pt. 2

This is the second in a series of posts based around an interview with educational researcher and Chair of AITSL, John Hattie. There are many facets to the education debate and one that pushes more buttons than most is the Traditional v Progressive teaching debate. Some read this as the Didactic v Student Centred or sometimes the Knowledge v Skills argument but either way, lines get drawn in the sand and teachers choose their respective side. There are many bloggers who write extensively […]

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Chatting with John Hattie – Pt. 1

Late last year I wrote a blog post called, Is John Talking Through His Hattie? The subject of the post was a series of posts and articles I had come across that called into question the validity of the statistical analysis that is the backbone of John Hattie’s Visible Learning work. To save you the time of reading that post, the key point raised was: John Hattie had admitted half the statistics in Visible Learning are wrong. Within a couple […]

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