Teaching students Skills is possible and necessary

Teaching students Skills is possible and necessary I read on blogs and on twitter, that teachers should only teach knowledge and should not teach generic skills. I believe this is wrong and dangerous.  This blog looks at how to teach skills, and examines the arguments for and against skills teaching. Procedural knowledge and declarative knowledge. Read More

Why is UK educational policy so confident, yet so incompetent?

Educational reform in the UK over many governments has been systematically irrational: policies have been imposed that directly contradict the most authoritative evidence. This has puzzled and angered me for some time. I’d like to know why this happens and look forward to your comments below. First of all I’d like you to imagine you Read More

Embedding your formative assessment

Experimenting with new approaches to teaching is the only way to improve. I’m a great fan of Professor Dylan Wiliam, and his  book on how to embed formative assessment into your teaching is a stunner. It has some brilliant teaching methods for you to try. Formative assessment has a gigantic effect on student learning and Read More

Grading students work degrades their learning: use ‘medal and mission’ feedback instead

The downside of grading Most people reckon that grades motivate, creating healthy competition and something to aim for. But one of the surprises from educational research is that grading has a negative effect on at least half of students. By grading I mean any comparison with other students, marks out of ten, letter grades, merits Read More

What are FE teachers worth to the government?

Geoff’s does his sums, and awards FE teachers a £50k bonus. If you are a teacher or trainer in the Post-19 Further Education sector, you are worth in the order of £500,000 a year to the national economy, according to a recent government research paper. This is because your teaching improves the lifetime earnings of Read More

What do exceptional teachers do that others don’t?

The strategies used by exceptional teachers This is a very under-researched question but we are beginning to get some answers. What makes brilliant teachers brilliant is not who they are, but what they do in the classroom, and some of the techniques they use anyone could adopt. Doug Lemov works in America, and he went Read More

The uses and abuses of evidence in education

The best evidence is flawed, the rest is worse. But there are ways to navigate this uncertainty Summary No evidence or advice is perfect, but some sources of evidence are much more trustworthy than others. You can often tell a better source from a worse one, as I will explain. High quality evidence will suggest Read More

Learning Teams and Study Buddies

According to my students, one of the most successful strategies I used as a teacher was getting students to help each other. I was astonished by how much helpers and helped enjoyed this process, and by how much time it saved me.   Students helping in pairs: ‘study buddies’ Imagine you teach on a business Read More

Feedback means fixing not marking – try snowballing

Feedback means fixing – not marking Many teachers interpret ‘feedback’ or ‘formative assessment’ to mean commenting on students work, and annotating it with ticks, crosses, and comments and so on. Some think this includes grades or marks. But the guru on formative assessment and feedback, Dylan Wiliam, interprets the terms differently. For him the purpose Read More

Teaching skills is vital: why God disagrees with ‘Seven Myths about Education’

Teaching skills is vital: why God doesn’t agree with ‘Seven Myths about Education’: A response to Daisy Christodoulou’s book.  By Geoff Petty Author of ‘Teaching Today’ and ‘Evidence Based Teaching’ Summary: Daisy Christodoulou’s book ‘Seven Myths about Education’ has created a stir, not least in the blogosphere, where her ideas seem almost to have become Read More