We can't find good answers in education unless we ask the right questions. These five elements of classroom culture have helped me ask the right questions about what makes highly effective learning environments day in day out.
In this post, I suggest one strategy for dealing with defiant behaviour effectively. To explain and illustrate this, I want to go back to Mr Blake’s classroom, the first time we visited is here. This time we’re going to meet someone new from his class*. Roxy Mr Blake had just started his Year 4 Maths… Continue reading Dealing with Defiant Behaviour: ‘The Language of Choice’
I actually didn’t want anyone to find this blog when I first started writing it. To be honest, I just wanted a place to organise my thoughts about being a young teacher in England who was attempting to make sense of the complexity of the classroom. It’s now humbling to see that my blog is… Continue reading One year of blogging…
I have had some educational doubts lately. They all started on my way home from school listening to a podcast episode of ‘The Educators’. In the episode, it interviewed Salman Kahn, the creator of the highly successful, not-for-profit organisation: ‘The Khan Academy’. To give you any sort of understanding of my angst, I ought to… Continue reading Do we really need school? Lessons from the Khan Academy
This comic has been used with kind permission from Scott Hubeny. My last two posts (found here and here) have been a bit too theoretical. Here's for something a bit more practical... Stretching over three decades, research conducted by Wubbels (2013) suggests that teachers who combine maintaining high expectations for learning with ‘friendly’ characteristics (such… Continue reading (3) Classroom Relationships and The Power of Warm/Strict
In my previous post, I discussed whether teacher pupil relationships have an impact on learning outcomes. What was evident from some of the research out there is that it is essential for productive student engagement, which leads to high motivation in pupils to learn. In a nutshell, it is a fundamental component of the ‘precondition(s) for… Continue reading (2) What makes a great teacher – pupil relationship?
Image from tes.com If my school was defined by it’s socio-economic context, it would be destined for poor results, dreadful behaviour and high staff turnover. On the contrary, it is none of these things. The children are polite, kind and they enjoy school (of course there are always a few exceptions). Many members of staff… Continue reading (1) Teacher – Pupil Relationships: How important are they?
This post follows on from two previous posts, found here and here about teaching metaphors. This is by no means a new metaphor but I think this character allows a great perspective on our role as primary teachers. Writing about where the story of ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’ came from, Michelle Magorian described how she started… Continue reading Mister Tom the Master Teacher
In my last post, I raised three issues with group seating as standard in the primary classroom. Of the three considered, only two had any sort of pedagogical value. The arguments related to group seating supporting group teaching and collaboration both assumed that the configuration of furniture should support teaching. Although this is an excellent… Continue reading Seating students for engagement – what does (some of) the evidence say?