The Confident Teacher

Coding Challenge Coding Live

I am Director of Huntington Research School, York. I am also a Research School Developer for the EEF, supporting research schools in the north of England.

Spelling: Avoiding Ignorance and Negligence

Alphabetical Signposts To Teacher Excellence F Teach innovate reflect

onThe Feedback Collection

Leading question, but also yes.

onThinking Hardand Why We Avoid It

With this thought experiment in mind, I pose these ten tricky questions:

Isnt reading for pleasureor anything el搜索引擎优化ne of the keys to increased vocabulary and better spelling? In terms of how they read (I assume you mean comprehension?) using knowledge orgs is a good way to unlock texts being covered by th whole class.

Drop everything and read (DEAR):What if dropping everything and reading fiction in Science lessons makes our students worse at reading Science texts?

Whole-class feedback:What if every child thinks that the whole-class feedback we are giving them is for every other child and not them?

Assessment: What if teachers being grossly undertrained in assessment is one of the major factors that is hampering teaching, learning and school improvement in England?

Hi Alex. Interesting list. I think the oracy/Boris issue is very low risk in most schools Ive ever been to. Its possibly a bit like worrying about obesity with people who are currently underfed. So many students I see lack basic confidence with speaking even when they have good knowledge although clearly one informs the other. Im yet to see any school oracy work that felt Boris-like, bluster over substance.

What if we were faced with uncomfortable questions about some of our brightest and best teaching and learning ideas? It would be uncomfortable and challenging, no doubt. Perhaps, though, such reflection on the potential of unintended consequences and unforeseen failures could prove both  revealing and instructive?

Mastery:What if mastery is the new growth mindset, meaning everything and nothing to all people?

I worry if oracy isnt twinned with reading and challenging academic content (I have seen some examples of this, but it wasnt rooted in any deep experience of the schools), then it is too Boris-Like. It is a complex and difficult to get right (Questions such as: can you teach an academic resister in talk with limited vocabulary knowledge etc.) and therefore well worth asking questions about. Hence a provocation to stimulate some debate!

When Incoherence and Compliance Trump Curriculum

Hi David, Yes lots of reading is one of the crucial keys to vocabulary and better spelling. And still, how does that happen? Can we cultivate pleasure through teaching vocabulary in a meaningful way? We begin to ask lots and lots of questions. What is clear is that we dont know the essential ingredients of some of the things we take for granted are good things. I raise these questions as a provocation for us to think much harder, considering counterfactual positions and unintended consequences. Knowledge organizers may be useful. I suspect they are potentially an excellent tool, whilst also potentially ineffective, depending upon how they are used in context. Given we have evaluated their impact so little, I would challenge your point that they are a good way and ask, how do you know and what active ingredients mean they are effective in the classroom. Ultimately, we are once more left seeking better evidence, more robust evaluation, more nuanced thinking. This would be a good thing, in my opinion.

The Perfect English Faculty Mark Roberts Teach

Oracy:What if a focus on oracy encourages a generation of over-confident Boris Johnson clones?

When I am not doing research school work, I can be found teaching English as well writing edubooks and articles for TES and Teach Secondary magazine.

InDebates and Polemicsby Alex Quigley21/10/201711 Comments

Reading for pleasure:What if we are so focused on encouraging lots of reading for pleasure that we dont address how effectively our students can actually read?

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

Mastery: What if mastery is the new growth mindset, meaning everything and nothing to all people?

Cognitive science:What if the majority of the research evidence from cognitive science cannot be translated successfully from the university laboratory into the classroom?

My dual coding question is as much a challenge to the interpretation of dual coding as to the faithful implementation of the specific research. I would be intrigued to find out how many people who are propounding dual coding have read anything of Paivio! Then you have the inevitable watering down of the original research. The very notion of dual coding is dangerous close to using nice pictures and so the danger is inherent. When formative assessment becomes colour cups and little else.

… @HuntingEnglish on how to create independent lesrners and why we need to…

Assessment:What if teachers being grossly undertrained in assessment is one of the major factors that is hampering teaching, learning and school improvement in England?

I am Director of Huntington Research School, York. I am also a Research School Developer for the EEF, supporting research schools in the north of England.

Pingback:Why teach oracy? The De-Skilled Teacher

This would be hugely challenging, but the exciting thing about much of it is that it has transferred from laboratories into controlled trials in classrooms. Theres a challenge in taking it from controlled to uncontrolled settings, but it worries me less than mastery or growth mindset.

Good to hear Tom! I am being provocative here! I suspect a lot of work around oracy in schools is highly intelligent and well implemented, woven intricately with academic reading, the broad needs of the curriculum and specific subject demands. I would say in secondary school, reading comprehension is the prime skill with regard to literacy; for very young children, oracy and language use is number one. Given this, I think we must think hard about curriculum priorities and respond accordingly. Whether oracy is the priority, well I would need to know a great deal about the school to say so.

onWhen Incoherence and Compliance Trump Curriculum

Spelling instruction:What if we are testing spelling, but never properly teaching spelling?

I reviewed useful and insightful book by @HuntingEnglish recently for @tes see post and link to review here @EducEndowFoundn

Good points about cog. sci. As you can imagine, this is a challenge to myself here. It is also an implicit call for better evaluation of cognitive science and the other concepts and ideas mentioned in the post. When we begin with this challenging questions, the need for better evaluation, robust evidence and a consideration of careful and faithful implementation all become raised. This is what we too often miss in schools in the break-neck sprint for rapid school improvement.

Whether this marries up with having oracy leaders and promoting oracy plans, events etc. is a question for schools to address.

Vocabulary instruction:What if a focus on vocabulary results in teachers merely undertaking a laborious gathering of vocabulary lists to be tested? [See question 1.]

The Confident Teacher is a blog by teacher and author, Alex Quigley (@HuntingEnglish)

Cognitive science: What if the majority of the research evidence from cognitive science cannot be translated successfully from the university laboratory into the classroom?

Five things that work in teachers early-career development: Cat Scutt, @CharteredColl director of education and research, with five ideas to help support new teachers and hopefully improve retention:

My understanding of dual coding is that its a way to convey complex ideas. If teachers are using an array of nice pictures which ware distracting from the text, they are not using dual coding (they are adding pictures!)

When I am not doing research school work, I can be found teaching English, as well as writing edubooks and articles for TES and Teach Secondary magazine. I am a ResearchED Trustee & a member of the Chartered College of Teaching Impact Journal board.

I think your first sentence is what I mean when I say oracy. Although you can also learn to orate in non-academic ways. As Martin Robinson would say: rhetoric, innit.

Dual coding:What if dual coding results in teachers using an array of nice pictures that actually distracts students from reading and understanding complex texts?

Unwrapping the Mystery of Metacognition

Its a good provocation. And I love the fact the Boris-like doesnt even need to be explained!

On being predictable. 8 things youll see in most of my lessons and the 4 principles which underpin them. (Part 1/6) Walden Education

What if dual coding results in teachers using an array of nice pictures that actually distracts students from reading and understanding complex texts?

I would add that I think teachers should explicitly teach talk and that high quality academic talk is a crucial aspect of teaching and learning. The work of the likes of Alexander and Mercer on talk is serious work and should be known by teachers (I have written on this for a project I am doing). In secondary, this needs a good deal of subject specific language focus and teacher knowledge.

Leave a Reply