Browsing All Posts filed under »Leadership«

Clinical Practice in Education: Panacea, Placebo or Suppository

April 2, 2014


Preamble Having written more than one blogpost criticising the use of medical language and metaphors in education, I rather find myself on the back foot with the title of this post and its content. Let me deal with that straight away. My concerns about Big Research in the form of Randomised Control Trials (taken from […]

Student Voice: An Educational Schlieffen Plan?

March 23, 2014


Although I’m an English teacher by training and by trade, throughout further and higher education I was a student of both literature and history. The choice of the latter was unexpected for me: I’d only achieved a grade D in GCSE History, having failed to be ignited by the dampened matches of “the History of […]

Scared Crows in the Panopticon

February 23, 2014


I love the notion of the panopticon as a metaphor for contemporary society. Or rather, I hate the notion of the panopticon as a metaphor for contemporary society, but love teaching it to my Y13 Sociology students and am utterly fascinated by it. For the uninitiated, the panopticon was a prison designed by Jeremy Bentham […]

You’re My Teach First, My Teach Last, My Teach Everything

January 11, 2014


Two confessions to begin this post. The first is that the title is a shameless decision, made purely so that I can crowbar in a Barry White choon. The second confession is that I am not a Teach Firster. I know. I know. God please forgive me, but nearly 20 years ago I went to […]

Oh What a Circus! Oh What a Show!

November 11, 2013


Schools aren’t entirely unlike circuses. (Bear with me on this one.) Everyday teachers up and down the country pull off the most ridiculous feats (cf the episode of Educating Yorkshire where Mr Burton used the King’s Speech film to make us all ooh and aah), logic-defying successes that rely upon a combination of skill, practice […]

Deficit or Surplus? You Decide!

October 30, 2013


One of the problems facing the teaching profession today is that we have become accustomed to looking for deficits in our work. This blogpost is about where I think this ‘deficit model’ approach comes from, how I think it has gained traction, why I think it is a wrong-headed model to take at present and […]

The Gruffalo – An Allegory for Trojan Mice

October 20, 2013


Here is the opening to my #TLT13 presentation this week. The greatest allegory ever written isn’t Animal Farm by my literary hero (God, how he’d hate that description), George Orwell. Instead it is Julia Donaldson’s seminal ‘The Gruffalo’. Undetected for years, this ‘children’s book’ (and I’m doing the fingers version of inverted commas as I […]

My Toby Young Moment?

October 4, 2013


How to Lose Friends and Alienate People I’ve written one or two blogposts that have perhaps threatened to divide opinion, but I suspect that this is the one that will be most likely to lead to some “heated discussions” (there goes the euphemism klaxon). The reason for this suspicion, and the reason I have started […]

The Black Box Between Autonomy and Accountability

October 2, 2013


This blogpost is a write-up of the notes Hélène Galdin-O’Shea and I wrote to help us in our presentation to the Labour TeachMeet event on the fringe of the 2013 Labour Party Conference. The TeachMeet-style event, organised by Labour Teachers and hosted by Tom Sherrington and Chris Waugh in Brighton on 21st September, was an […]

The Myth of the ‘Quality of Teaching’

June 29, 2013


If you’re only as good as your last post on a subject then I am completely off my rocker to even try and attempt a second “Myth of…” post. The first one, on “The Myth of Progress Within Lessons” is closing in on 7000 views making it easily my most widely read post (by a […]