On Saturday 27 June 2015 I had the great pleasure of delivering the keynote speech at the Reading Teaching and Learning Conference AKA #READTL15.
And what a pleasure it was: not only did I get the chance to talk pedagogy to a willing audience (to be honest, I’d happily talk pedagogy to an empty room if it didn’t look so weird), I got to meet some truly talented people.
It was the day Twitter took on corporeal form. Jill Berry described it as being like a reunion of people you’d never met. They are as familiar as friends and family and yet not. I arrived early to set up so had fun playing a game of ‘match the Twitter avatar to its human form’ as delegates entered.
I’d like to name-check some of the tweachers I met in the flesh following months or years of online interaction and admiration but, by so doing, I am bound to omit someone… so suffice to say: it was a pleasure to meet you all and you were every bit as inspirational in the flesh as you are online!
The profession is in very safe hands: this generation of teachers are generous and kind both with their resources and with their time. How many other professions would see their workforces – after the 5-day working week – willingly give up their weekends just to help each other get better? Politicians take note: Teachers don’t deserve the daily denigration; they are heroes in a half-term.
Indeed, my only criticism of the conference is that there were simply too many great contributors willing to share their expertise and so I missed my chance to hear many of them speak.
See a selection of social media reactions to my conference speech on Storify
I always try to offer good value but forty-five minutes is simply not long enough – no matter how quickly I can talk – to do justice to my subject matter. I’d spent the night before – trapped in an airless hotel room above a busy bar – painfully editing my presentation, deleting slide after slide. But, as the conference start time was pushed back and back whilst delegates filtered through to the hall, I began to mentally re-write my speech again, trying to cut it even further.
To make amends, below I have curated a library of supporting materials to add some depth and colour to my speech. I have also posted copies of my presentation slides. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
If you listened to my keynote speech, you might find the following of interest:
You can download an abridged copy of my slides here: Reading College Keynote
You can download free posters covering many of the topics I covered in my speech – feel free to share them in your schools and colleges.
You can read more about my thoughts on the practical application of cognitive science in the classroom here.
You can read more about the importance of deliberate practice here.
You can read more about the importance of having high expectations in the classroom here.
Read a summary of the eight cornerstones of excellence here.
Read about the science of learning here.
You can read some advice on lesson planning here.
You can read about developing a growth mindset culture in the classroom here.
You can read about the importance of teaching knowledge before skill here.
You can read about the zone of proximal development here.
…and you can can find out what I really think about ‘outstanding’ teaching here.
If you also attended my workshop, you must be a glutton for punishment! But I’m immensely grateful you are and enjoyed your company. As your reward, you might find the following of interest:
You can download a copy of my slides here: Reading College Workshop
Due to technical difficulties and the pressures of time, I modelled what Graham Nuthall calls ‘adjusting to the here and now circumstances of the classroom’. In other words, I didn’t get to cover most of the content I’d planned. If you have any questions about the content of the slides I did not cover, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The BIG 3 – evidence-based teaching:
1. Feedback – click here.
3. Pitch – click here.
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