Why do our pupils forget what we teach them?

In the classroom, as a teacher, forgetting can be particularly confusing. It’s a conundrum when pupils can vividly remember the visitor who came in Year 3 with weird Viking swords, yet three years on, they can’t remember the answer to 7 x 8 to complete a column multiplication calculation.

6 Features of Excellent Explanations

My last post attempted to explain why excellent explanations are so important in teaching. In this post I will try to draw together the many brilliant things that have been said by others on the topic of explanations to try and see if there are features of this core teaching skill that cut across phases… Continue reading 6 Features of Excellent Explanations

(1) Teacher – Pupil Relationships: How important are they?

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?

Seating students for engagement – what does (some of) the evidence say?

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 at their cores assumed that the configuration of furniture should support teaching. This is… Continue reading Seating students for engagement – what does (some of) the evidence say?

3 issues with ‘group seating’ in the classroom…

      Two days ago I set up my tables and chairs for the new school year. It took me a lot longer and more thinking time than I originally planned. Two years ago I was told to always have my tables set up so that children were in groups of four or six.… Continue reading 3 issues with ‘group seating’ in the classroom…

The Everyday Metaphors of Teaching: ‘Guide on the Side’

In my last post, building on Maxwell’s (2015) work, I outlined the inevitability of metaphor in our discourse as teachers and how understanding this in our profession can help us shed light on what our metaphors exaggerate but also hide. I posed two questions: With what metaphors in mind are we to teach? What evidence… Continue reading The Everyday Metaphors of Teaching: ‘Guide on the Side’

The Everyday Metaphors of Teaching: Problems and Solutions

It's an elephant guys - come on. Metaphor is so deeply embedded into the language of teaching that Greene (1973) argues that it would be possible to organise a history of educational ideas around recurring metaphors. As early as 1553, the classical humanist view of educators was as ‘gardeners’ (Rabelias, 1991). Rousseau (1979) saw the… Continue reading The Everyday Metaphors of Teaching: Problems and Solutions