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Why aren't rewards working?

Joe Kirby / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 1,832 views

“Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.” Lewis Carroll’s Dodo, Alice in Wonderland Reward systems hold the promise of digital tracking of students’ effort and decisions in lessons. But sometimes they backfire, as this teacher points out: “When the…

Who's afraid of lesson observations?

Joe Kirby / June 29, 2015 at 8:36 PM 3,397 views

“Shoot an apple from the boy’s head. If you miss, your own head shall pay the forfeit.” Wilhelm Tell, by Friedrich Schiller, 1804. In the 14th century, Switzerland was ruled by the Habsburg Emperors of Austria. From 1300, Gessler, the Austrian…

How knowledge is being detached from skills in English

Joe Kirby / June 29, 2015 at 8:35 PM 1,844 views

A cornerstone of teacher training is Bloom’s taxonomy, where knowledge is placed firmly at the bottom. The advice for teachers is, move beyond low-level facts, up to higher-order skills like synthesis. But what if this advice misses the point? My…

Why does London outperform England?

Joe Kirby / June 29, 2015 at 8:34 PM 2,648 views

Improved leadership and teaching “There is nothing unattainable to him who will try.”  Plutarch, Life of Alexander 58.2.3 “Turn him to any cause of policy,
 The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose.  William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1.…

From the archive: Why isn’t our education system working?

Joe Kirby / April 27, 2015 at 8:34 PM 16,352 views

‘Educational inequality is the civil rights issue of our time’ - Barack Obama, 2011  Our retention, training, curriculum and assessment aren’t strong enough In 1807, radical journalist William Cobbett used an analogy to suggest that, just as his hunting dogs in training…