“JUDGE A MAN BY HIS QUESTIONS RATHER THAN BY HIS ANSWERS”
When is a blog not a blog? Blog: noun (informal) an online journal. Contraction of: weblog. This isn’t really a blog; it’s a repository, an archive of everything I write for various newspapers, magazines, websites, newsletters and books. Occasionally, I’ll feel inspired to write something exclusively for these pages, too. In short, if I’ve written it, it’ll be here somewhere…
PLEASE NOTE: SOME OLDER ARTICLES HAVE BEEN MOVED OR REMOVED AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO SPRING-CLEAN THIS WEBSITE SO WE APOLOGISE IF YOU ENCOUNTER ANY BROKEN LINKS OR CAN’T FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY DIFFICULTIES.
NEW! Matt’s latest column for SecEd magazine – Project-based learning (part two)
NEW! When is the end also the beginning?
I had to say some fond farewells this week. After nearly three years, I left Derby College to take up my next challenge. Although I confided this in no one, it was always my intention to commit to three years or stay until such a time as we were inspected and judged to be ‘good’. It now seems fortuitous, therefore, that the two events have almost coincided. This week was therefore my last and, although I can’t say I’ll miss those long daily commutes on the train, I will definitely miss all the staff who work at the end of the line… READ MORE
The first step towards encouraging students to produce high-quality work is to set assessment tasks which inspire and challenge them and which are predicated on the idea that every student will succeed, not just finish the task but produce work which represents personal excellence. We also know that the most effective assessment tasks offer students an opportunity to engage in genuine research not just research invented for the classroom. We know, too, that a student’s finished product needs a real audience and that the role of the teacher is to help students to get their work ready for the public eye. And what is the best way of delivering all of the above? The answer is project-based learning… READ MORE
I bought a Border Collie pup recently and, at eight weeks, have just begun training her. I don’t want to sound disparaging but the experience has reminded me a lot of my teaching days… READ MORE
Most people get a phased return to work following illness; I got a week-long Ofsted inspection. I returned home late on Friday night after a week spent living out of a suitcase. My five-year-old daughter insisted on waiting up for me. Apparently, she’d sat by the window for three hours as I crawled up the M1 just so she could wave to me as I pulled onto the drive. One day, I’ll take her in my arms and tell her how every one of the 10,800 seconds she spent staring into the darkness was worth its weight in gold just to see her smile after a sleepless, stressful week… READ MORE
Forget Christmas – in my house, the first week of December was much more festive. My family and I awoke early each morning and crept downstairs – nimble on our feet – to see if our New Vacuum had arrived. And one day, after a knock at the door and a signed chit, there it was, standing proud in the hall: shiny and new and beautifully designed, accompanied by its progeny of nozzles… READ ALL 5 PARTS HERE
There is no silver bullet, no secret formula to teaching great lessons. What works is what’s best and the best thing to do, therefore, is to get to know your students – including by regularly assessing them – and to plan for progress by providing opportunities for all your students to fill gaps in their knowledge and skills. But here is some advice for new teachers on assessment, behaviour and curriculum… READ MORE
What is the purpose of education? Is it to prepare young people for the world of work or is it to instil in them an appreciation of the arts and sciences? Is it to develop character traits – such as resilience and empathy – in order to increase a student’s employability, or is it to indoctrinate young people in our shared culture and history? Is education a means to an end, or learning for learning’s sake? …
Deans for Impact produced a report with the same name as an article I wrote last year and it does much the same thing… you’d think I’d be jealous of all the attention it’s getting but I’m not because it happens to be really rather good. It summarises a lot of what I’ve written about in recent years (over the course of several thousand words!) in just a few pages…and does so with greater rigour! My advice, therefore, is to ignore me and read the report… READ MORE
Reading my daughter’s bedtime story is an innocent act that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care, it is my sore labour’s bath, the balm of my hurt mind, and the chief nourisher in my life’s feast. Our bedtime story makes the world seem a better place, it is an oasis of calm and order in an otherwise cold, cruel world…
Overview | Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven
In May I flew to Finland for a week of fact-finding. My mission: to learn from Finnish education leaders and teachers what it means to run a world-class education system…